Contextual constraints on argumentation. The case of the medical encounter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The paper presents partial results from an ongoing research on communication in the medical setting. The aim of the paper is to show how the institutional context can affect argumentation by focusing on the activity type of consultations. In order to achieve this goal, the paper is structured in four sections. The first one offers a description of the institutional dimension of the medical consultation set within the cultural domain of the Italian National Health Service. In the second section, this description is completed by outlining also the interpersonal dimension of the context. The third section presents partial results obtained through the analysis of a collection of medical consultations. The analysis was conducted by selecting the argumentative extracts from the consultations and by describing the argument schemes used both by doctors and patients. In the concluding section further lines of research are proposed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExploring Argumentative Contexts
EditorsF., Garssen, B. van Eemeren
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series



  • argument schemes
  • argumentation
  • doctor-patient communication
  • institutional context

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