Periodic Table of Arguments

The building blocks of persuasive discourse


The Periodic Table of Arguments (PTA) integrates dialectical accounts of argument schemes and fallacies with rhetorical accounts of logos, ethos, and pathos into a systematic and comprehensive categorisation of argument types.

As displayed in the Argument Type Identification Procedure (ATIP), the categorisation is based on clear standards for distinguishing between the types of argument and provides formal(izable) descriptions of their properties. For these reasons, the PTA is 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 means for the analysis and evaluation of 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 who specializes in rhetoric, argumentation, and debate. Wagemans is currently working as a senior researcher at the Amsterdam Centre for Language and Communication (ACLC) of the University of Amsterdam. He co-authored the Handbook of Argumentation Theory (2014) and Argumentation and debate (in Dutch, 2014). His other publications include scientific articles, book reviews, and popularizing columns. Wagemans regularly appears in the media to talk about his research as well as to provide expert commentary.

Foto Jean Wagemans 2020

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