AbstractFor my dissertation, I analyze the impact of English philosopher Stephen Toulmin's 1958 The Uses of Argument on philosophy and rhetoric. Because Toulmin holds that arguments must be assessed in relation to their original contexts, I begin by examining the intellectual context surrounding The Uses of Argument. I trace the development of formal, symbolic logic from the latter part of the nineteenth century and into the middle of the twentieth century. I argue that Toulmin was inspired by the work of ordinary language philosophers such as Ludwig Wittgenstein; with The Uses of Argument, Toulmin challenges the mathematical, deductive, and positivistic logics of philosophers such as Rene Descartes and Bertrand Russell. Next, I consider features of The Uses of Argument that are overlooked or misunderstood by critics and reviewers, including Toulmin's discussion of probability, field-dependent and independent aspects of arguments, and epistemological theory.After finding that many of the reviews of Toulmin's work were not as critical as recent scholars of rhetoric have portrayed, I evaluate the various ways philosophers and speech communication scholars have responded to Toulmin's arguments. Before examining composition scholars' uses of Toulmin, I briefly trace the development of argumentation in composition instruction. Then, I evaluate the wide range of reactions to and uses of Toulmin's work by composition scholars.Finally, having examined the intellectual history, the critical reception, and the variety of scholarly applications of The Uses of Argument, I offer my own application of Toulmin's work. I explain that good, "Toulmin-inspired" arguments are (1) contextual, (2) supported, and (3) multi-sided. Using student examples from my freshman composition courses, I demonstrate how students and I have used Toulmin's schema in several stages of the writing process, including invention and revision. I conclude that while Toulmin's work has had a significant impact on argumentation theory and pedagogy, rhetoricians-particularly composition scholars-have not yet fully realized the rhetorical and epistemological implications of The Uses of Argument.