A Structured Argumentation Framework for Modeling Debates in the Formal Sciences
Scientific research in the formal sciences comes in multiple degrees of formality: fully formal work; rigorous proofs that practitioners know to be formalizable in principle; and informal work like rough proof sketches and considerations about the advantages and disadvantages of various formal systems. This informal work includes informal and semi-formal debates between formal scientists, e.g. about the acceptability of foundational principles and proposed axiomatizations. In this paper, we propose to use the methodology of structured argumentation theory to produce a formal model of such informal and semi-formal debates in the formal sciences. For this purpose, we propose ASPIC-END, an adaptation of the structured argumentation framework ASPIC+ which can incorporate natural deduction style arguments and explanations. We illustrate the applicability of the framework to debates in the formal sciences by presenting a simple model of some arguments about proposed solutions to the Liar paradox, and by discussing a more extensive—but still preliminary—model of parts of the debate that mathematicians had about the Axiom of Choice in the early twentieth century.
KeywordsArgumentation theory Formal sciences Natural deduction Hypothetical reasoning Axiom of choice
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