LANGUAGE AND ARGUMENT: A REVIEW OF THE FIELD
University of Łódź, Poland
Looking to the language of arguments to reveal their deeper structure has also lead to one of the most exciting developments in recent years in the field of argumentation: the construction of the Periodic Table of Arguments by Jean Wagemans. In the past, arguments have generally been grouped together in a fairly ad hoc way as representing similar forms of reasoning: that is, employing recognisable patterns of inference. While fallacious arguments were frequently grouped into different categories, such as formal fallacies, fallacies of relevance, and so on, there was little agreement over the categorisation and no place for the non-fallacious. The genius of the system devised by Wagemans consists in his taking an element of the linguistic structure of the argument premises as the fundamental difference between argument forms; thus dividing them as a first step into subject and predicate arguments, then into first and second order, depending on their structure. Although the table itself has been available for some time, in his article in this issue, Wagemans details the rationale for his division into the four basic types of argument: first-order predicate, first-order subject, second-order predicate, and second-order subject. By concentrating on linguistic and pragmatic elements of arguments, Wagemans has created a neater and more elegant categorisation of argument forms than has previously been available, providing a tool of great value to scholars across the field of argumentation. (Hinton, 2019, p. 97)
Hinton, M. (2019). Language and argument: A review of the field. Research in Language, 17(1), 93-103. DOI: 10.2478/rela-2019-0007.