How to use the Argument Browser

The Argument Browser enables you to explore complex debates by selecting arguments and discover their direct and indirect attack and support relations with other arguments and theses.

The argument maps look similar to mind maps but consist of only two kinds of nodes and two kinds of relations. The two kinds of nodes are arguments and theses. The two kinds of relations are supports and attacks

Arguments and theses

A thesis is an important claim in the debate. It is visualized as a white box with a thick colored border.

An argument has two parts: A sentence that is justified. This sentence is called the conclusion of the argument. And sentences that are justifying the conclusion. These sentences are called the premises of the argument. In an Argunet argument map arguments are visualized as colored boxes. The full premise-conclusion structure itself is not visible to save space. Instead the main premises and its conclusion of each argument are summarized in a short text.

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Support and attack relations

Arguments have relations with other arguments or theses. An argument supports a claim, if the claim is the conclusion of the argument (or has the same meaning as the conclusion). An argument supports another argument, if it has one of the premises of the other argument as its conclusion. Support relations between arguments and theses are visualized as green arrows.

A green arrow from a thesis to an argument means that the claim of the thesis is a premise of the argument.

An argument attacks a claim, if the claim contradicts the conclusion of the argument. An argument attacks another argument, if it contradicts one of the premises of the other argument. Attack relations are visualized as red arrows.

A red arrow from a thesis to an argument means that the claim of the thesis contradicts a premise of the argument.

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Browsing through a debate

You can browse through a debate by selecting one argument or thesis after another. Each time the selected argument or thesis will move to center stage and all the arguments and theses that are directly related to it, will pop up around it. 

Increasing the graph depth

You can explore the wider environment of an argument or thesis by increasing the graph depth. For example, if the graph depth is 3 this will open up all arguments or thesis that are related to the selected argument or thesis by no more than three degrees of separation, which means they are not more than three arrows away.

To increase the graph depth click or touch into the map so that the menu on the bottom will become visible. Next, click on the plus sign beside the "Graph Depth: 1" label. You can increase the graph depth up to 5. To decrease the graph depth you can click on the minus sign beside the label.

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Changing into fullscreen mode

If you increase the graph depth we recommend to switch to fullscreen mode. Fullscreen mode is currently not supported by all browsers. To check if fullscreen mode is available, click or touch on the map to open the menu at the bottom. Right beside the button with the plus sign should be the fullscreen button. Click on it to change into fullscreen mode. Click on it again or press Escape to exit fullscreen mode.

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Opening the debate list

If you already know the debate and want to jump to a specific argument or thesis, you can open the debate list and select it there. To do this click or touch into the map to open up the bottom menu. Then click on "Debate List". A list with all arguments and theses will appear on the left. Sometimes they are grouped into folders. To open a folder click on the plus side beside it. To select an argument or thesis just click on its title.

To close the debate list, click on the "Close Debate List" button in the bottom menu.

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