Analyzing Arguments - Class Site for Ms. Fitzell-Stevens
ANALYZING ARGUMENTS Chapter Three What is Argument? a persuasive discourse, a coherent and considered movement from a claim to a conclusion. Avoid looking at it as a system of winners and losers View as a way to better understand one another Rogerian argument= civil argument that emphasizes full understanding of the opposition to truly & persuasively refute it
Claim An assertion or proposition that has to be arguable. Claim of fact: asserts something is true or untrue; ex. Everybody cheats at some point in life. Claim of value: argues something is good or bad, right or wrong, desirable or undesirable; ex. Jennifer Lawrence is the best actress because she is the most relatable. Claim of policy: proposes a change; ex. The use of personal technology devices should be encouraged in classrooms. From Claim to Thesis
Closed Thesis: statement of the main idea that also previews the major points the writer intends to make Open Thesis: statement of intent without all the points laid out Beowulf is a true model of the Anglo Saxon hero because of his loyalty to his king and people, his superhuman strength, and his determination to seek fame. The epic hero Beowulf possesses many traits that make him an excellent embodiment of the ideal Anglo Saxon warrior. Counterargument Thesis: a summary of a counterargument usually qualified by although or but that precedes the writers opinion. Although he tended towards arrogance, Beowulf is the best model for the ideal Anglo Saxon hero.
Presenting Evidence Should be selected based on intended audience. All evidence needs to be relevant, accurate, and sufficient. Good writers spell out relevance Quote sources correctly without misrepresenting the information Make sure you have enough evidence to support your claim Logical Fallacies- a failure to make a sufficient, logical connection between the evidence and claim. Fallacies of Relevance
Red herring when a speaker skips to a new and irrelevant topic in order to avoid the topic of discussion. Ad hominem fallacy Latin for against the man; refers to tactic of attacking the character of the other speaker/opposition A Student caught cheating says I know Ive made a mistake. But think of my parents. Theyre going to kill me ~attempts to distract with pity How can you argue your case for vegetarianism when you are enjoying your steak? ~ attacks speakers character versus her argument Faulty analogy most vulnerable of because always susceptible; must balance similarity to disparity Because human bodies become less active as they grow older, and because
they eventually die, it is reasonable to expect that political bodies will become less and less active the longer they are in existence, and that they too will eventually die. ~ assumes if there is some similarity, there must be more similarities Logical Fallacies- a failure to make a sufficient, logical connection between the evidence and claim. Fallacies of Accuracy Straw man fallacy purposely choosing an overly simple or ridiculous example for an opponents argument to belittle their claim Bill and Jill are arguing about cleaning out their closets: Jill: "We should clean out the closets. They are getting a bit messy." Bill: "Why, we just went through those closets last year. Do we have to clean them out everyday?" Jill: "I never said anything about cleaning them out every day. You just want too keep all your junk forever, which is just ridiculous.
~Bill leaps to having to clean every day while Jill jumps to keeping the junk forever Either/or fallacy, a.k.a. false dilemma- offers only extremes as possible choices Bill: "Jill and I both support having prayer in public schools." Jill: "Hey, I never said that!" Bill: "You're not an atheist are you Jill? ~Bill is arguing that either Jill supports prayer in schools or she is an atheist, but those are not the only options Logical Fallacies- a failure to make a sufficient, logical connection between the evidence and claim. Fallacies of Insufficiency Hasty generalization - possibly most common; not enough evidence to support a conclusion Sam is riding her bike in her home town in Maine, minding her own
business. A station wagon comes up behind her and the driver starts beeping his horn and then tries to force her off the road. As he goes by, the driver yells "get on the sidewalk where you belong!" Sam sees that the car has Ohio plates and concludes that all Ohio drivers are jerks. ~Because of one experience, Sam makes an assumption about all Ohio drivers Circular reasoning repeating the claim as a way to provide evidence Bill: "God must exist." Jill: "How do you know." Bill: "Because the Bible says so." Jill: "Why should I believe the Bible?" Bill: "Because the Bible was written by God. ~ Bills argument doesnt provide evidence, it just repeats his claim Evidence First Hand Evidence something you know from personal experience, anecdotes, observation, general knowledge of events
Personal experience most common of 1st hand; adds a human element that appeals to pathos; works best if you can speak as an insider Anecdotes about others what you have observed or been told about; can be powerful for an emotional appeal. Current Events 1st hand evidence through observation; can be interpretted in many ways, so seek out multiple perspectives Second-Hand Evidence Second-Hand Evidence is accessed through reading, research, and investigation.
