First Advisor

Francis P. Gibson

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech Communication


Speech Communication




Logic, Reasoning, Oral Communication, Stephen Edelston Toulmin



Physical Description

1 online resource (343 p.)


In 1958 Stephen E. Toulmin wrote of inadequacies of formal logic and proposed a new field-dependent approach to the analysis of arguments. Despite a generally negative response to his proposal from formal logicians, Toulmin's model for the laying out of arguments for analysis was subsequently appropriated by several speech communication textbook writers. In some textbooks, the Toulmin model has become successor to the syllogism as the paradigm of logical argument. Yet, perhaps due to their seemingly uncritical acceptance of Toulmin's approach there appears to be serious disagreement and confusion among speech communication professionals about the nature and applications of the Toulmin model. Towards a resolution of this problem, this study provides a descriptive analysis and assessment of the history of the Toulmin model and its proposed applications to speech communication.


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