Douglas Walton

Douglas Walton
University of Windsor · CRRAR

Professor

About

492
Publications
270,195
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Introduction
Douglas Neil Walton (2 June 1942 – 3 January 2020) was a Canadian philosopher, known for his works on argumentation, logical fallacies and informal logic. He was a Distinguished Research Fellow of the CRRAR at the University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada; until 2014, he held the Assumption Chair of Argumentation Studies at the University of Windsor. Walton's work has been used to better prepare legal arguments and to help develop artificial intelligence.
Additional affiliations
January 2007 - present
University of Dundee
January 2003 - present
University of Groningen
January 1974 - December 2011
The University of Winnipeg

Publications

Publications (492)
Article
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This paper is an introduction to recent work on practical (means-end, goal-directed) reasoning in artificial intelligence. By using an example of community deliberation concerning whether to change to a no-fault system of insurance, it is explained how practical reasoning is used in public deliberation. It is shown how argument mapping and argument...
Article
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Tribunals have come to depend increasingly on expertise for determining the facts in cases. However, current legal methods have proved problematic to work with. This paper argues that, as a special model of public understanding of science, assessing expertise should consider source credibility of expertise from internal aspects, including scientifi...
Article
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How to model relevance in argumentation is an important problem for informal logic. Dialectical relevance is determined by the use of an argument for some purpose in different types of dialogue, according to the new dialectic. A central type of dialogue is persuasion dialogue in which one participant uses rational argumentation to try to get the ot...
Article
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This paper offers a dialogue theory of explanation. A successful explanation is defined as a transfer of understanding in a dialogue system in which a questioner and a respondent take part. The questioner asks a special sort of why-question that asks for understanding of something and the respondent provides a reply that transfers understanding to...
Chapter
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In this paper some lessons are learned regarding how to extend and deepen the theory of Macagno (Assessing relevance. Lingua 210–211:42–64, 2018) on assessing dialectical relevance by using the notion of argument distance. An argument is defined as dialectically relevant if it is an appropriate move in a multiagent dialogue exchange. Three examples...
Book
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Statutory interpretation involves the reconstruction of the meaning of a legal statement when it cannot be considered as accepted or granted. This phenomenon needs to be considered not only from the legal and linguistic perspective, but also from the argumentative one - which focuses on the strategies for defending a controversial or doubtful viewp...
Article
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Hamblin distinguished between formal and descriptive dialectic. Formal normative models of deliberation dialogue have been strongly emphasized as argumentation frameworks in computer science. But making such models of deliberation applicable to real natural language examples has reached a point where the descriptive aspect needs more interdisciplin...
Article
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Argument schemes are abstractions substantiating the inferential connection between premise(s) and conclusion in argumentative communication. Identifying such conventional patterns of reasoning is essential to the interpretation and evaluation of argumentation. Whether studying argumentation from a theory-driven or data-driven perspective, insight...
Article
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Multimorbidity, the presence of multiple health conditions that must be addressed, is a particularly difficult situation in patient management raising issues such as the use of multiple drugs and drug-disease interactions. Clinical Guidelines are evidence-based statements which provide recommendations for specific health conditions but are unfit fo...
Article
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Amphiboly has been widely recognized, starting from the time of Aristotle, as an informal fallacy arising from grammatical ambiguity. This paper applies the profiles of dialogue tool to the fallacy of amphiboly, providing a five-step evidence-based procedure whereby a syntactically ambiguous sentence uttered in a natural language text can be evalua...
Article
This paper offers a very short introduction to formal dialogue systems of the kind currently used in artificial intelligence and argumentation theory and applies them to some types of dialogue that are especially important in education. Persuasion dialogue is contrasted with deliberation dialogue. The fundamental problem of how to define relevance...
Article
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This paper combines three computational argumentation systems to model the sequence of argumentation in a famous murder trial and the appeal procedure that followed. The paper shows how the argumentation scheme for argument from expert opinion can be built into a testing procedure whereby an argument graph is used to interpret, analyze and evaluate...
Article
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Donald Trump's speeches and messages are characterized by terms that are commonly referred to as "thick" or "emotive", meaning that they are characterized by a tendency to be used to generate emotive reactions. This paper investigates how emotive meaning is related to emotions, and how it is generated or manipulated. Emotive meaning is analyzed as...