Whenever you cite what someone else knows, that is 2nd Hand evidence. It can appeal to ethos & pathos, but use of 2nd Hand evidence is primarily an appeal to logos. Second-Hand Evidence Historical Information verifiable facts from research; helps your ethos by showing you have investigated the issue and have become informed. FALLACY: Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc to incorrectly claim that something was a cause of events because it came before Ex.
Joan is scratched by a cat while visiting her friend. Two days later she comes down with a fever. Joan concludes that the cat's scratch must be the cause of her illness. ~Joan assumes that since the cat scratched her before she got sick, they must be connected. Second-Hand Evidence Expert Opinion citing the opinion of someone who has published research on the topic or whose job or experience gives him or her specialized knowledge. FALLACY: Appeal to False Authority citing someone who has no expertise to speak on an issue is cited as an authority. Ex. I'm not a doctor, but I play one on the hit series "Bimbos and Studmuffins in the OR." You can take it from me that when
you need a fast acting, effective and safe pain killer there is nothing better than MorphiDope 2000. That is my considered medical opinion. ~Playing a doctor on TV does not make one credible to advise people on medications. Second-Hand Evidence Quantitative Evidence things that can be represented in numbers: statistics, surveys, polls, census information. A persuasive appeal to logos. FALLACY: Bandwagon Appeal (ad populum fallacy) basically, everybody else is doing it, so I/you should, too! Ex ~If millions of people have
hamburgers, they must be eat them, too! consumed McDonalds good and you should Applying to Argument Examples Read each essay and then answer the questions to analyze and identify the elements that make up the argument. Americana: Hot Dogs, Apple Pie And Football?, Frank Deford Find and write the thesis statement. Is it open, closed, or counterargument? How can you tell?
Is the claim Deford makes one of fact, value, or policy? Why? Examples of 1st Hand evidence Deford uses: Examples of 2nd Hand evidence Deford uses: Do you see any fallacies? If so, what are they? Does Deford address the viewpoints of the opposition? Where/ how? Applying to Argument Examples Americana: Hot Dogs, Apple Pie And Football?, Frank Deford Its tough to mess with football. footballseems practically invulnerable to change. Open thesis because the major points are not listed.
Claim of fact- Football is too much a part of American culture to change. Rural areas that have lost their schools miss the team more than the school; football and homecomings are a touchstone of our youth; football teaches us how to be men; rivalry between schools being one of the Rs of learning. Buzz Bissingers Americana Classic, Friday Night Lights Faulty analogy - Football to sex, because they are both physical activities and there are extreme gender demonstrations (pretty cheerleaders & macho players Baseball as the National pastime Claim based on professional presence; baseball is everyday, but football was always on the weekend; an event, parties, dances. Shaping Argument The organization, or arrangement, of an argument reflects a host of factors, including audience and purpose.
