Argumentation theory (or the theory of argumentation): The multidisciplinary inquiry that studies argument and argumentation with a view to dealing with normative, conceptual, and empirical issues. For example an important normative question is: What are the norms for argument, and how are they to be identified, justified? And important conceptual question is: What are the various types of argument? An important empirical question is: What role does or should the audience play in the shaping of the argument. What does research show about the qualities of persuasive arguments? There are many different approaches to argumentation theory, principal among which are the logical, dialectical, and rhetorical approaches. Accordingly, there are many different types of theories of argumentation. Logical approaches, such as is taken in this chapter, tend to focus on the normative issues that surround argumentation.
Source: ‘What is Good? What is Bad? The Value of All Values across Time, Place and Theories’ by John McMurtry, Philosophy and World Problems, Volume I-III, UNESCO in partnership with Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems: Oxford, 2004-11.