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Elements of Argumentation

by Phillipe Besnard and Anthony Hunter The MIT Press
Pub Date:
Hbk 312 pages
AU$28.99 NZ$31.30
Product Status: In Stock Now
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Logic-based formalizations of argumentation, which assume a set of formulae and then lay out arguments and counterarguments that can be obtained from these formulae, have been refined in recent years in an attempt to capture more closely real-world practical argumentation. In Elements of Argumentation, Philippe Besnard and Anthony Hunter introduce techniques for formalizing deductive argumentation in artificial intelligence, emphasizing emerging formalizations for practical argumentation. Besnard and Hunter discuss how arguments can be constructed, how key intrinsic and extrinsic factors can be identified, and how these analyses can be harnessed for formalizing argumentation for use in real-world problem analysis and decision making.

The book focuses on a monological approach to argumentation, in which there is a set of possibly conflicting pieces of information (each represented by a formula) that has been collated by an agent or a pool of agents. The role of argumentation is to construct a collection of arguments and counterarguments pertaining to some particular claim of interest to be used for analysis or presentation.

Elements of Argumentation is the first book to elucidate and formalize key elements of deductive argumentation. It will be a valuable reference for researchers in computer science and artificial intelligence and of interest to scholars in such fields as logic, philosophy, linguistics, and cognitive science.

''The field of argumentation draws inspiration, techniques, and indeed researchers from a range of disciplines, including logic, philosophy, and computer science. It has for some time been clear that the field urgently needs an effort to comprehensively relate these different perspectives. Besnard and Hunter are leading argumentation researchers, and in Elements of Argumentation, they have done a wonderful and comprehensive job of doing exactly this. The book covers all the key argumentation perspectives in detail, is amply illustrated with many worked examples, and is written in crystal clear prose. The field of argumentation has grown enormously over the past five years, and there is every reason to believe it will continue to grow. Elements of Argumentation will surely be its key text for the foreseeable future.''
--Michael Wooldridge, Department of Computer Science, University of Liverpool

''This book makes an impressive case for the power and richness of a deductive approach to argumentation. It demonstrates true scholarship, and is a must for logicians, computer scientists, and AI researchers studying argumentation.''
--Henry Prakken, University of Utrecht

''A landmark volume in the study of argumentation. For those of us who work in artificial intelligence, this will be the standard reference for years to come.''
--Simon Parsons, Department of Computer and Information Science, Brooklyn College, City University of New York

Complete Table of Contents
Sample Chapter - Download PDF (33 KB) v

Sample Chapter - Download PDF (43 KB) ix

Acknowledgments xi

1 Nature of Argumentation
Sample Chapter - Download PDF (132 KB) 1

2 Abstract Argumentation 21

3 Logical Argumentation 37

4 Practical Argumentation 77

5 Comparing and Rationalizing Arguments 107

6 Considering the Audience 131

7 Algorithms for Argumentation 157

8 Comparison with Related Approaches 191

9 Future Directions 237

Appendixes 249

A Table of Uniform Notation 249

B Review of Trees 251

C Review of Classical Logic 253

D Proofs for Results in Book 263

Bibliography 285


Philippe Besnard is CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) Research Director in the Logic, Interaction, Language, and Computation Group of the Institut de Recherche et Informatique Toulouse at Université Paul Sabatier.

Anthony Hunter is Reader in Intelligent Systems and Head of the Intelligent Systems Research Group in the Department of Computer Science at University College London.