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Arguments Identification: Conclusion and Premise Indicators. Unit – One Chapter - Three. Discussion for Today: . Arguments Identification Unstated Propositions Arguments and Explanations. Arguments Identification : Meaning.

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discussion for today
Discussion for Today:
  • Arguments Identification
  • Unstated Propositions
  • Arguments and Explanations
arguments identification meaning
Arguments Identification : Meaning
  • The process of recognizing the things or person is known as identification.
  • Here identification of arguments means to recognizing and understanding the argumentative passages in writing or speech in order to evaluate it.
  • however, even though we have thorough comprehension of the language, the identification of an argument can be sometimes problematic due to peculiarities of it formulation.
contd
Contd…
  • Even when we are confident that an argument is intended in some context, we may be unsure about which propositions are serving as its premises and which as its conclusion.
  • Similarly, judgment can not be made on the basis of the order of the propositions appear in the argument.
  • Therefore, identification of the indicators may help in identifying the argument; its premises and conclusion.
conclusion indicators
Conclusion Indicators:
  • Certain words or phrases that serve to signal the appearance of an argument’s conclusion are known as the conclusion indicators e.g.
    • Therefore, hence, so, accordingly, in consequently, proves that, as a result, for this reason, thus etc.
premise indicators
Premise Indicators:
  • Similarly, the words or phrases that serve to signal the premises in the arguments can be called premise indicators. Such as:
    • Since, because, for, as, follows from, as shown by, in as much as (in view of the fact that)
  • Off course, they usually but not always serve to indicate in the arguments.
unstated propositions
Unstated Propositions:
  • Unstated propositions refers:
    • the propositions that are not directly expressed rather something implied.
  • Arguments are sometimes obscure (vague) because one (or more) of its part is not stated but is assumed to be understood.
  • A premise may be left unstated because the arguer supposes that it is unquestioned common knowledge.
  • Reader’s or listener’s responsibility is to understand the missing proposition in the argument.
contd1
Contd…
  • The chairman of the Department of Sociology at City college, presents two strong but controversial arguments. Such as:
    • If the proponent of the death penalty is incorrect in his belief that the (death) penalty deters (discourages) homicide (killing), then he is responsible for the execution of murders who should not be executed.
  • Then what is the unstated second premise?
  • The unstated second premise is:
    • “No one should be executed to advance an abjective that is not promoted by execution.”
contd2
Contd…
  • The second argument is:
    • If the opponent of the death penalty is incorrect in his belief that the death penalty does not deter, he is responsible for the murder of innocent individuals who would not have been murdered if the death penalty had been invoked.
  • What can be its unstated proposition?
  • “Protecting the lives of innocent individuals from murder justifies the execution of murderers if other murderers are then deterred by the fear of execution.”
contd3
Contd…
  • Similarly, one angry critic writes over human cloning that:
    • Human cloning – like abortion, contraception, pornography and euthanasia - is intrinsically evil and thus should never be allowed.
  • So what may be its missing premise?
  • The unstated proposition:
    • “What is intrinsically evil should never be allowed.”
contd4
Contd…
  • The arguments in everyday discourse very often rely on some proposition that is understood but not stated.
  • Such arguments are called enthymemes.
  • The unstated premises may not be universally accepted.
  • It may be uncertain and controversial too.
  • An arguer may deliberately formulate such enthymemes in order to shield oneself from attack or critics.
contd5
Contd…
  • The effectiveness of an enthymemes may depend on the listener’s or reader’s knowledge and background.
  • Similarly, John Rawls, one of the distinguished political philosopher, said in the admiration to Abraham Lincoln that:
    • “If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.”
  • Unstated proposition?
  • Like slavery, there are so many wrong things.
arguments and explanations
Arguments and Explanations:
  • Argument: Argument is a statement or set of statements that you use in order to try to convince people that your opinion about something is correct.

In logic, argument refers:

        • to any group of propositions of which one is claimed to follow from other, which are regarded as providing support for the truth of that one.
  • Explanation: refers giving details or description of something so that it can be understood.
contd6
Contd…
  • The passages that appear to be argumentative, sometimes are not argumentative but explanations.
  • The appearance of the words that are common indicators – such as “because,” “for,” and “therefore” can not solve the problem.
  • because they are used in both arguments and explanations.
  • Rather, we need to know the intention of the author.
arguments and explanations1
Arguments and Explanations:
  • Examples:
  • Lay up yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumers and where thieves do not break in and steal. ‘For’ where your treasure is, there will be your heart.
  • Therefore is the name of it (the tower) called Babel; because the Lord did there confounded the language of the earth.
contd7
Contd ….
  • Now recognize: which passage is an argument and which one is an explanation.
  • The first passage is clearly an argumentative.
  • because its conclusion; “one ought to lay up treasures in heaven”, is supported by the premise marked by “for” that “one’s heart will be where one’s treasure is laid up.”
  • The second passage, which uses the word, “therefore” is clearly an explanation.
  • Because it explains why the tower was given this name ‘Babel’
contd8
Contd…
  • Therefore the intention of the writer in the first passage is to argue ‘why one should lay up one’s treasures in heaven.’
  • And the writer’s intention in the second passage is to explain ‘why was the tower given the name Babel.’
  • Therefore these two passages indicate the fact that seemingly similar passages may have very different functions which depends on the purpose to be served.
contd9
Contd…
  • The concept of argument and explanation can be expressed in following way.
  • The truth of some proposition, Q, and when we offer some evidence, P, in support of Q, then we may appropriately say “Q because P”
  • In this case, we are giving our argument for Q and P is our premise.
contd10
Contd…
  • When we think that Q is known to be true, in this case, we don’t have to give reason to support its truth.
  • But if we think to give an account why it is true then we may say “Q because P”
  • In this case we are not giving an argument for Q but an explanation of Q.
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