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Journal of Logic and Computation, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp. 257-282: Abstract.

Dynamic Argument Systems: A Formal Model of Argumentation Processes Based on Situation Calculus

Gerhard Brewka

University of Leipzig, Department of Computer Science, Augustusplatz 10-11, 04109 Leipzig, Germany. E-mail: brewka@informatik.uni-leipzig.de

We present a formal model of argumentation based on situation calculus which captures both the logical and the procedural aspects of argumentation processes. The logic is used to determine what is accepted by each agent participating in the discussion and by the group as a whole, on the basis of the speech acts performed during argumentation. Argumentation protocols, also called rules of order, describe declaratively which speech acts are legal in a particular state of the argumentation. We first discuss argumentation with fixed rules of order. Our model tolerates protocol violations but makes it possible to object to illegal actions. In realistic settings the rules of order themselves can at any time become the topic of the debate. We show how meta-level argumentation of this kind can be modelled in what we call dynamic argument systems. To illustrate the notions introduced in the paper we present a reconstruction of Rescher's theory of formal disputation and a dynamic argument system with three levels which we use to discuss a murder case.

Keywords: Argumentation, defeasible reasoning, dynamic protocols

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