What Does Argumentation Mean?

argumentation in the hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (1979). (Theatrical release poster of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Touchstone Pictures, 2005)

Argumentation is the process of forming reasons, justifying beliefs, and drawing conclusions with the aim of influencing the thoughts and/or actions of others.

Argumentation (or argumentation theory) also refers to the study of that process. Argumentation is an interdisciplinary field of study and a central concern of researchers in the disciplines of logic, dialectic, and rhetoric

See the observations below.

Also see:


  • "The three goals of critical argumentation are to identify, analyze, and evaluate arguments. The term 'argument' is used in a special sense, referring to the giving of reasons to support or criticize a claim that is questionable, or open to doubt. To say something is a successful argument in this sense means that it gives a good reason, or several reasons, to support or criticize a claim."
  • The Argumentative Situation
    "An argumentative situation . . . is a site in which the activity of arguing takes place, where views are exchanged and changed, meanings explored, concepts developed, and understandings achieved. It may also be a site in which people are persuaded and disagreements resolved, but these popular goals are not the only ones, and too narrow a focus on them threatens to overlook much for which argumentation is a central and important tool
  • Argumentative Theory of Reasoning
    "Now some researchers are suggesting that reason evolved for a completely different purpose: to win arguments. Rationality, by this yardstick . . . is nothing more or less than a servant of the hard-wired compulsion to triumph in the debating arena. According to this view, bias, lack of logic and other supposed flaws that pollute the stream of reason are instead social adaptations that enable one group to persuade (and defeat) another. Certitude works, however sharply it may depart from the truth.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to Argumentation
    "The argument runs something like this. 'I refuse to prove that I exist,' says God, 'for proof denies faith and without faith I am nothing.'




D. N. Walton, Fundamentals of Critical Argumentation. Cambridge University Press, 2006

Christopher W. Tindale, Rhetorical Argumentation: Principles of Theory and Practice. Sage, 2004

Patricia Cohen, "Reason Seen More as Weapon Than Path to Truth." The New York Times, June 14, 2011

Peter Jones as the Book in episode one of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, 1979

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Nordquist, Richard. "What Does Argumentation Mean?" ThoughtCo, Apr. 4, 2017, thoughtco.com/what-is-argumentation-1689133. Nordquist, Richard. (2017, April 4). What Does Argumentation Mean? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-argumentation-1689133 Nordquist, Richard. "What Does Argumentation Mean?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-argumentation-1689133 (accessed March 24, 2018).