An Argument Map is a VisualLanguage representation of an argument.
Many arguments between opposing sides are well displayed in a graph. And VisualLanguage provides lots of power that has been mostly untapped.
See Robert Horn's Argument Maps for some good visual language argument maps.
Visual Argument Map Software Ideas
For now, making visual argument maps is not easy - especially if you want all sides to be able to plug their ideas in easily. So, what would be cool :
- Making a neat graphic program, so that people can hook their arguments onto a graph, and keep track of the whole argument that way.
- Make a system for pointing to arguments and elements of arguments, and creating databases of arguments, responses, where they are found “out in the wild,” etc. Futures:ArgumentGraphs
- Working on SVG software, or software to solve the Visual:LongImageIncorporationProcess problem, or researching VisualLanguage, so that we get better at expressing ourselves.
There is already some software for keeping a TypedThreadedDiscussion that can automatically generate an ArgumentMap.
If people grow acustomed to looking through argument graphs, and are able to see more complexity at a given time, they would probably demand more from their typical thinking.
A talk by a ILogos developer Matthew Easterday given at OD2005 noted the following problems with other existing software:
- can’t layout unconnected claims
- can’t draw linked reasons (i.e. socrates is a man, all men are mortal ⇒ socrates is mortal)
- arrows aren’t redrawn automatically (in, say adobe illustrator)
- can’t control layout (in some argumentation mapping software)
- hard to read a whole argument sometimes; sometimes laid out in such a way that even if you zoom in, you can only see one at a time
See also http://www.phil.cmu.edu/projects/argument_mapping/download/ArgumentDiagramsInClassroom.pdf
StandPedia – notice that they have structured arguments  like sort of like the structured evidential argumentation system .