Article
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The aim of this paper is to elaborate tools that would allow us to analyse arguments from authority and guard against fallacious uses of them. To accomplish this aim, we extend the list of existing argumentation schemes representing arguments from authority. For this purpose, we formulate a new argumentation scheme for argument from deontic authori...
Article
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This paper compares the features and methods of the two leading implemented systems that offer a tool for helping a user to find or invent arguments to support or attack a designated conclusion, the Carneades Argumentation System and the IBM Watson Debater tool. The central aim is to contribute to the understanding of scholars in informal logic, rh...
Chapter
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This chapter outlines possible future developments and prospects of computational argumentation systems on practical (means-end, goal-directed) reasoning in artificial intelligence by leading the reader through a series of simple examples, gradually leading to more complex examples. The Carneades Argumentation System is used to model the structure...
Article
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In this paper it is shown how plausible reasoning of the kind illustrated in the ancient Greek example of the weak and strong man can be analyzed and evaluated using a procedure in which the pro evidence is weighed against the con evidence using formal, computational argumentation tools. It is shown by means of this famous example how plausible rea...
Article
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We show how to solve common problems in identifying arguments from expert opinion, illustrated by five examples selected from The Economist. Our method started by intuitively identifying many appeals to alleged experts in The Economist and comparing them to the argumentation scheme for argument from expert opinion. This approach led us to (i) exten...
Chapter
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This paper builds a nine-step method for determining whether a straw man fallacy has been committed in a given case or not, by starting with some relatively easy textbook cases and moving to more realistic and harder cases. The paper shows how the type of argument associated with the fallacy can be proved to be a fallacy in a normative argumentatio...
Article
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Este artigo tem por objetivo comparar as formas atuais de modelar a estrutura inferencial de argumentos de raciocínio prático (baseados em objetivos) e propor uma nova abordagem na qual esta estrutura é considerada de maneira modular. O raciocínio prático não é visto simplesmente como um raciocínio que parte de um objetivo e de um meio para uma açã...
Article
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We present a computational argumentation approach that models legal reasoning with evidence and proof as dialectical rather than probabilistic. This hybrid approach of stories and arguments models the process of proof in a way that is compatible with Allen and Pardo’s theory of relative plausibility by adding arguments that can be used to show how...
Article
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This paper compares current ways of modeling the inferential structure of practical (goal-based) reasoning arguments, and proposes a new approach in which it is regarded in a modular way. Practical reasoning is not simply seen as reasoning from a goal and a means to an action using the basic argumentation scheme. Instead, it is conceived as a compl...
Chapter
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Courage, in ethics, is taken to be a virtue. Whether a person is virtuous is taken to be a matter of that person’s character. In this article the actions of a soldier during World War II for which he received the Congressional Medal of Honor are taken as a case in point to answer two questions. First, what kinds of reasoning are used to get from th...
Article
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This paper combines methods of argumentation theory and artificial intelligence to extend existing work on the dialectical structure of crossexamination. The existing method used conflict diagrams to search for inconsistent statements in the testimony of a witness. This paper extends the method by using the inconsistency of commitments to draw an i...
Chapter
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The purpose of this chapter is threefold: 1) to describe the schemes, showing how they evolved and how they have been classified in the traditional and the modern theories; 2) to propose a method for classifying them based on ancient and modern developments; and 3) to outline and show how schemes can be used to describe and analyze or produce real...
Book
This handbook addresses legal reasoning and argumentation from a logical, philosophical and legal perspective. The main forms of legal reasoning and argumentation are covered in an exhaustive and critical fashion, and are analysed in connection with more general types (and problems) of reasoning. Accordingly, the subject matter of the handbook divi...
Article
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We present a high-level declarative programming language for representing argumentation schemes, where schemes represented in this language can be easily validated by domain experts, including developers of argumentation schemes in informal logic and philosophy, and serve as executable specifications for automatically constructing arguments, when a...
Article
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This paper uses argumentation tools such as argument diagrams and argumentation schemes to analyze four examples of argument from analogy, and argues that to proceed from there to evaluating these arguments, features of the context of dialogue need to be taken into account. The evidence drawn from these examples is taken to support a pragmatic appr...
Article
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This paper shows how Whately's view of presumption as a preoccupation of the ground plays an indispensable role in the study of persuasive aspects of appeals to authority and deference. This is done by showing how important connections among arguments from authority, presumption, burden of proof, and deference can be precisely defined, combined, an...
