Maps | General information
(large file!) | Details and
features | Specifications
| Issue areas | Press
Methodology | Background paper | The cartographic metaphor | Criteria | How the maps work (large file!)
For Instructors and Students | Importance of Turing debate | For instructors | For students | Protagonist index | FAQS
Commentary and Reviews | Commentary and reviews | Errata and corrections
Action Items | Buy the set of maps | How you can participate in this debate
Examples | View the maps. | Map 1 | Map 2 | Map 3 | Map 4 | Map 5 | Map 6 | Map 7 | (large files!)
MacroVU home page | Send us a message | Project Director's Home Page
Start in the upper left corner, with Alan Turing's major claim. Following the arrows from box to box draws you into the dialectical back-and-forth. As you read, notice the basic components: argument summaries, links, and issue areas. Those elements allowed the cartographers to structure the jungle of debate into a readable map. The various components of an argumentation map are designed to facilitate understanding and navigation in complex conceptual domains.
Each issue area grows out of a specific focus box. Every argument in an issue area addresses the focus box, which thus determines the scope of an issue area.
Growing out of a focus box are threads of dialogue. Claims are asserted, supported, and countered in rounds of dialectical exchange. Where a long thread juts out from a focus box, an argument has stimulated a long chain of back-and-forths. The further out from the focus box you track threads of debate, the more subtle the issue becomes.
Argument summaries condense original arguments into manageable units. Summaries are not necessarily abstracts of entire articles or chapters or books, however. Instead, each box summarizes an individual argument, more than one of which may be contained in an individual article.
The spread of an issue area conveys the range of response to a given argument. Issue areas with wide "fans" are interesting for their sheer breadth of debate.
Is the debate really as linear as the maps make it look?
A given argument can be supported by or disputed by many other arguments, but a given argument never (with one exception) supports or disputes more than one other argument. In other words, threads of argument branch outward, but never converge in one place. This forced simplicity is meant to aid the reader: many-to-one linkages inevitably cross over each other and turn to "spaghetti," which is visually confusing. Of course, such cross-linkages among arguments do exist in the actual debate. On the maps, they are listed in the notes at the bottoms of argument summaries.
Do the support and dispute icons carry a standard meaning?
"Support" and "dispute" are used in an argumentative sense rather than in a strict logical or epistemic sense. They structure the map into chains of agreement and disagreement where claimants respond to one another in a variety of affirmative and negative ways. As such, the relations of support and dispute cover a wide range of cases, which fall into fuzzy categories, or families, of supportive and disputative responses.
Are the arrows bidirectional?
The directionality of a link, represented by an arrow, represents the direction in which you should read the claims for maximal effectiveness. The arrows direct the eye. A philosophically trained reader might think that the arrows would point in the opposite direction, from the disputing or supporting claim to the disputed or supported claim, given that that is the direction of dispute or support in everyday language. But such organization is backwards from a readability standpoint; it's not the direction that real arguments or conversations take. We understand arguments in a chronological order, from earlier claim to later counterclaim. As such, claims are disputed by and are supported by other claims.
How do I interpret the last box in a thread?
Each thread of argumentation on these maps eventually reaches an end, a final argument, the frontier of that particular debate. Sometimes those final arguments really are the ends past which no one has further argued a particular point. Such spots serve as entry points for new contributors, where the next generation of argument will play out. If you have a published contribution, send it in! (See "Participation Form," at end of booklet.) However, many existing arguments had to be excluded, for the simple reason that it was necessary to stop somewhere. Our reasons for excluding many claims is discussed in "Criteria" and in "The Cartographic Metaphor, Unmapped Territory."
Why do some argument summaries not list authors?
A position that is disputed or supported by various authors without necessarily having been articulated by any one person is listed without an author.
How were the maps made?
Almost 7,000 hours of work went into making these maps. References, many of them obscure, had to be unearthed in the libraries. Each article had to be read, and often reread. In all, approximately 700 argument summaries were written, and rewritten when they were fitted into specific issue areas. Each link between arguments had to be identified and verified.
The threads of debate were identified in a few different ways, some more straightforward than others. The easiest threads to develop were those for which a good summary existed, which the authors could use to track the lines of debate from author to author. In other cases, authors cited the particular argument against (or for) which they were arguing. In those cases, the threads could be developed backwards, following links from article to article. Finally, there were some authors who never identified the authors of the arguments they were debating, using phrases instead like "there are some who believe ..." In such cases, the authors either left the claim summary nameless, if it is a commonly held position, or else attributed the argument to the secondary source, using the tag "as articulated by."