, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 353–377 | Cite as

Deliberative discourse and reasoning from generic argument structures

Original Article


In this article a dialectical model for practical reasoning within a community, based on the Generic/Actual Argument Model (GAAM) is advanced and its application to deliberative dialogue discussed. The GAAM, offers a dynamic template for structuring knowledge within a domain of discourse that is connected to and regulated by a community. The paper demonstrates how the community accepted generic argument structure acts to normatively influence both admissible reasoning and the progression of dialectical reasoning between participants. It is further demonstrated that these types of deliberation dialogues supported by the GAAM comply with criteria for normative principles for deliberation, specifically, Alexy’s rules for discourse ethics and Hitchcock’s Principles of Rational Mutual Inquiry. The connection of reasoning to the community in a documented and transparent structure assists in providing best justified reasons, principles of deliberation and ethical discourse which are important advantages for reasoning communities.



The authors are grateful to Dr. David Hitchcock from the Philosophy Department at McMaster University for carefully reviewing this work and providing suggestions that have greatly helped to improve the paper. This research was supported by the Australian Research Council.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Informatics and Applied OptimizationUniversity of BallaratBallaratAustralia
  2. 2.School of Information Technology and Mathematical SciencesUniversity of Ballarat (CRICOS Provider Number 00103D)BallaratAustralia

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