Prof Chris Reed – University of Dundee
Inference Anchoring Theory – Theoretical Problems, Linguistic Applications and Software Implementations
Argument technology aims to deliver practical tools that facilitate good quality argument and debate. One of the challenges facing the field is how to understand the mechanisms that are at work in connecting the cut-and-thrust of debate on the one hand with structures of reasoning on the other. Bluntly, if we have a simple dialogue in which a proponent’s claim is challenged by an opponent and then supported by the proponent, our intuition is that it in some way creates a somewhat logical structure in which the support stands in an inferential relationship with the claim. Until now, however, we have not had the tools to understand how the linguistic activity establishes the logical structure. What once may have been an exercise in the philosophy of language is now urgently required by the advent of the Argument Web. In this talk, an overview of Inference Anchoring Theory demonstrates how the problem can be solved from a philosophical point of view; analysing unrestricted online text shows how it can applied in linguistic practice; and software demonstrations explore what now becomes possible from a technological perspective.
School of Computing Science & Digital Media, Robert Gordon University, St Andrew Street, Aberdeen, Lecture Room C48, 14:10 – 15:10.