© 2017

Narration as Argument

  • Paula Olmos
  • First English book to take a panoramic approach to the argumentative quality of narratives

  • Discusses whether and up to what point narratives may have some argumentative quality or function

  • Brings together academics from Argumentation and Literary Studies, Epistemology, and Philosophy of Language


Part of the Argumentation Library book series (ARGA, volume 31)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Narratives as Sources of Knowledge and Argument

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 9-9
    2. Christopher Tindale
      Pages 11-30
    3. Floris Bex, Trevor Bench-Capon
      Pages 31-45
    4. Mitchell Green
      Pages 47-61
  3. Argumentative Narratives in Context

About this book


This book presents reflections on the relationship between narratives and argumentative discourse. It focuses on their functional and structural similarities or dissimilarities, and offers diverse perspectives and conceptual tools for analyzing the narratives’ potential power for justification, explanation and persuasion. Divided into two sections, the first Part, under the title “Narratives as Sources of Knowledge and Argument”, includes five chapters addressing rather general, theoretical and characteristically philosophical issues related to the argumentative analysis and understanding of narratives. We may perceive here how scholars in Argumentation Theory have recently approached certain topics that have a close connection with mainstream discussions in epistemology and the cognitive sciences about the justificatory potential of narratives. The second Part, entitled “Argumentative Narratives in Context”, brings us six more chapters that concentrate on either particular functions played by argumentatively-oriented narratives or particular practices that may benefit from the use of special kinds of narratives. Here the focus is either on the detailed analysis of contextualized examples of narratives with argumentative qualities or on the careful understanding of the particular demands of certain well-defined situated activities, as diverse as scientific theorizing or war policing, that may be satisfied by certain uses of narrative discourse.


Narratives, Narrating, Narrators Narratives in Argumentation Theory Role of the War Narrative Concept of Argument Narrative Arguments to Narrating Arguments Narratives and Pragmatic Arguments Argumentation Theory Particular Argumentative Practices Scientific Argument Atul Gawande Relationship between narration and argumentation Argumentative Quality of Explanatory Narratives Human Communication as Narration

Editors and affiliations

  • Paula Olmos
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Linguistics, Modern Languages, Logic and Philosophy of Science, Theory of Literature and Comparative LiteratureAutonomous University of MadridMadridSpain

About the editors

Dr. Paula Olmos has been based as a researcher in Philosophy and Classical Studies in several Spanish academic centres (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia) and is now Lecturer at the Department of Linguistics, Logic and Philosophy of Science (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid). Her research lines include different aspects of the History of Logic, Argumentation and Rhetoric as well as the contemporary Theory of Argumentation, in which she takes a rhetorical stance. She has published papers on these issues in journals like Informal Logic, Theoria, Renaissance Studies, Argumentation or Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, as well as contributions in collective volumes published by Springer, Logos Verlag, ETS (Pisa), Leiden University Press, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Trotta or Southern Illinois University Press, among others. She is the author of a monographic volume on the Spanish sixteen-century philosopher Pedro Simón Abril (CSIC, 2010), editor of the collections of essays Greek Science in the Long Run (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012), and co-editor, of the collective volumes Compendio de Lógica, Argumentación y Retórica (Trotta, 2011, 22012, 32016), Imaginarios científicos. Conocimiento, narraciones y utopias (Ediciones Clásicas, 2015), De la demostración a la argumentación. Ensayos en honor de Luis Vega (Publicaciones UAM, 2015).

Bibliographic information


“Narration as Argument is an excellent and informative book that can spur trans-disciplinary conversations with scholars in Black studies, Marxist and feminist theories, literary studies, and media studies, just to name a few.” (Charles Athanasopoulos, Argumentation and Advocacy, Vol. 56 (3), 2020)

“It seems clear that Paula Olmos has succeeded in her aim of exhibiting the wide range of approaches to the relation between narration and argument, given the variety of approaches to narration as argument exhibited in these twelve chapters. … She has reserved a table for everyone and bade them sit down side by side, in the hope that they will all begin to talk to one another. It’s a start.” (J. Anthony Blair, Argumentation, Vol. 33, 2019)