Periodic Table of Arguments

The building blocks of persuasive discourse


The Periodic Table of Arguments is a classification of arguments that combines dialectical accounts of argument schemes and fallacies with rhetorical accounts of logos, ethos, and pathos into a systematic theoretical framework. The classification is based on clear criteria for distinguishing between the types of arguments and provides formal(izable) descriptions of their properties. These characteristics make the Periodic Table of Arguments especially suitable as a point of departure for formal linguistic and computational research into the various ways in which people try to convince others of their point of view. Apart from being an appropriate tool for analyzing and evaluating persuasive discourse, the table can also be used as a heuristic device for generating premises in support of any given conclusion.

The Periodic Table of Arguments is developed by Jean Wagemans, a philosopher specialized in rhetoric, argumentation, and debate who is affiliated to the Argumentation and Rhetoric Group Amsterdam (ARGA) of the Amsterdam Centre for Language and Communication (ACLC) at the University of Amsterdam (UvA).