Tagarchief: argument schemes

PhD Dissertations


Merel Boers Controversy on moral judgment. Fifteen historian-reviewers in the controversy on Hannah Arendt’s book Eichman in Jeruzalem in the US, West Germany and France, 1963-1967. A historical and a pragma-dialectical perspective

Andre Juthe Argumentation by analogy. A systematic analytical study of an argument scheme

Eugen Popa Thought experiments in academic disputes: A pragma-dialectical method for reconstructing the argumentative use of imaginary scenarios

Ahmed Omar Strategic Maneuvering in Supporting the Feasibility of Political Change. A pragma-dialectical analysis of Egyptian anti-regime columns

Jacky Visser A dialogue game for critical discussion


Roosmaryn Pilgram A doctor’s argument by authority. An analytical and empirical study of strategic manoeuvring in medical consultation

Renske Wierda Experience-based authority argumentation in direct-to-consumer medical advertisements: An analytical and empirical study concerning the strategic anticipation of critical questions

Ingeborg van der Geest Argumentatie voor een keuze: Een pragma-dialectische analyse van gemotiveerde keuzes in overheidsbesluiten over m.e.r.-plichtige projecten


Lotte van Poppel Getting the vaccine now will protect you in the future! A pragma-dialectical analysis of strategic maneuvering with pragmatic argumentation in health brochures


Constanza Ihnen Jory Pragmatic Argumentation in Lawmaking Debates Instruments for the analysis and evaluation of pragmatic argumentation at the Second Reading of the British Parliament

Analysis and evaluation of argumentation

Theme 5 Dialectical and rhetorical analysis and evaluation of argumentative discourse

Project 1: The identification of argumentative patterns

Topic and scope This research project aims at identifying argumentative patterns in various kinds of argumentative practices in the legal, political, medical, and academic domain. The prototypical patterns which are functional in certain domains of argumentative reality are laid bare. To this end, use is made of the various theoretical instruments developed in pragma-dialectics, such as the typologies of differences of opinion, of standpoints, of argument schemes, and of argumentation structures.
Duration 2014-2020
Research question How can the pragma-dialectical theory of argumentation be used in identifying prototypical argumentative patterns in different domains that are influenced by certain institutional constraints?
Method Qualitative analysis
Status Monography and academic articles
Researchers Corina Andone, Bart Garssen, Eveline T. Feteris, Francisca Snoeck Henkemans, Jean Wagemans, in collaboration with Frans van Eemeren
Funding Faculty of Humanities (UvA): ACLC


Project 2: Argumentative functions of visuals beyond the evidentiary 

Topic and scope The assumption underlying this project is that the argumentative interpretation of print advertisements, magazines, films, political cartoons, and webpages results from the interplay of the verbal and the non-verbal modes. In light of the dialogical and functional approach to argumentation as a social and discursive activity that the pragma-dialectical theory advocates, other argumentative functions are researched apart from the evidentiary function of visual images, such as the use of images to advance a standpoint, to criticize, to explain, to draw attention to various aspects of the argumentative procedure, and to frame the disagreement space.
Duration 2012 – March 2017
Research question What are the various functions that visuals play in argumentative communication when taking into account the cognitive processes that underlie the production and interpretation of argumentative discourse?
Method Insights from multimodal analysis and visual communication combined with pragmatic and cognitive accounts of verbal communication within the pragma-dialectical framework. Case-studies have been carried out so far on such multimodal documents as print advertisements, magazine covers and documentary films.
Researcher and supervisors Assimakis Tseronis, Charles Forceville
Funding NWO, Nieuw Generatie Offensief programme


Project 3 : Modelling resistance to metaphor in argumentative discourse 

Topic and scope This postdoc research (part of the Resistance to metaphor project) intends to develop a theoretical framework for understanding and analysing the functions of metaphors in argumentative discourse and how they can trigger resistance. It focuses on the use of metaphor in argumentative discussion in which one party intends to convince another party of a standpoint. The result will comprise an encompassing model of the relations between metaphor and argumentative discourse.
Duration January 2017- December 2018
Research questions (1) What argumentative functions can metaphor have in argumentative discussions?

(2) How can metaphors in argumentative discourse trigger resistance?

