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So... what is it, exactly? That page has a lot of words, but they're not ones that make any sense to me.


“argumentation”, “pro & contra lists”, “dialectical relations” “premise-conclusion structures

..all appear within the first 100 words and I don’t know what any of them mean. I’m a a native English speaker with a technical education and I am lost!

Is the site aimed at some profession where these words are commonly used?!

Before I gave up on finding out what this was and closed the website, I saw that the copyright author on the bottom of the page was German or affiliated with a German university. I'm fine with giving the person a pass on some of this language, and drawing on the German I know (and having lived there, somewhat familiar with how Germans would say things in English), I think:

- argumentation should be arguments or in more words: "these are the arguments I'm presenting to support my claims."

- pro/contra is pros/cons

- I have never heard the word 'dialectical'

- premise-conclusion structure I think is something like hypothesis-conclusion, maybe?

Dialectical comes from greek philosophy where the proponents of two opposing views would have a conversational debate with reasoned arguments to try to find the truth.


> Before I gave up on finding out what this was and closed the website

Really ? Instant gratification type ?

Hoo boy, how did you live your life without dialectical materialism?

Is the site aimed at some profession where these words are commonly used?!

It's created by a philosophy professor and aimed at students of philosophy and other interested in argumentation, so yes. But the terms aren't all that hard to figure out.

- Argumentation, giving reasons in support of an idea or claim.

- pro and contra lists, lists of reasons for (pro) and against (contra) a claim.

- dialectical relations, the relations between the claims made in an argument. For example, how one claim supports or undermines another claim.

- premise conclusion structures, a conclusion is a statement of what is claimed to be true, and the premises are statements that support the conclusion. In arguments, these are structured (hopefully) by logical relations so that the premises have some bearing on the truth of the conclusion. The conclusion can be inferred from the premises. If the premises are true, the conclusion is true (or more likely to be true).

Here's an explanation of premise-conclusion structure by the developer [0]:

Logically an argument consists of nothing else but sentences. But these sentences play different roles in an argument. Every argument has one inferred sentence (the conclusion) and at least one sentence from which the conclusion is inferred (a premiss). This premiss-conclusion structure is visualised as a sentence list: First all premisses of the argument are listed. Each horizontal line symbolizes an inference. Under the line the conclusion is listed (sometimes there are preliminary conclusions). Under the last line stands the main conclusion of the argument.

[0]: http://www.argunet.org/2013/04/03/so-what-exactly-is-an-argu...

Argdown is a syntax for writing arguments made up of premises and conclusions in the form of pro and contra lists. It then creates a diagram of the relationships between the premises and conclusions.

There's a better explanation here: http://www.argunet.org/2018/10/26/new-beginning-introducing-...

avip 34 days ago [flagged]

It’s all Latin for we know something you don’t


I clicked on the link, and my thought process was something like:

The name invokes markdown, so it sounds like something for marking up args but I have no idea what args are.

> A simple syntax for complex argumentation

What does that even mean?

Clicked on "Getting Started" and immediately it wants me to install something and/or use a sandbox. Well, I'm not going to install anything when I have no idea what it even is, and I'm also not going to bother trying out the sandbox because I have no idea what it is.

The next three text blocks on the main page:

> Simple - Writing pro & contra lists in Argdown is as simple as writing a Twitter message. You don't have to learn anything new, except a few simple rules that will feel very natural.

Oh, so it's a markup language for writing lists?

> Expressive - With these simple rules you will be able to define complex dialectical relations between arguments or dive into the details of their logical premise-conclusion structures.

No wait, it's a markup language for making mind maps?

> Powerful - Your document is transformed into an argument map while you are typing. You can export your analysis as HTML, SVG, PDF, PNG or JSON. If that is not enough, you can easily extend Argdown with your own plugin.

Well whatever this is, it can export to other file formats. Too bad the website never bothered telling me what it was, so by this point I just gave up.

It's an expert tool, and you and I are not experts in the relevant field. That's honestly all I need to know: I am not the target audience for this.

The screenshot and example linked here are rather curious: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20475870

Though personally I'd still like to read up on the technique.

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