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A Schematic Argument Map

This diagram represents, in a simplified way, part of an argument map over Australia's population. The map is loosely based on arguments presented in Doug Cocks' book Population Policy (UNSW Press, 1996). The full map would contain many hundreds of nodes and cover a large wall chart. On this diagram, dots indicate where a line of thought has been truncated for the purposes of the illustration.

This diagram was produced in order to illustrate some of the principles of argument mapping:

  • Reasons and objections bear upon a central proposition
  • Reasons and objections are colour-coded for instant type-recognition
  • Reasons and objections can themselves be backed up by further reasons
  • Reasons can be countered by objections
  • Objections can be rebutted (objections to objections)
  • Argument maps have an arbitrarily complex hierarchical structure

Note that strictly speaking, each separate reason or objection should be linked to its parent node by a completely distinct line (i.e., lines should not converge as they do in this diagram).

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Last updated:15 Jun 2001