Method Theoretical analysis
Status Starting in January 2017
Researcher and supervisors Lotte van Poppel
Funding NWO (The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research), Free Competition Humanities


Project 4: Argument Schemes 

Topic and scope The pragma-dialectical typology of argument schemes consists of three main categories of argument schemes: symptomatic argumentation, comparison argumentation and causal argumentation. The variants and subcategories of these main categories have not been distinguished. In this project an account is given of these variants and subcategories. Furthermore, the critical questions pertaining to the variants and subcategories are specified.
Duration 2016-2019
Research question What is subtypes and variants of the main pragma-dialectical argument schemes should be distinguished in order to enable an adequate analysis of argumentation?
Method Theoretical
Status Research in progress
Researchers Bart Garssen in  collaboration with Frans van Eemeren


Project 5: Hidden Fallaciousness 

Topic and scope Based on the consistent results of a 13 year-lasting, comprehensive empirical research project concerning the judgments of ordinary arguers of the reasonableness of fallacious and non-fallacious discussion contributions, entitled Conceptions of Reasonableness, it can safely be concluded that ordinary arguers deem fallacious contributions as unreasonable moves, while they evaluate sound contributions as reasonable (van Eemeren, Garssen & Meuffels 2009). In practice, when fallacies occur they are often not noticed by language users. The aim of the project Hidden Fallaciousness is to investigate the factors that make fallaciousness less obvious to language users.
Duration 2012-2018
Research question What factors make fallaciousness less obvious to ordinary language users
Method Empirical (quantitative)
Status Research in progress
Researchers Bart Garssen and Bert Meuffels in collaboration with Frans van Eemeren


Project 6: Testing resistance to metaphor 

Topic and scope What makes people resist argumentatively used metaphors? The goal of this research is to test a model of metaphor resistance, a model that shows which conditions induce resistance to metaphor and how these conditions relate to each other.
Duration 2017-2019
Research question To what extent does the reasonableness of argumentatively used metaphors and the characteristics of the receiver of these metaphors affect resistance to metaphor?
Method Quantitative empirical research
Status Postdoc project
Researcher and supervisors Researcher: Roosmaryn Pilgram
Funding NWO


Project 7: Academic writing skills and argumentation

Topic and scope During an academic study students should learn to report about scientific results and their applications. They have to learn how to communicate within an academic context. Since several years there is concern about the level of writing skills of students in higher education, a concern shared by the Dutch government (Raad voor de Nederlandse Taal en Letteren, 2015). This research aims to develop a method for a coherent and visible learning pathway Academic Writing for a Bachelor curriculum.
Duration September 2016 – September 2020
Research question (1) How should the academic writing skills be educated (paraphrasing, arguing, wording)?

(2) How can we develop a set of effective feedback instruments for different argumentative scientific text genres which can be used during the Bachelor study?

Method Qualitative research
Status in progress
Researcher Drs. Everdien Rietstap

Argumentation in the political domain

Theme 2 Argumentation in the political domain

Project 1: Argumentation in European Union political accountability practices

Topic and scope The goal of this research is to provide a characterization of the role and quality of the arguments in EU accountability practices by examining (a) the politicians’ probative obligations, (b) how these probative obligations are expediently demarcated in order to make it easier to give an account, (c) how pragmatic arguments are employed in order to meet probative obligations, and (d) which soundness criteria need to be applied for a proper evaluation of these arguments.
Duration 2014-2017
Research question How do EU politicians involved in account-giving attempt to meet their probative obligations and how can such attempts be evaluated?
Method Qualitative empirical research
Researcher Corina Andone


Project 2: Institutional Constraints on Parliamentary Debate (Bart Garssen) 

Topic and scope The main question in this project is how the argumentation in parliamentary debate is shaped by the institutional settings. The research focuses on the choice and application of argument schemes in the macro context of a legislative debate in the European Parliament. What argument schemes are to be expected, how is the argumentation at large constituted, and what kind of critical questions are pertinent in response to the use of particular argument schemes in this activity type?
Duration 2016-2018
Research question What kind of constraints and opportunities for strategic manoeuvring can be distinguished in the macro context of legislative debate in the European Parliament?
Method Empirical (qualitative)
Researcher Bart Garssen

Project 3: Argumentation in support of policy decisions

Topic and scope Policy makers often justify their decisions by pointing to the process of balancing the pros and cons of a number of options. The aim of this research is to demonstrate how argumentation in support of a policy decision can be analyzed in a systematic and justified way by making use of the pragma-dialectical instrumentation of analysis and theoretical insights into the use and reconstruction of decision rules.
Duration 2016-2018
Research question How can argumentation in support of a policy decision be analyzed in a systematic and justified way?
Method Qualitative research, text analysis
Researcher Ingeborg van der Geest