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Elements of Argumentation$
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Philippe Besnard and Anthony Hunter

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262026437

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262026437.001.0001

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Comparing and Rationalizing Arguments

Comparing and Rationalizing Arguments

(p.107) 5 Comparing and Rationalizing Arguments
Elements of Argumentation

Philippe Besnard

Anthony Hunter

The MIT Press

This chapter presents techniques for comparing and rationalizing arguments within an argument tree. The first part discusses ways of comparing arguments based on the nature of the conflicts arising between arguments and their canonical undercuts in an argument tree. The second part presents ways to rationalize argument trees and argument structures using intrinsic analyses. It proposes rationalization techniques including pruning arguments (such as those which have a degree of undercut that is below a certain threshold), and merging arguments to create fewer undercuts but without losing vital information; compressing and condensing are considered as types of merging. The chapter also looks at how commitment for the support of arguments in an argument tree can be shifted from defenders to attackers.

Keywords:   argument trees, argumentation, rationalization, pruning, compressing, commitment

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