Structuring Arguments

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Structuring Arguments. Inductive Reasoning. Inductive Reasoning – the process of generalizing on the basis of a number of specific examples Ex. I get hives after eating crawdads. My mouth swells when I eat clams. Shrimp triggers my asthma.  I am allergic to shellfish. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Transcript of Structuring Arguments

Structuring Arguments

Structuring Arguments1Inductive ReasoningInductive Reasoning the process of generalizing on the basis of a number of specific examplesEx. I get hives after eating crawdads.My mouth swells when I eat clams.Shrimp triggers my asthma.I am allergic to shellfish

2Deductive ReasoningDeductive Reasoning the process of reaching a conclusion by assuming a general principle (called the major premise) and then applying that principle to a specific case (called the minor premise). Ex. I am allergic to shellfishLobster is a type of shellfishLobster will cause me to have an allergic reaction.This is called a syllogism.

3SyllogismsAll humans are mortal.Socrates is a human being.Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

4EnthymemesSyllogisms that leave out the middle (and obvious)minor premise = Enthymemes

Wed better cancel the picnic because it is going to rain.Ill buy a PC laptop instead of a Mac because its cheaper.

5If you can construct sound inductive or deductive arguments and present them clearly in words or images, you will influence most audience.

6The Toulmin ArgumentBritish Philosopher Stephen Toulmin, The Uses of Argument (1958) describes how ordinary people make reasonable arguments.Because this system acknowledges qualifiers (sometimes, often, unless, almost) it is not as airtight as formal logic using syllogisms.But because of that, it has become a practical tool for understanding and shaping arguments in the real world.

7Making ClaimsDebatable and controversial statements or assertions that you hope to prove.

Arguments depend on conditions set by others your audience or readers.

Claims that are worth arguing tend to be controversial there is no point worrying about points on which most people agree. Claims should be debatable, able to be demonstrated using logic or evidence.

8Making ClaimsMany claims are developed through questions:

Question: What should NASAs next goal be? Should the space agency establish a permanent moon base? Should NASA launch more robotic interstellar probes? Can NASA even afford to send people to Mars?

Statement: NASA should launch a human expedition to Mars.

9Offering Evidence and Good ReasonsClaims need evidence and good reasons to support it.Claim: Campus needs more officially designated spaces for parking bicycles.Evidence:Personal experience: At least twice a week for two terms, I was unable to find a designated space for my bike.Anecdotes: Several friends told similar stories. One even sold her bike as a result.Facts: I found out that the ratio of car to bike parking spaces was 100 to 1, whereas the ratio of cars to biker registered on campus was 25 to 1.Authorities: The campus police chief has indicated in an interview with the college newspaper that she believed a problem existed for students who tried to park bicycles legally.

10Determining WarrantsThe logical and persuasive connection between a claim and the reason and data supporting it.Reason (so) Claim (since) Warrant

The mushroom is poisonous So dont eat it! Since eating poison is dangerous11Determining Warrants ContinuedThe warrant tells readers what your often unstated assumptions are.When you state a warrant accurately, you sometimes expose a fatal flaw in an argument.

I dont like grades So grades should be abolished Since what I dont like should be abolished

12Stating and then examining a warrant can help you determine the grounds on which you want to make a case.Enthymeme: Flat taxes are fairer than progressive taxes because they treat all taxpayers in the same way.

Warrants: Treating people equitably is the American way.All people should be treated in the same way.

Issues with the warrant: If it is inequitable than why are federal and state income taxes progressive?

13Stating and then examining a warrant can help you determine the grounds on which you want to make a case.Enthymeme: Progressive taxes are fairer than flat taxes because people with more income can afford to pay more, benefit more from government, and can shelter more of their income from taxes.

Warrants:People should be taxed according to their ability to pay.People who benefit more from government and can shelter more of their income from taxes should be taxed at higher rates.

14Offering Evidence: BackingClaims and Warrants = skeleton of an argument

The bulk of a writers work the richest, most interesting part- remains to be done after the argument is outlined.

15Offering Evidence - BackingEnthymeme: NASA should launch a human expedition to Mars because Americans need a unifying national goal.

