Disputation by design

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In normative pragmatics, a kind of empirical discourse analysis organized by normative theory, the analysis of any communication process begins with an idealized model of the discourse that can be compared with actual practices. Idealizations of argumentation can be found, among other places, in theoretical descriptions of 'critical discussion' and other dialogue types. Comparing ideal models with actual practices can pinpoint defects in the models (leading to theoretical refinements), but it can also identify deficiencies in practice. This latter possibility invites redesign around well-justified idealizations. This paper outlines an approach to the design of discourse processes and illustrates the approach with contrastive analysis of several recently developed protocols for discussion and debate on the worldwide web.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-198
Number of pages16
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Discourse analysis
  • Discourse processes
  • Ideal models
  • Internet
  • Normative pragmatics
  • Protocols
  • Worldwide web

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Linguistics and Language


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