Araucaria is a software tool for analysing arguments. It aids a user in reconstructing and diagramming an argument using a simple point-and-click interface. The software also supports argumentation schemes, and provides a user-customisable set of schemes with which to analyse arguments.
Once arguments have been analysed they can be saved in a portable format called “AML”, the Argument Markup Language, which is based on XML. XML is a flexible language which can easily be used to generate web pages and data with which to populate a database. The definition of AML is available in the file argument.dtd.
Araucaria has been designed with the student, instructor, and researcher in mind. It is sufficiently straightforward to be useful to students learning how to reconstruct arguments, diagram them, and apply argumentation schemes. It is sufficiently flexible for instructors to provide their own examples, sample analyses, and alternate sets of argumentation schemes. Finally, it is also sufficiently powerful to be of use in research, particularly in providing examples of argument analyses to support claims.
Araucaria is written in Java, which means that it runs on most computers, including all versions of Windows, UNIX and Linux, Macs*, and so on. The software is free (it is released under the GNU General Public License) and version 3.1 is now available for download.
Access to AraucariaDB, the online repository of arguments, is now available not only through Araucaria, but also through a flexible search engine. It is constructed from examples drawn from a wide range of online resources.
Update 12/11/12: For technical reasons, we have had to suspend the use of individual usernames when logging in to AraucariaDB from within Araucaria. If you wish to browse existing analyses or save your own, please use the username araucaria.