Analysis, Reconstruction, and Evaluation of Arguments (ARENA)


Principal Investigator: prof. PhDr. František Gahér,
Research Team: prof. Mgr. Marián Zouhar, PhD., doc. PhDr. Igor Hanzel, CSc. (until 2020), doc. PhDr. Vladimír Marko, PhD., doc. Mgr. Lukáš Bielik, PhD., Mgr. Juraj Halas, PhD., Mgr. Tomáš Kollárik, PhD., PhDr. Daniela Glavaničová, PhD., Mgr. Dominik Sadloň (from 2020)

Project website

Project Description

The project focuses on the analysis, reconstruction and evaluation of arguments, of both deductive and non-deductive form, whose evaluation (as valid, plausible, defeasible, probabilistically valid, etc.) is inconclusive either a) within a given communication context; or b) with respect to different theoretical frameworks of argument reconstruction and evaluation.

The project presupposes a specific definition of argument as an inferential relation between a set of premises and a conclusion such that it may be used to attain some methodological aim. The object of our reconstruction and evaluation will be arguments which i) pertain to expert public discourse (e.g., law, ethics, sociology, economics, political science, environmental sciences, etc.); and are either ii) evaluated inconclusively within a given expert discourse; or iii) evaluated non-equivalently when reconstructed in different theoretical frameworks (including deductive and inductive logics, argumentation theory, or formal epistemology).

The project takes up a hotly debated issue of competing arguments (and their reconstructions) and their analysis from the point of view of logic, argumentation theory and formal epistemology.

Working Hypothesis

Our basic hypothesis is as follows: “There is a (minimal) classification system for the identification, reconstruction, and evaluation of arguments which provides a set of parameters that are sufficient for the conclusive selection of and preference for an argument from among a tuple (n-tuple) of competing arguments (reconstructions). In cases where no such selection and preference is possible, the classification system provides a testable account of why none of the arguments can be preferred.”