Arguments and thinking
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Arguments and Thinking. Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “What’s the hardest task in the world? To think.” Schools push “critical thinking” skills; what does it mean to “think critically”? Arguments are applied critical thinking. You already know about logical appeals:

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Arguments and Thinking

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Arguments and thinking

Arguments and Thinking

  • Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “What’s the hardest task in the world? To think.”

  • Schools push “critical thinking” skills; what does it mean to “think critically”?

  • Arguments are applied critical thinking.

  • You already know about logical appeals:

    • Logical reasoning = critical thinking.


Tia chapter 1

TIA Chapter 1

  • Four different purposes (or contexts) for argument.

    • To INQUIRE

    • TO ASSERT

    • TO DOMINATE

    • TO NEGOTIATE DIFFERENCES

      You should note that these purposes can and

      do OVERLAP.


There are three modes of persuasion

There are three modes of persuasion

  • Logical

  • Ethical

  • Emotional

    You will notice overlaps here as well, particularly b/w Ethical and Emotional.

    What does work “ethic” mean?

    Try to keep the “ethical” focus on the trustworthiness of the writer/speaker and on GENERAL assumptions about “the good.” Example: “Dentists prefer Trident” or “Four out of five pediatricians recommend Cheerios as a food for toddlers.”


Logical reasoning

Logical Reasoning

  • Inductive reasoning means DRAWING CONCLUSIONS and is often based on observation, research, expert opinion, facts, statistics, etc.

  • It moves from SPECIFIC pieces of evidence to a conclusion.

  • Induction uses what we have observed as a basis for asserting something NEW.


Inductive reasoning is like a triangle

Inductive Reasoning is like a triangle:

The argument moves from

SPECIFIC to General

Reason

reason

+reason

---------------

Conclusion


Logical reasoning1

Logical Reasoning

  • Deductive Reasoning is best used when the argument is based on a FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH that the audience should accept.

  • Deduction makes explicit something concealed in what we already accept.


Deductive reasoning is like an upside down triangle

Deductive reasoning is like an upside down triangle:

Major premise

Minor premise

conclusion

Begins with LARGER, MORE

GENERAL idea and moves

to specifics by means of

DEDUCTION.


All men are created equal

“All men are created equal”

  • A syllogism is simply a way to organize the logic from general to specific.

    Ma. P: All men are mortals. (Major Premise)

    Mi. P: John is a man. (Minor Premise)

    C: John is mortal. (Conclusion)


Sound arguments

Sound Arguments

  • To create a sound argument using deductive reasoning,

    • The premises (plural) must be TRUE.

    • The syllogism must be VALID – in other words, the conclusion must follow from the premises.


Example

Example

All large fish have scales.

A whale is a large fish.

Therefore, whales have scales.

Where is the problem??

This is VALID, but not TRUE.


Another example

Another example:

MaP:All Americans prefer vanilla ice cream to other flavors.

MiP: Tiger Woods is an American.

C: Therefore, Tiger Woods prefers vanilla ice cream to other flavors.


Example of an invalid syllogism

Example of an INVALID syllogism:

  • All terrorists seek publicity for their violent acts.

  • John Doe seeks publicity for his violent acts.

  • Therefore, John Doe is a terrorist.

    If you can accept the premises and NOT the conclusion, the syllogism is INVALID.


Finding faults

Finding faults…

  • A syllogism can be correctly structured, but still be wrong:

  • All women like to cook.

  • Jane is a woman.

  • Jane likes to cook.


Think about this

Think about this:

  • All women like to cook.

    • Is this true?

  • Jane is a woman.

    • Are we sure?

  • Jane likes to cook.

    • ?????


Enthymemes

Enthymemes

  • In real life and real writing situations, even when using logical arguments, part of the syllogisms are often abbreviated, even unstated or ASSUMED. A structure of this type is called an ENTHEMEME – Greek for “In the mind”.

  • The assumption is a statement or proposition that the writer/speaker PRESUMES is widely held. In a syllogism, this would be the MAJOR PREMISE.

  • It also assumes some degree of COMMON GROUND


Examples of enthymemes

Examples of Enthymemes:

  • Your grades are important to you because you take AP classes.

    • ASSUMPTION: AP students care about their grades.


What is the unstated assumption in the following enthymemes

What is the unstated assumption in the following enthymemes?

  • Flat taxes are fair because they treat everyone the same way.

  • He must be a musician because he has long hair.

  • I’ll buy a Honda Civic because it is cheap and reliable.

  • He must have studied hard because he got an A on the test.


