This CODA Dialogue Glossary is more important than you might think. In the same way that mathematics is built up by layers of interconnected and dependent theorems, the CODA system is built up to some extent by layers of interconnected and dependent term definitions. In this way, if the term definitions are correct and consistent, they act as a cross check on the correctness of the theory.
By way of summary and overview, we understand a Dialogue to be:
A discussion between 2 people or 2 groups, which consists of a sequence of steps, alternating between the 2 respondents. The discussion state may be co-operative or adversarial. Each step may contain multiple statements, so each statement of every step each is labelled separately. The statements may be logically connected to the preceding or any previous step, so each is categorised as either a continuation or a new.
- ADVER / CO-OP = a step header tag which shows that the discussion state has changed to Adversarial/Co-operative
- Bad Faith = when your opponent is not trying to help the discussion forward to greater clarity and understanding, but merely using cheap tricks to try sabotage your statements
- Challenge = a response to the dialogue going, intentionally or unintentionally, astray. A challenge may have the effect of changing an endeavour into a contest
- CONC = a step header tag which shows that that speaker has just, perhaps unwittingly, conceeded or agreed, at least part of parent point. It can only be applied to responses where the parent belongs to the opponent, as there's no point in agreeing with yourself.
- Contest / Endeavour = an adversarial / co-operative discussion
- DROP / CLOSE / LOSE / WIN = an optional step trailer tag which appears after a step, in a line of its own in curly brackets. Most topics simply get lost in the chaotic melee, or its not clear if it was a deliberate tactic of one of the players to suppress it. So there is no tag for that state of simply 'disconnected'. But the other forms of termination are indicated as follows:
DROP: as in Drop The Ball, shows that the subsequent protagonist appears to have deliberately ignored and skated over that issue
CLOSE: very rarely, both parties will agree to simply close off a point rather than spending further time discussing it
LOSE / WIN (disc/concede/rhetoric) : shows that, as far as most people are concerned, this person has lost/won at this point. Often used to mark different either/or paths.
This tag can be optionally followed by a subtag in round brackets to indicate the type of win. The subtag is either (disc) if the opponent disconnected, or (conc), if the opponent concedes the point, or (rhetoric) if his point just comes across better to the audience. Note that a disconnect can have two forms. A disc where Q deliberately drops the ball from P is a win for Q if P's point is a question or proposal, and P does not challenge him about the drop. But if P's point is a strong assertion and Q disconnects on it, its a win for P (because the assertion is left hanging in the air, uncontested).
- EITHER / OR = a step header tag shows that we are exploring two or more alternative responses at that point in a replay of the dialogue. The alternative responses are identified by a suffix of a, b, etc before the dash. For example, if Y asserts 1.2-y, and we wish to discuss two alternative responses to it, then they will be 1.2.1a-x and 1.2.1b-x. If that point is then be followed by 1.2.2-x in both cases, then 1.2.2-x is not an alternative.
- Fal- = indicates that a logical fallacy has been used. This could be an error of deduction (propositional or categorical), induction, poor use of statistics, or a rhetorical device. Most of the fallacies have a valid as well as an invalid use, so, where known, the Fallacy tag will be followed by the label (valid) or (invalid), in brackets.
- Fal-AdHom = an Ad Hominem attack
- Fal-Ambig = fallacies of ambiguity
- Fal-AppAuth = appeal to authority
- Fal-Circular = circular reasoning e.g. begging the question
- Fal-FalseDic = false dichotomy, i.e. presenting the problem as a choice between 2 alternatives, when there are others available
- Fal-MaskedMan = using the same term in different contexts to identify different referents - a type of equivocation
- Fal-Reductio = Reductio ad Absurdum
- Fal-SelfSeal = a self-sealing argument which is indefeasible, i.e. cannot be refuted,because it disqualifies alternative evidence
- Fal-SlipSlope = extending a case by degrees until it becomes unreasonable or unworkable. It is similar to the Sorites paradox, except that the Sorites paradox is a slippery slope of meaning, whereas this fallacy is a slippery slope of policy.
- Fal-Sorites = the Sorites paradox
- Fal-SpecPlead = Special Pleading
- Fal-StrawMan = to attack a version of your opponents case, which is far more extreme than his, and therefore demolished more easily
- Fal-TQQ = the Tu Quoque fallacy
- Fal-Vacuity = fallacy of vacuity
- Fal-Vague = fallacies of vagueness
- Ind-ANALOGY = argument by analogy
- Ind-CAUSE = reasoning by cause and effect
- Ind-GAME = reasoning according to Game Theory by using probability and decision trees
- Ind-BESTEXP = inference to the best explanation
- Ind-STATGEN = reasoning for cases of generalising from samples and of applying statistics to a particular
- Label = a modified dewey decimal number used to identify each separate point in a response. The label may also have embedded lower case letters, and is followed by the person identifier, in the form "-x"
- Level: Brother = a response which shares the same parent as another, for example 1.2.2 is a brother of 1.2.1
- Level: Child = a response forked from a higher level, for example 1.2.2 is a child of 1.2
- Level: Parent = the step which this level is responding to, for example 1.2 is the parent of 1.2.1
- Level: Primary = the first number in the response label, like the '4' in '4.6.8'
- Level: Secondary = the 2nd number in the response label, like the '6' in '4.6.8'
- NEW / CONT / META / JOKE = a step header tag which indicates the following:
NEW: a new topic has been started (so it doesn't have a parent level), as opposed to it being a continuation of a previous topic
CONT: this response is a continuation of a previously mentioned one. The continuation could be a rebuttal, or a clarification, or an extension. a continuation and response to a previous topic (it may not be the preceeding topic). This will be indicated by child levels on the parent level label. For example, if X says 1.2-x, then Y's continuation points in response will by 1.2.1-y, 1.2.2-y, 1.2.3-y, etc
META: this response starts a meta discussion about some aspect of the dialogue, for example, the legitimacy of a question in general, never mind this particular instance of it
JOKE: this response is a joke or other comment intended to lighten the mood, but not intended to form part of the substantive discussion
- P / Q = conventionally, the person or group that speaks first/second in a small scenario you are describing to illustrate a point, in the middle of examining the main dialogue
- Rebut = an attempt to refute a specific claim
- Red Line = a term borrowed from diplomatic discourse. It is a trigger which is so strong as to cause something extreme like termination of the dialogue.
- Respondent = the person you are having the dialogue with. They will be either a partner (for an endeavour) or an opponent (for a contest). The Responder can be the 1st or the 2nd speaker.
- Ret-DevAdv = Playing Devil's Advocate
- Ret-PoisWell = Poisoning the Well
- RPD = Role Play Dialogue
- Statement = one or more sentences which expresses a single dialogue position, or one point.
- Step = A single utterance of one of the respondents, which is followed by that of his opponent. A step may contain one or more statements.
- Step Header Tag = a mandatory tag after the step label to describe properties of that step
- Step Trailer Tag = an optional tag at the end of a step, to describe the way in which it was terminated
- Trigger = an specific type of event, which indicates that the dialogue is going astray. If spotted in time, it should be followed by corrective action, for example, a challenge
- X / Y = conventionally, the person or group that speaks first/second in the actual dialogue