Rational Argument

Ulrike Hahn and Mike Oaksford

in The Oxford Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199734689
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Rational Argument

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  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience



Argumentation is an integral part of how we negotiate life in a complex world. In many contexts it matters, furthermore, that arguments be rational, not that they are simply convincing. Rational debate is subject to both procedural norms and to epistemic norms that allow the evaluation of argument content. This chapter outlines normative frameworks for argumentation (dialectical, logical, and Bayesian); it then summarizes psychological research on argumentation, drawn from cognitive psychology, as well as a number of applied domains.

Keywords: argumentation; logic; probability; evidence; reasoning; inference; belief change

Article.  16639 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience

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