Toulmin logic

Toulmin Logic:

  • Instead of using major premise, minor premise, and conclusion:

    • Claim – thesis, main argument

      • Conclusion, point, purpose, goal, aim

      • This is stated directly, not “led up to” as in a syllogism.

    • Data (reason) – support for the claim

      • This also appears in inductive reasoning

    • Warrant – connects the claim and data; ties them together

      • This is what really makes it different – this step MUST be obvious IN YOUR WRITING. (May not be so obvious in what you read/analyze.)


Arguments and thinking

Think of this as being able to EXPLAIN EVERYTHING until you “hit a wall.” You must have a dialog with yourself and answer all the questions you can thoroughly.

Then, there is no place

left to go. Don’t stop

until you CANNOT

reason any further.


Why am i teaching you this

Why am I teaching you this?

  • The Toulmin Model is another TOOL you can use when you

    • Write your own argument papers

    • Analyze the arguments of others

    • NOT so you can use the word “Toulmin” because it makes you sound smart!

    • You can create “Toulmin” paragraphs within a “Rogerian” essay.


Again it is the concept that is important

Again, it is the concept that is important!

  • No one will be impressed if you use the word “Rogerian” or “Toulmin.” But if you recognize, explain, or use something showing the concepts in action, THAT is impressive.


Arguments and thinking

Toulmin Logicsecondary elements

  • Instead of using major premise, minor premise, and conclusion:

    • Claim – thesis, main argument

      • Conclusion, point, purpose, goal, aim

    • Data (reason) – support for the claim

      • GROUNDS support DATA

    • Warrant – connects the claim and data; ties them together

      • BACKING supports WARRANT


You should not eat that mushroom because it s poisonous

You should not eat that mushroom because it’s poisonous.

This would be an

ASSUMPTION!


Arguments and thinking

Enthymeme: You should not eat that mushroom because it’s poisonous.

Note that the data and

The warrant may need

Additional support.

The GROUNDS support

the DATA.

The BACKING

Supports the WARRANT.


Arguments and thinking

Enthymeme: You should not eat that mushroom because it’s poisonous.

Note that the data and

The warrant may need

Additional support.

.


Three examples

Three Examples:

As you look at the next three examples, write down the ASSUMPTION behind each ENTHYMEME.


Enthymeme 1

ENTHYMEME #1

  • We should buy this Geo Metro because it is extremely economical.

  • ECONOMY is the major criterion we should use in selecting a car.

  • We should buy the car that is most economical.


Enthymeme 2

Enthymeme #2

  • We should buy this used Volvo because it is very safe

  • Safety is the major criterion we should use in selecting a car.

  • We should by the car that is safest.


Enthymeme 3

Enthymeme #3

  • We should buy this Ford Falcon because it is red.

  • We should buy a car that is red.

  • The color red is the major criterion we should use in selecting a car.


Next exercise

Next exercise:

  • Now, practice setting up the Claim, Data, Warrant for each of the previous enthymemes and assumptions.


Geo metro

Geo Metro

  • Claim: We should buy this Geo Metro.

  • Data: It is extremely economical.

  • grounds

  • Warrant: We should buy the car that is most economical.

  • backing

  • What kind of GROUNDS and BACKING might you provide here?


Used volvo

Used Volvo

  • Claim: We should buy this used Volvo.

  • Data: It is very safe

  • grounds

  • Warrant: We should buy the car that is the safest.

  • backing

  • What kind of GROUNDS and BACKING might you provide here?


Red ford falcon

Red Ford Falcon

  • Claim: We should buy this Ford Falcon.

  • Data: It is red.

    • grounds

  • Warrant: If we find a car that is red, we should buy it.

    • Backing

    • What kind of GROUNDS and BACKING might you provide here?


Red ford falcon1

Red Ford Falcon

  • Claim: We should buy this Ford Falcon.

  • Data: It is red.

    • Grounds:

      • Direct observation

      • 100% consensus on informal survey

      • Says “red” under “color” on sales form.

      • Scientific analysis of light spectrum as reflected from car’s surface.

  • Warrant: If we find a car that is red, we should buy it.

    • Backing - ???


Something for you to do

Something for you to do…

  • Devise BACKING for the warrant “If we find a car that is red, we should buy it.”


A longer and more detailed example

A longer and more detailed example:

  • To understand the following examples you should first know that a split infinitive occurs when an infinitive verb (such as "to go") is "split" by an adverb (as in "to boldly go").


Classical syllogism

Classical syllogism:

Major premise: Split infinitives are ungrammatical.

Minor premise: Good writing requires proper grammar. 

Conclusion: Therefore, writers should avoid split infinitives if they want to write well.


