Deliberation digitized

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A specific issue for argumentation theory is whether information and communication technologies (ICTs) play any role in governing argument — that is, as parties engage in practical activities across space and time via ICTs, does technology matter for the interplay of argumentative content and process in managing disagreement? The case made here is that technologies do matter because they are not merely conduits of communication but have a role in the pragmatics of communication and argumentation. In particular, ICTs should be recognized as communication-information services that are delegated degrees of responsibility for managing disagreements arising from practical activities. These services are organized around practical theories for designing disagreement space. However, recognizing this relationship between argument and technology requires accounting for procedures, techniques, or rules (i.e., such as found in technology) and speech acts that are not argumentative propositions in any strict sense but that are consequential for what becomes argumentation in any setting. An account about designing disagreement space, grounded in Jackson and Jacobs’s theory of Disagreement Management, is put forward to address these issues while more generally contributing to understanding argument in context.


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