Lund University Information Quality Research Group

Reconstruction and Evaluation of Pro and Contra Argumentation

Project Period: 2011-14

Project Description

Projectleader: Frank Zenker

The project’s purpose is to gain insight into this form of deliberative practice from the perspective of the theory of argumentation. The three aims are: to contribute reconstructive and evaluative conditions under which participant behavior may be said to be reasonable or fallacious, to provide conditions under which pro/con argumentation can or cannot be dispensed with in favor of a calculatory (mathematical) solution, and, when calculation is not possible, to provide heuristic rules for reaching reasonable compromises between divergent position in order to make the deliberative process more efficient, which will be based on considerations of pareto-optimality.

Our main theoretical objective is to specify points at which the so-called rational choice model can be meaningfully understood as a limiting case of a claim-counterclaim, i.e., a dialectical model. Our main practical objective is to investigate an epistemic and product-oriented alternative to the predominantly relativistic and process-oriented understanding of pro/con argument. The project seeks to objectify pro/con argument without incurring commitments to particular claims to belief or knowledge. The main benefit can be found in agents’ improved ability to reconstruct, evaluate, conduct and, possibly, “stay out of” pro/con argument.


Project Details

  • Client Swedish Research Council
  • Date 14 May, 2013
  • Tags Frank Zenker
Back to Top