There are two main aims in this experiment. First, starting with specific arguments for the justification of Democracy, we examine how they can be cast into an interactive format that the user could explore by engaging in an argument exchange with the computer. The second aim is to develop a top-down classification strategy, as opposed to the bottom-up method of Archelogos. Here the starting point is not the text, nor do we follow the sequence of exposition of the original author; rather we start with a philosophical topic and devise a method of presenting the main themes and the arguments in this theory, incorporating objections and counter-arguments into a single, unfolding, argumentation structure.
The second task is to reinforce the educational virtues of the representation of philosophical argumentation, and of theoretical argumentation in general, by developing the interaction between the user and the computer. Project Elenchos includes an interactive argumentation game where the user can confront and challenge the arguments for the justification of democracy given in each of the three justification trees that are presented. The computer puts forward the arguments presented in dialogical form, and, when asked, provides the user with elucidations, justifications and original texts on the theses it defends. Furthermore, the users can challenge any of the given premises or conclusions defended by the computer, and thus can shift the burden of proof, and can offer their own arguments. At the end of the game the user can trace the record of the steps followed in the argumentation by both sides, and detect the way that the arguments have been defended in the dialogue. Next Page