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Argumentation

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 243–263 | Cite as

Design Thinking in Argumentation Theory and Practice

  • Sally Jackson
Article

Abstract

This essay proposes a design perspective on argumentation, intended as complementary to empirical and critical scholarship. In any substantive domain, design can provide insights that differ from those provided by scientific or humanistic perspectives. For argumentation, the key advantage of a design perspective is the recognition that humanity’s natural capacity for reason and reasonableness can be extended through inventions that improve on unaided human intellect. Historically, these inventions have fallen into three broad classes: logical systems, scientific methods, and disputation frameworks. Behind each such invention is a specifiable “design hypothesis”: an idea about how to decrease error or how to increase the quality of outcomes from reasoning. As problems in contemporary argumentation practice become more complex, design thinking rises in relevance and importance. A design research agenda in argumentation would focus on theorizing design innovations (such as advanced patterns of argumentation) and on evaluating design hypotheses (such as proposals for how to incorporate expert opinion into public decision-making).

Keywords

Design Pragma-dialectics Naturally occurring argumentation Deliberation Statistical reasoning 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Scott Jacobs and Mark Aakhus have contributed generously to the development of these ideas and to the argument as presented in this paper. Portions of the argument have been presented in different form at two conferences: “Between Citizens and Scientists,” sponsored by the Great Plains Society for the Study of Argumentation and held at Iowa State University in May, 2012, and “Empirical Approaches to Argumentation,” hosted in Paris by Le Laboratoire Communication et Politique in July, 2014.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA

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