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Causal Arguments

Causal Arguments

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Causal Arguments

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  1. Causal Arguments

  2. The Problem of Causation • What caused the eraser to hit the floor? • Gravity? • Nerve impulses? • Me? • My desire to teach you something about causes?

  3. Arguing Causes (Writing Arguments, pp.233-239) • Explanation of Causal Mechanism • Induction • Informal induction (“common element” or “single difference”) • Scientific experimentation • Statistical correlation • Analogy

  4. Organizing a Causal Argument(Writing Arguments, pp. 244-245) • Plan 1 – introduce, present thesis, explain each link in causal chain • Plan 2 – introduce, devote one section to each possible cause and to evaluation of each • Plan 3 – introduce, examine and reject obvious causes, argue for a surprise cause • Plan 4 – introduce, summarize and refute favored cause, present own proposed cause

  5. Toulmin Schema (Writing Arguments, p. 97) • Claim: • Stated Reason: • Grounds: • Warrant: • Backing: • Conditions of Rebuttal: • Qualifier: