2 The Structure of Argumentation

In this chapter, we develop the main notions of argumentation that are central and of practical use for argument mining. Theoretical aspects of argumentation, such as the notions of argument evaluation and typologies of refutation, are not addressed in depth since they are not used in argument mining. This chapter introduces the structure of an argument following Toulmin’s model, which is the standard model that is considered in most analyses. Then, the notions of agreement and disagreement are developed, showing how divergences can be represented and possibly resolved. This chapter concludes with a presentation of argumentation graphs and argumentation schemes, which are central elements of argumentation. The expressive power of Toulmin’s model based on warrants and backings is compared to the power of argument schemes with the goal to clarify the contribution of each of these foundational approaches to argumentation.

The notions presented in this chapter are of a particular interest for argument mining: for example, identifying how argument schemes are used in a given argumentation contributes to the evaluation of that argumentation.

2.1. The argument–conclusion pair

Let us first develop the basic structure of an argument. We start by going over the main terminological variations found in the literature about argumentation in order to avoid any ambiguity.

Claims, also called conclusions, are basically rational statements. They are in general ...

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