Theory Reform caused by an Argumentation Tool.
Technical rept. 1 Jan 82-15 Jun 85,
XEROX PALO ALTO RESEARCH CENTER CA INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS LAB
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There are many projects whose goal is to produce a network of well-reasoned arguments in support of some assertions. Examples of such networks are a legal brief, a market analysis or a scientific theory. Until recently, computer technology for developing such networks was concerned mostly with the acquisition of information to feed into the arguments. Information retrieval systems help the lawyer find precedents. Survey instruments and statistical packages help the market analyst quantify market forces. Computer-driven instruments line the benches of the physical scientists laboratory. Such tools help find the facts upon which the arguments rest, but they dont help the reasoner invent, record, manage or modify the arguments themselves. For manipulating arguments, these professionals have had to rely on paper technologies, such as index cards and file folders, or their electronic analogs, text editors and file systems. Recently, software aids have been developed for formulating and managing arguments. Most of these programs are combinations of text editors and databases. This paper concerns one such system, called NoteCards and reports the authors experience in using the system. It discusses two incidents where using the system uncovered unexpected major flaws in the arguments. The expectation has been that NoteCards would make argumentation easier, but not that it would change its quality.
- Computer Programming and Software