Article
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This paper builds a practical method of analyzing cross-examination dialogues by using tools adapted from formal dialectic and artificial intelligence to show how an argumentation model can shed new light on our understanding of actual cases of cross-examination in the common law courts. This is done by illustrating how the model brings out certain...
Article
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The fields of linguistic pragmatics and legal interpretation are deeply interrelated. The purpose of this paper is to show how pragmatics and the developments in argumentation theory can contribute to the debate on legal interpretation. The relation between the pragmatic maxims and the presumptions underlying the legal canons are brought to light,...
Article
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In the tradition stemming from Aristotle through Aquinas, rational decision making is seen as a complex structure of distinct phases in which reasoning and will are interconnected. Intention, deliberation, and decision are regarded as the fundamental steps of the decision-making process, in which an end is chosen, the means are specified, and a dec...
Article
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This article applies tools from argumentation theory to slippery slope arguments used in current ethical debates on genetic engineering. Among the tools used are argumentation schemes, value-based argumentation, critical questions, and burden of proof. It is argued that so-called drivers such as social acceptance and rapid technological development...
Article
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We define a new type of argument structure specifically for modeling cumulative arguments and then show how this structure is general enough to simulate linked and convergent arguments. Argumentation schemes are associated with argument weighing functions in this language, where the weight of an argument can depend on the status (labeling) of its p...
Article
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In this paper we show that an essential aspect of solving the problem of uncritical acceptance of expert opinions that is at the root of the ad verecundiam fallacy is the need to disentangle argument from expert opinion from another kind of appeal to authority. Formal and computational argumentation systems enable us to analyze the fault in which a...
Chapter
In this chapter, an argumentative approach to ambiguity and commitment attribution is advanced in order to address the problem of establishing the speaker’s commitments in case of ambiguity of his utterance. The goal is to analyze how a doubtful or potentially doubtful interpretation of an utterance can be supported dialectically by providing a dia...
Chapter
Quotations are selections of an Original Speaker’s words that can be used for different argumentative purposes, such as supporting a viewpoint through the authority of an expert source, or attacking the interlocutor by confronting him with his past commitments. However, quotations can be also distorted for pursuing different goals. In this chapter,...
Chapter
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This chapter investigates the structure and the strategies of the straw man fallacy. A straw man fallacy consists in the speaker’s attacking a distorted version of the other’s viewpoint or commitments, in order to rebut his argument more easily by attacking a position that has been simplified and weakened. This strategy, however, can lead to the ri...
Chapter
This chapter analyzes the notion of commitment and shows how speakers’ commitments can be reconstructed. To this purpose, some models of utterance interpretation and the notions of speaker’s intention and dialogue acts will be discussed. A commitment is a dialogical obligation, a responsibility of the speaker for the intended effects of his utteran...
Chapter
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This chapter is focused on rhetorical strategies based on indirect reporting and distortion of a party’s viewpoint. We begin by clarifying the role of the notion of argumentative relevance for assessing when a viewpoint is correctly reported or manipulated. We will describe relevance as a sequential concept referring to the number of premises and i...
Article
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In this paper it is shown how certain defeasible argumentation schemes can be used to represent the logical structure of the most common types of argument used for statutory interpretation both in civil and common law. The method is based on an argumentation structure in which the conclusion, namely, the meaning attributed to a legal source, is mod...
Article
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The purpose of this paper is to analyze the structure and the defeasibility conditions of argument from analogy, addressing the issues of determining the nature of the comparison underlying the analogy and the types of inferences justifying the conclusion. In the dialectical tradition, different forms of similarity were distinguished and related to...
Article
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Using the profiles of dialogue method we identify a species of ad verecundiam fallacy that works by forestalling of questioning in arguments from expert opinion. A profile of dialogue is a graph structure used to model a sequence of speech acts surrounding both the putting forward of an argument and the response to it at the next moves in a dialogu...
Book
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This book shows how research in linguistic pragmatics, philosophy of language, and rhetoric can be connected through argumentation to analyze a recognizably common strategy used in political and everyday conversation, namely the distortion of another’s words in an argumentative exchange. Straw man argumentation refers to the modification of a posit...
Article
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An example is used to show how mass audience persuasion dialogue prominently uses the argumentation scheme for value-based practical reasoning. The example uses a rhetorical persuasion strategy of tilting the balance of public opinion towards acceptance of marijuana by emphasizing its health benefits to mothers. It is shown (1) that there are ten r...
