Persistent Questions in the Theory of Argument Fields

David Zarefsky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


The concept of a “field” of arguments, introduced by Stephen Toulmin in 1958 with little explanation, seemed to scholars in the late 1970s and early 1980s to be a promising way to imagine standards for arguments that were context-specific. Although several authors explored the topic, little agreement emerged as to what constituted a field or how theorists and critics would use the “field” concept to analyze or evaluate arguments. This essay examines some of the key questions. Originally this essay was published in Argumentation and Advocacy, 18 (Spring, 1982), 191–203, where it introduced a special issue on argument fields. At the time of publication the journal was known as Journal of the American Forensic Association.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationArgumentation Library
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages15
StatePublished - 2014

Publication series

NameArgumentation Library
ISSN (Print)1566-7650
ISSN (Electronic)2215-1907


  • Argument fields
  • Argumentative contexts
  • Normative argument

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law
  • Philosophy
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Language and Linguistics


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