Cookies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Members

The list below shows Durham University research staff who are members of IMEMS. Click the member's name to see a more detailed biography and department.

We also welcome anyone from outside the University with an interest in our work to join. Membership is free of charge. You will receive invitations to our programme of events, with a weekly emails digest about what is happening in the Insitute and further afield. To join IMEMS contact: admin.imems@durham.ac.uk

Publication details for Dr Sara L. Uckelman

Uckelman, Sara L. (2013). Medieval Disputationes de obligationibus as formal dialogue systems. Argumentation 27(2): 143-166.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

Formal dialogue systems model rule-based interaction between agents and as such have multiple applications in multi-agent systems and AI more generally. Their conceptual roots are in formal theories of natural argumentation, of which Hamblin’s formal systems of argumentation in Hamblin (Fallacies. Methuen, London, 1970, Theoria 37:130–135, 1971) are some of the earliest examples. Hamblin cites the medieval theory of obligationes as inspiration for his development of formal argumentation. In an obligatio, two agents, the Opponent and the Respondent, engage in an alternating-move dialogue, where the Respondent’s actions are governed by certain rules, and the goal of the dialogue is establishing the consistency of a proposition. We implement obligationes in the formal dialogue system framework of Prakken (Knowl Eng Rev 21(2):163–188, 2006) using Dynamic Epistemic Logic (van Ditmarsch et al. in Dynamic epistemic logic, Synthese Library Series. Springer, Berlin, 2007). The result is a new type of inter-agent dialogue, for consistency-checking, and analyzing obligationes in this way also sheds light on interpretational and historical questions concerning their use and purpose in medieval academia.