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Company / Author[edit]

Austhink Software Pty Ltd.


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What they say[edit]

“Rationale(tm) is the first high-quality software for argument mapping, the diagramming of reasoning and argument.

Rationale(tm) helps:

Professionals handle complex reasoning and decision making more effectively; students learn the fundamentals of good reasoning, critical thinking, and argumentative essay writing.

A good map clarifies and organizes thinking by showing the logical relationships between thoughts that are expressed simply and precisely.

Argument maps are driven by asking, ‘Should I believe that? Why, or why not?’.

You can produce two kinds of argument maps in RationaleTM:

  1. Reasoning maps, which lay out arguments in a quick, intuitive way
  2. Analytic maps, which enable a more careful and rigorous analysis of an argument.”


Rationale is available as a stand-alone desktop application, or as a browser-based online service. There’s a review of the on-line service at the blog http://www.informationtamers.com/mind-mapping/blog/2014/01/austhinks-argument-mapping-goes-online/.

The site defines argument maps as ‘box-and-line diagrams that lay out visually reasoning and evidence for and against a statement or claim.’

When Austhink released bCisive there was some discussion about their differences on the Rationale Google Group. The company responded in this way: bCisive is intended for the ‘professional’ or workplace market and is oriented towards business decision making. Rationale is being repositioned as a purely educational product, focusing on reasoning, argument and critical thinking.

In bCisive, you’ll find much stronger support for decision making (inc. the decision summary which automatically generates the rationale behind decisions), for formatting of maps, and for communicating with others. Also, a lot of work has gone into making it even more easy to use.

Somebody whose main interest is using this kind of tool in the workplace, specifically for decisions, will find bCisive a much more suitable tool. But somebody who is interested in teaching the fundamentals of reasoning and critical thinking will find Rationale more suitable. See also http://www.austhink.com/rationale/

Their website[edit]


Operating System(s)[edit]


Price: Desktop: AU$109/3yr (Educational disc.50%); Online: US$45/90/180;  |  Status: Current  |  Date added: 2007-07-07

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