Advances in the Theory of Argumentation Schemes and Critical Questions

David Godden, Douglas Walton


This paper begins a working through of Blair’s (2001) theoretical agenda concerning argumentation schemes and their attendant critical questions, in which we propose a number of solutions to some outstanding theoretical issues. We consider the classification of schemes, their ultimate nature, their role in argument reconstruction, their foundation as normative categories of argument, and the evaluative role of critical questions.We demonstrate the role of schemes in argument reconstruction, and defend a normative account of their nature against specific criticisms due to Pinto (2001). Concerning critical questions, we propose an account on which they are founded in the R.S.A. cogency standard, and develop an account of the relationship between critical questions and burden of proof. Our ultimate aim is to initiate a reconciliation between dialectical and informal logic approaches to the schemes.


argumentation schemes, burden of proof, critical questions, defeasible, reasoning, heuristics, models of dialogue, cogency, R.S.A. criteria

Full Text:



ISSN: 0824-2577