Stock issues and the structure of argumentative discussions

Eugen Octav Popa and Jean Wagemans have published a paper entitled Stock issues and the structure of argumentative discussions: An integrative analysis in the Journal of Pragmatics.


We develop a method for analyzing argumentative discussions centered around the notion of  ‘stock issues’, i.e., the field-dependent standard issues addressed by the participants in such discussions. The method yields an overview of the structure and content of complex argumentative discussions with multiple participants, including the activated stock issues and the ‘depth’ of the argumentation advanced per each stock issue. We start from the assumption that any given discussion context requires a set of stock issues to be addressed by the participants through their argumentation, tied together by a decision rule regulating the weight of each stock issue on the matter at hand. The building blocks of our method and the results of its application are illustrated through an example. We discuss several extensions and problems, concluding with directions for further research.