, Volume 193, Issue 6, pp 1833–1873

A normative framework for argument quality: argumentation schemes with a Bayesian foundation


DOI: 10.1007/s11229-015-0815-0

Cite this article as:
Hahn, U. & Hornikx, J. Synthese (2016) 193: 1833. doi:10.1007/s11229-015-0815-0


In this paper, it is argued that the most fruitful approach to developing normative models of argument quality is one that combines the argumentation scheme approach with Bayesian argumentation. Three sample argumentation schemes from the literature are discussed: the argument from sign, the argument from expert opinion, and the appeal to popular opinion. Limitations of the scheme-based treatment of these argument forms are identified and it is shown how a Bayesian perspective may help to overcome these. At the same time, the contributions of the standard scheme-based approach are highlighted, and it is argued that only a combination of the insights of different traditions will yield a complete normative theory of argument quality.


Argumentation Rationality Testimony Evidence Inference 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck CollegeUniversity of LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of Communication and Information SciencesRadboud University NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands

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