Periodic Table of Arguments

The building blocks of persuasive discourse

Periodic Table of Arguments

The problems are solved, not by giving new information, but by arranging what we have known since long. — Wittgenstein

The Periodic Table of Arguments (PTA) is a comprehensive overview of the techniques people use to convince others of their point of view. The table is based on the taxonomies of arguments developed within the classical disciplines dialectic (the art of philosophical debate) and rhetoric (the art of persuasive speaking). It systematizes the traditional descriptions of argument schemes, fallacies, and other means of persuasion by conjoining them in a framework consisting of four different quadrants.

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The above visualization provides insight into the shared characteristics of the various argument types distinguished in the PTA. Those sharing the same argument form are situated within the same quadrant, while those sharing the same combination of statements are placed in the same colon. For further explanation and analyses of examples, please visit the pages dedicated to the Alpha Quadrant, the Beta Quadrant, the Gamma Quadrant, and the Delta Quadrant.

For detailed guidelines for identifying arguments expressed in natural language please consult the Argument Type Identification Procedure (ATIP). Other pages on this website include an alphabetical list of argument types, an explanation of the theoretical framework of the table and an overview of associated research projects.

For downloads of academic papers about the PTA, please go to the sidebar on the right or visit these pages on