Article
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Argumentation schemes can be described as abstract structures representing the most generic types of argument, constituting the building blocks of the ones used in everyday reasoning. This paper investigates the structure, classification, and uses of such schemes. Three goals are pursued: 1) to describe the schemes, showing how they evolved and how...
Article
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In order to model relevance , we use argument diagrams (graphs), argumentation schemes, profiles of dialogue, and some tools from artificial intelligence. We show how this method helps an analyst judge relevance or irrelevance of an argument in four real examples, including a criminal trial and a parliamentary debate. We contend that this method of...
Article
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Models of deliberative dialogue are fundamental for developing autonomous systems that support human practical reasoning. The question discussed in this paper is whether existing models are able to capture the complexity and richness of natural deliberation. In real-world contexts, circumstances relevant to the decision can change rapidly. We refle...
Conference Paper
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Dung intended his abstract argument frameworks to be used for model-ing a particular form of human argumentation, where arguments attack each other and are evaluated following the principle summarized by " The one who has the last word laughs best. " However this form does not fit a wide class of arguments, which is arguably more prototypical and c...
Article
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Even though tools for identifying and analyzing arguments are now in wide use in the field of argumentation studies, so far there is a paucity of resources for evaluating real arguments, aside from using deductive logic or Bayesian rules that apply to inductive arguments. In this paper it is shown that recent developments in artificial intelligence...
Conference Paper
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We argue that burden of proof (BoP) of the kind present in persuasion does not apply to deliberation. We analyze existing computational models showing that in deliberation agents may answer a critique but there is no violation of the protocol if they choose not to. We propose a norm-­‐‑ governed dialogue where BoP in persuasion is modeled as an obl...
Article
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This paper explains the importance of classifying argumentation schemes, and outlines how schemes are being used in current research in artificial intelligence and computational linguistics on argument mining. It provides a survey of the literature on scheme classification. What are so far generally taken to represent a set of the most widely usefu...
Conference Paper
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We present a series of realistic examples of deliberation and discuss how they can form the basis for building a typology of deliberation dialogues. The observations from our examples are used to suggest that argumentation researchers and philosophers have been thinking about deliberation in overly simplistic ways. We argue that to include all the...
Article
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This paper proposes an argumentation-based procedure for legal interpretation, by reinterpreting the traditional canons of textual interpretation in terms of argumentation schemes, which are then classified, formalized, and represented through argument visualization and evaluation tools. The problem of statutory interpretation is framed as one of w...
Chapter
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This chapter offers solutions to key problems of how to apply argumentation tools to analyze and evaluate arguments from expert opinion. It is shown (1) how to structure the argumentation scheme for argument from expert opinion, (2) how to apply it to real cases of argument from expert opinion, (3) how to set up the matching set of critical questio...
Chapter
This chapter confronts the central problem in the current state of argumentation studies, that of clarifying the relationship between argument and evidence. This problem was posed in Chaps. 5 and 6, where the notions of argument and evidence were notably prominent in the use of forensic evidence in the case of the Leonardo Da Vinci portrait and als...
Chapter
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This chapter presents a theory of explanation by building a dialectical system that has speech act rules that define the kinds of moves allowed, such as putting forward an argument, requesting an explanation and offering an explanation. Pre and post-condition rules for the speech acts determine when a particular speech act can be put forward as a m...
Chapter
Chapter 2 studies the problem of how to model evidential reasoning of the most common kind in criminal trials using the tools presented in Chap. 1. Chapter 2 analyzes two case studies of murder trials in which the evidential reasoning employed is based on inference to the best explanation and involves motive evidence. The chapter uses argument diag...
Chapter
Scientific reasoning of the kind used to collect evidence and bring it to bear on a scientific hypothesis, has to be seen as defeasible according to the previous six chapters of this book. This is shown by the cases where expert scientific opinions have disagreed. It is also shown by the reality that scientific opinions sometimes have to be retract...
Chapter
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In this chapter a case study is conducted to test the capability of the Carneades Argumentation System (CAS) to model the argumentation in a case where forensic evidence was collected in an investigation triggered by a conflict among art experts on the attribution of a portrait to Leonardo da Vinci. A claim that a portrait of a young woman in a Ren...