Presenting Arguments as Fictive Dialogue

Piwek, Paul (2008). Presenting Arguments as Fictive Dialogue. In: Proceedings of 8th Workshop on Computational Models of Natural Argument (CMNA08; in conjunction with ECAI 2008), 21 Jul 2008, Patras, Greece.



Presentation of an argument can take many different forms ranging from a monologue to advanced graphics and diagrams. This paper investigates the presentation of one or more arguments in the form of a fictive dialogue. This technique was already employed by Plato, who used fictive conversations between Socrates and his contemporaries to put his arguments forward. Ever since, there have been influential authors – including Desiderius Erasmus, Sir Thomas More and Mark Twain – that have used dialogue in this way. In this paper, we define the notion of a fictive dialogue, motivate it is as a topic for investigation, and present a qualitative and quantitative study of five fictive dialogues by well-known authors. We conclude by indicating how our preliminary and ongoing investigations may inform the development of systems that automatically generate argumentative fictive dialogue.

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