Toulmin Method

The British philosopher and logician Stephen Toulmin (1922–2009) first proposed his method of argumentation in 1958 in a book called The Uses of Argument. Toulmin created this method as a way to understand arguments that can be used in real-world situations. His goal was to get away from the classical model of arguments based around syllogisms. It is important to note that Toulmin was not interested in arguments as they apply to scientific claims specifically. His book (and the article that inspired it) dealt mostly with legal arguments. It wasn’t until the 1970s that people started applying the method to general communication theory. Even the updated version of The Uses of Argument (2003) does not address argumentation in the sciences. Nevertheless, the Toulmin method is ...

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