, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 305–324 | Cite as

Looking for Arguments

  • Hugo MercierEmail author


How do people find arguments while engaged in a discussion? Following an analogy with visual search, a mechanism that performs this task is described. It is a metarepresentational device that examines representations in a mostly serial manner until it finds a good enough argument supporting one’s position. It is argued that the mechanism described in dual process theories as ‘system 2’, or analytic reasoning fulfills these requirements. This provides support for the hypothesis that reasoning serves an argumentative function.


Argumentation Reasoning Dual-process theories Relevance Satisficing 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophy, Politics and Economics ProgramUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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