Algorithms and Arguments: The Foundational Role of the ATAI-question

In Frans H. van Eemeren, Bart Garssen, David Godden & Gordon Mitchell (eds.), Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference of the International Society for the Study of Argumentation (pp. 192-203). Rozenberg / Sic Sat (2011)
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Abstract
Argumentation theory underwent a significant development in the Fifties and Sixties: its revival is usually connected to Perelman's criticism of formal logic and the development of informal logic. Interestingly enough it was during this period that Artificial Intelligence was developed, which defended the following thesis (from now on referred to as the AI-thesis): human reasoning can be emulated by machines. The paper suggests a reconstruction of the opposition between formal and informal logic as a move against a premise of an argument for the AI-thesis, and suggests making a distinction between a broad and a narrow notion of algorithm that might be used to reformulate the question as a foundational problem for argumentation theory.
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