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An Argument map is a visual representation of the structure of an argument in informal logic. It includes the components of an argument such as a main contention, premises, co-premises, objections, rebuttals and lemmas.

Argument Maps are often used in the teaching of reasoning and critical thinking, and can support the analysis of pros and cons when deliberating over wicked problems.

The latest advacement in argument mapping enables research and analysis of naturalistic human decision making in real life contexts of risk and uncertainty. These techniques are presented by Facione and Facione in Thinking and Reasoning in Human Decision Making: The Method of Argument and Heuristic Analysis (The California Academic Press, 2007). This book describes the theory, technique, and application of this new analytical methodology. Among other things it shows how to construct decision maps from oral and textual expressions of individual or group decisions. A&H Method decision maps illustrate the combinination of reasons-claim argument strands as well as the influences of cognitive heuristics and psychological dominance structuring which emerge from those data.

Examples of argument maps

Argument Mapping Software

  • Argunet (open source, cross platform/java)
  • Araucaria (open source, cross platform/java)
  • Argumentative (open source, windows)
  • Athena (free for non-commercial use, windows and perhaps linux and os x)
  • Compendium: designed to support deliberation over issues, ideas and arguments in Wicked problems. Provides visual templates for Argumentation Schemes (free source, cross platform/java)
  • Reason!Able (commercial, Windows), superseded by Rationale
  • Rationale (commercial, Windows); supports simple "Reasoning" maps and more advanced "Analysis" maps
  • online collaborative argument mapping.
  • online collaborative debate mapping.

See also

Further reading

Facione, P. and Facione N. (2007). Thinking and Reasoning in Human Decision Making: The Method of Argument and Heuristic Analysis. [1]

Harrell, Maralee (2005) Using Argument Diagramming Software in the Classroom. [2]

Kirschner, P., Buckingham Shum, S. & Carr, C. (2003) Visualizing Argumentation: Software Tools for Collaborative and Educational Sense-Making Springer-Verlag, London.

Twardy, Dr. Charles R. (2003) Argument Maps Improve Critical Thinking. Teaching Philosophy 27:2 June 2004. Preprints: [3] [4]

Verheij, B. (2005) Virtual Arguments. On the Design of Argument Assistants for Lawyers and Other Arguers. T.M.C. Asser Press, The Hague.

pt:Mapa de argumentos
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