Warrant: What unifies the nation ought to be a national priority.

Backing: On a personal level, Americans want to be part of something bigger than themselves (Emotional appeal as evidence)In a country as regionally, racially, and culturally diverse as the United States, common purposes and values help make the nation stronger (Ethical appeal as evidence).In the past, big government investments such as the Tennessee Valley Authority, Hoover Dam, and Apollo moon program enabled many though not all Americans to work toward common goals. (Logical appeal)

16In addition to evidence to support your warrant (backing), youll needevidence to support your claim:Enthymeme:NASA should launch a human expedition to Mars because Americans now need a unifying national goal.

Evidence:The American people are politically divided along lines of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, and class (Facts as evidence).A common challenge or problem often unites people to accomplish great things (Emotional appeal as evidence)Successfully managing a Mars mission would require the cooperation of the entire nation and generate tens of thousands of jobs (Logical appeal as evidence)A human expedition to Mars would be a valuable scientific project for the nation to pursue (Appeal to values as evidence.)

17Using QualifiersQualifiers make writing more precise and honest:FewMore or lessOftenIt is possibleIn some casesPerhapsRarelyManyIt seemsIn the mainPossiblySomeRoutinelyIt may beMostIf it were soSometimesIn generalOne might argueUnder these conditionsFor the most part

18QualifiersNever assume that readers understand the limits you have in mind. By spelling out the terms of the claim as precisely as possible, youll have less work to do, and your argument will seem more reasonable.

Your ACT scores are So (it is likely) you willin the 98th percentile get into a good collegeHigh ACT scores are an important factor in college admissions

19QualifiersUnqualified Claim:People who dont go to college earn less than other who do.

Qualified Claim:In most cases, people who dont go to college earn less than those who do.

Unqualified Claim:Welfare programs should be cut.

Qualified Claim:Ineffective federal welfare programs should be identified, modified, and if necessary, eliminated.

20Understanding Conditions of RebuttalClaim: The federal government should support the arts.

Argument in brief: The federal government should support the arts because it also supports the military.

Warrant: If the federal government can support the military, then it can also support other programs.Rebuttal: Just because we support the military we should support anything?

Revised Argument: If the federal government can spend huge amounts of money on the military, then it can afford to spend moderate amounts on arts programs.21Outline of the Toulmin ArgumentClaim:The federal government should ban smoking.

Qualifier:The ban would be limited to public spaces.

Good Reasons: Smoking causes serious diseases in smokers.Nonsmokers are endangered by secondhand smoke.

Warrants: The constitution promises to promote the general welfareCitizens are entitles to protection from harmful actions by others

22Outline of the Toulmin ArgumentBacking:The United States is based on a political system that is supposed to serve the basic needs of its people, including their heath.Evidence:Numbers of deaths attributed to secondhand smoke.Lawsuits recently won against large tobacco companies, citing the need to reparation for smoking-related health care costs.Examples of bans already imposed in many public places.

Authority:Cite the surgeon general.

23Outline of the Toulmin ArgumentConditions of Rebuttal:Smokers have rights too.Smoking laws should be left to the states.Such a ban could not be enforced.Response:The ban applies to public places, smokers can smoke in private.The power of the federal government to impose other restrictions on smoking (such as warning labels on cigarettes and bans on cigarette advertisements on television) has survived legal challenges. The experience of New York City, which has imposed such a ban, suggests that enforcement would not be a significant problem.

24What Toulmin TeachesClaims should be stated clearly and qualified carefully. Claims should be supported with evidence and good reasons.Claims and reasons should be based on assumptions that readers will likely accept. Effective arguments respectfully anticipate objections readers might offer.

25Classical OrationStructure of argument devised by Greek and Roman rhetoricians 2000 years ago for presenting cases in courts or making speeches to a senate. Still influences our attitudes toward persuasion because oration taught speakers and writers to think of arguments as debates that have winners and losers.

26Structure of Classical Oration Exordium: The speaker/writer tries to win the attention and goodwill of an audience while introducing a subject or problem

Narratio: The speaker/write