Toulmin logic recognizes the three parts but renames rearranges them

Toulmin logic recognizes the three parts, but renames & rearranges them:

  • claim: Writers should avoid split infinitives.

  • Data (reason): Because split infinitives are ungrammatical.

  • Warrant: Good writing requires proper grammar.


Add the grounds to support the data

Add the GROUNDS to support the DATA

  • claim: Writers should avoid split infinitives.

  • data (reason): because split infinitives are ungrammatical. (why are they ungrammatical?)

    • grounds: In Latin, the infinitive was formed by a single word; hence, it was impossible to put an adverb inside the infinitive.

  • Warrant: Good writing requires proper grammar.


Add the backing to support the warrant

Add the BACKING to support the WARRANT

  • claim: Writers should avoid split infinitives.

  • Data (reason): because split infinitives are ungrammatical. (why are they ungrammatical?)

    • grounds: In Latin, the infinitive was formed by a single word; hence, it was impossible to put an adverb inside the infinitive.

  • Warrant: Good writing requires proper grammar. (why do you say so?)

    • backing: The most successful, most widely-read writers follow standard rules of grammar.


The rebuttal

The Rebuttal

  • The next step is to insert the opposing argument -- the rebuttal.  For a longer paper, you can use the claim/reason/assumption model to examine each rebuttal, and your outline would grow much deeper.


The rebuttal of the grounds

The Rebuttal of the GROUNDS:

  • Data (reason): because split infinitives are ungrammatical.

    • grounds: In Latin, the infinitive was formed by a single word; hence, it was impossible to put an adverb inside the infinitive.

      • rebuttal: The rules of Latin do not automatically apply to English.


The rebuttal of the backing

The REBUTTAL of the BACKING:

  • Warrant: Good writing requires proper grammar.

    • backing: The most successful, most widely-read writers follow standard rules of grammar.

      • rebuttal: The fact that all the popular works follow standard grammar simply means that publishers and editors won't distribute writing that doesn't conform to the grammar rules they've learned.


Qualifying

QUALIFYING

  • Next, we handle the rebuttal by qualifying the claim (changing it to handle special cases as raised by the rebuttal).


Here is the claim with the qualifier

Here is the claim with the qualifier:

  • claim: Writers should usually avoid split infinitives, unless they are translating Latin (in which case they should always avoid them) or unless they are willing to risk the appearance of error (in order to achieve some effect).


Qualifiers limit the degree or extent to which a claim is true here are some qualifier words

Qualifiers LIMIT the degree or extent to which a claim is TRUE. Here are some qualifier words:

Fewprobablyperhaps

Rarelyit may bepossibly

Somemanyunder these conditions

Sometimesroutinely

In some casesmost

It is possibleoften

It seemsfor the most part

More or lessto an extent

There are many others.


To qualify or not to qualify

To qualify, or not to qualify?

  • This is the “Q” in a DCQ essay. But you should NEVER be wishy washy in your essays, even if you QUALIFY.

  • Qualifying is a complex process and does not mean that you agree with both sides.


Qualifying requires a defense of the rebuttals

Qualifying requires a defense of the rebuttals:

  • Data (reason): because split infinitives are ungrammatical.

    • grounds: In Latin, the infinitive was formed by a single word; hence, it was impossible to put an adverb inside the infinitive.

      • rebuttal: The rules of Latin do not automatically apply to English.

      • defense: Although the historical reasons for adopting the rule may have been illogical, in the real world, many readers do in fact apply this particular rule to English.


Qualifying requires a defense of the rebuttals1

Qualifying requires a defense of the rebuttals:

  • warrant: Good writing requires proper grammar.

    • backing: The most successful, most widely-read writers follow standard rules of grammar.

      • rebuttal: The fact that all the popular works follow standard grammar simply means that professors and publishers penalize all writing that doesn't conform to the grammar rules they've learned.

        • defense: Philosophical opposition to strict grammar rules won't help you get your writing approved by the professors and publishers (and employers and customers, etc.) who expect you to communicate in standard written English.


Furthering your defense

Furthering your defense:

  • Note that each of the "defense" items could easily be turned into another claim/reason/assumption outline; the defense to the assumption above 1) presumes that the goal of a writer is to meet the formal expectations of professors and publishers, and further presumes that 2) standard written English is the way to meet those expectations.  Well, some writing (such as ad campaigns, political slogans, song lyrics, etc.) is supposed to surprise, delight or motivate, rather than simply satisfy expectations. The Toulmin model will help the author modify the original claim in order to handle special cases or issues raised by the analysis.


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