An argumentation framework in default logic

  • Henry Prakken


This article presents a formal theory about nontrivial reasoning with inconsistent information, applicable, among other things, to defeasible reasoning. The theory, which is inspired by a formal analysis of legal argument, is based on the idea that inconsistency tolerant reasoning is more than revising an unstructural set of premises; rather it should be regarded as constructing and comparing arguments for incompatible conclusions. This point of view gives rise to two important observations, both pointing at some flaws of other theories. The first is that arguments should be compared as they are constructed, viz. step-by-step, while the second observation is that a knowledge representation language is needed with a defeasible conditional, since the material implication gives rise to arguments which are not constructed in actual reasoning. Accordingly, a nonmonotonic logic, default logic, is chosen as the formalism underlying the argumentation framework. The general structure of the framework allows for any standard for comparing pairs of arguments; in this study two such standards are investigated, based on specificity and on orderings of the premises.


Neural Network General Structure Formal Analysis Important Observation Formal Theory 
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Copyright information

© J.C. Baltzer AG, Science Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry Prakken
    • 1
  1. 1.Computer/Law InstituteFree UniversityAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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