Cooperative Argumentation emphasizes the human capacity to disagree ethically and to deliberate effectively. We believe that ethical communication and effective deliberation are mutually reinforcing and, in fact, necessary for fully informed decision making.
This approach served us as we worked together on the book. One of us believed strongly that what is most needed is a deliberative model of critical thinking and argumentation designed to help people make the best decision in any given situation. The other believed equally strongly that our primary purpose should be to help people confront conflicts peacefully through responsive communication and responsible community building.
On the surface, these would seem to be different projects, each with its own complexity. But our personal and professional experiences--in consultation with a review of literature from a wide variety of disciplines and perspectives--encouraged us to integrate these priorities. The result, we hope, is an approach to argumentation that draws on the best aspects of our multicultural traditions and offers people a deliberative model for living well together.