Propositions Fact – Value – Policy
What is a proposition? A proposition is a viewpoint that you will create, defend or destroy. It should be worded as a declarative sentence that unambiguously (clearly and without question) expresses your position.
Attributes of a “Good” proposition Debatable: A proposition should first be debatable in that arguments may be marshaled for and against the proposition. This is important for the persuader, too, as one way of persuading is putting up arguments against the proposition and knocking them down. Provable: As well as arguing for and against the case, it should be possible to conclusively prove the truth of your proposition. If you cannot possibly prove something to be false, then you neither can prove it to be true.
3 Types of Propositions Fact Value Policy
Proposition of Fact A proposition of fact is a statement in which you focus largely on belief of the audience in its truth or falsehood. Your arguments are thus aimed at getting your audience to accept the statement as being true or false. Proposes whether something is or is not, true or false. Is/Is not
Examples of Propositions of Fact Converting to solar energy can save homeowners money. The government is withholding information on UFO’s. Death is inevitable. Obesity causes health problems.
Proposition of Value In a proposition of value, you make a statement where you are asking your audience to make an evaluative judgment as to whether the statement is morally good or bad, right or wrong. This may be done by comparing two items and asking them which is better. Judges whether something is good/bad, right/wrong, just/unjust, ethical/non-ethical
Examples of Proposition of Value It is wrong to avoid jury duty. Gay marriage is immoral. Democrats are bad. Republicans are stupid.
Proposition of Policy A proposition of policy advocates a course of action. In this, you ask your audience to endorse a policy or to commit themselves to a particular action. Advocates a specific course of action. Should/should not
Examples of Propositions of Policy You should send your children to private schools. The federal government should legalize medicinal marijuana. The Boy Scouts should not have to include gay scout leaders.