, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 177-239
Date: 09 Jan 2007

How to make and defend a proposal in a deliberation dialogue

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Abstract

In this paper it is shown how tools developed in argumentation theory and artificial intelligence can be applied to the development of a new dialectical analysis of the speech act of making a proposal in a deliberation dialogue. These tools are developed, modified and used to formulate dialogue pre-conditions, defining conditions and post-conditions for the speech act of making a proposal in a deliberation dialogue. The defining conditions set out what is required for a move in a dialogue to count as the making of a proposal by one of the parties. What is required are the conditions that (1) the move fit the requirements of the argumentation scheme for practical reasoning, and (2) the premises are propositions describing common goals of both parties or propositions that they reasonably consider means to achieve these goals. The analysis goes beyond the standard speech act approach by specifying not only the normative requirements for making a well-formed proposal, but also the requirements for responding to it by questioning or criticizing it, and the requirements for defending it.