Artificial Intelligence and Law

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 261–275 | Cite as

PARMENIDES: Facilitating Deliberation in Democracies

  • Katie Atkinson
  • Trevor Bench-Capon
  • Peter McBurney


Governments and other groups interested in the views of citizens require the means to present justifications of proposed actions, and the means to solicit public opinion concerning these justifications. Although Internet technologies provide the means for such dialogues, system designers usually face a choice between allowing unstructured dialogues, through, for example, bulletin boards, or requiring citizens to acquire a knowledge of some argumentation schema or theory, as in, for example, ZENO. Both of these options present usability problems. In this paper, we describe an implemented system called PARMENIDES which allows structured argument over a proposed course of action, without requiring knowledge of the underlying argumentation theory.

deliberative democracy argumentation practical reasoning 


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We are grateful to Sam Atkinson for his invaluable help in implementing PARMENIDES. A shorter version of this paper was presented at EGOVERNMENT 2004 conference (Zaragoza, Spain, September 2004) and we are grateful to the anonymous reviewers and to the conference audience for their comments. Katie Atkinson is grateful for support from the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Trevor Bench-Capon and Peter McBurney acknowledge financial support received from the European Commission’s Information Society Technologies (IST) programme, through Project ASPIC (IST-FP6-002307).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katie Atkinson
    • 1
  • Trevor Bench-Capon
    • 1
  • Peter McBurney
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of LiverpoolLiverpoolUnited Kingdom

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