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Wigmore's Chart
Informal Logic (2000)
  • Jean Goodwin, Northwestern University

A generation before Beardsley, legal scholar John Henry Wigmore invented a scheme for representing arguments in a tree diagram, aimed to help advocates analyze the proof of facts at trial. In this essay, I describe Wigmore's "Chart Method" and trace its origin and influence. Wigmore, I argue, contributes to contemporary theory in two ways. His rhetorical approach to diagramming provides a novel perspective on problems about the theory of reasoning, premise adequacy, and dialectical obligations. Further, he advances a novel solution to the problem of assessing argument quality by representing the strength of argument in meeting objections.

  • J.H. Wigmore,
  • A. Sidgwick,
  • tree diagram,
  • rhetoric,
  • interence,
  • argument,
  • proof,
  • premise adequacy,
  • dialectical obligations,
  • argument assessment
Publication Date
Publisher Statement
Copyright Jean Goodwin 2000.
Citation Information
Jean Goodwin. "Wigmore's Chart" Informal Logic Vol. 20 Iss. 3 (2000)
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