The Classical Oration Induction Deduction Toulmin Rogerian (not in the text) The Classical Oration Introduction Narration (exordium) (narratio) Confirmation (confirmatio) Refutation Conclusion (refutatio) (peroratio)
Beginning the web; introduces the subject; often where speaker establishes ethos Background & factual information on the subject; why the subject is a problem to address; logos & pathos Usually major part; proof/evidence; logos Addresses counterargument; logos Brings essay to a satisfying
close; pathos & ethos Induction An argument whose premises make its conclusion likely by leading from particular to universals, using specific cases to draw conclusions. Regular exercise promotes weight loss. Exercise lowers stress levels. Exercise improves mood and outlook. Generalization: Exercise contributes to better health. The windows are broken. There are footprints with mud on the floor. Some jewels and electronics are missing
Generalization: Some intruders entered the house and burglarized it. Induction examples The local branch of Wachovia Bank was robbed yesterday. Jenny needed money to pay off her gambling debts. She just bought a gun two days ago, and I saw her hanging around the local Wachovia Bank yesterday morning. Today the bookies goons stopped looking for Jenny. So Jenny robbed Wachovia Bank yesterday. January has always been cold here in
Siberia. Today is January 14, so it is going to be another cold day in Siberia Deduction An argument whose premises make its conclusion certain by starting with a general principle/universal truth (major premise) and applying it to a specific case premise). Major(minor premise: Major premise: Exercise contributes to better health. Minor premise: Yoga is a type of exercise. Conclusion: Yoga contributes to better health. Celebrities are role models for young people. Minor premise:
Lindsey Lohan is a celebrity. Conclusion: Lindsey Lohan is a role model for young people. Deduction Smith owns only blue pants and brown pants. Smith is wearing a pair of his pants today. So Smith is wearing either blue or brown pants today. The soccer game is on either Thursday or Friday. I just found out
that the game is not on Thursday, so the game must be on Friday. Applying to Argument Examples Read each essay and then answer the questions to analyze and identify the elements that make up the argument. Should Batman Kill the Joker?, by White & Arp Find and write the thesis statement. Is it open, closed, or counterargument? How can you tell? Is the claim White & Arp make one of fact, value, or policy? Why?
Examples of 1st Hand evidence White & Arp use: Examples of 2nd Hand evidence White & Arp use: Do you see any fallacies? If so, what are they? Do White & Arp address the viewpoints of the opposition? Where/how? Analyzing Argument: Should Batman kill the Joker? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Pop culture, such as the Batman comics and movies, provides an opportunity to think philosophically about issues and topics that parallel the real world. For instance, thinking about why Batman has never killed the Joker may help us reflect on our issues with terrorism and torture, specifically their ethics. closed- terrorism, torture & its ethics through the lens of Batman
Value- Pop culture is a useful way to examine philosophical views and ideas through an accessible medium. 1st hand: Paragraph 4- speaks of we say, current events, realities of our world through experience 2nd hand: Paragraphs 6-9- the schools of ethics No fallacies- this tells us the argument is considered and thoughtfula strong argument Paragraph 12 addresses opposition: People think it is silly or frivolous to use pop culture, but Arp & White argue that pop culture makes it accessible and that fanciful examples have been used for centuries. The Classical Oration Introduction Narration (exordium) (narratio) Confirmation (confirmatio) Refutation Conclusion
(refutatio) (peroratio) Beginning the web; introduces the subject; often where speaker establishes ethos Background & factual information on the subject; why the subject is a problem to address; logos & pathos Usually major part; proof/evidence; logos Addresses counterargument;
logos Brings essay to a satisfying close; pathos & ethos Arrangement: Classical Oration Should Batman kill the Joker? Introduction Paragraphs 1-3 1st line draws readers in- causes a strong reaction, people have their own opinions on it further detail through reference to the Joker character Gives Narration
Paragraphs 4 & 5 Presents the problem- deciding ethics of torture when it comes to terrorism Para. 5 has thesis- ethics of torture when dealing with terrorism Confirmation Paragraphs 6-11 Details various schools of ethics and their approaches Connects to Americans views on torture when dealing with terrorism Refutation Paragraph 12 People see using Pop Culture to discuss important issues like ethics of torture as silly or
frivolous, but philosophers have used fictitious examples for centuries to illustrate their thinking and it makes the conversation more accessible to everyone Conclusion Paragraph 13 Satisfying conclusion- torture is an uncomfortable topic regardless of views, but using Pop Culture allows us to focus on key ideas in a less disturbing way- back to Batman at the end, which ties back to 1st line Stephen Toulmin Stephen Toulmin, was a British logician. He became frustrated with the inability of formal logic to explain everyday arguments, which
prompted him to develop his own model of practical reasoning. Six Total Elements Claim- assertion or proposition; states the arguments main idea or position Support/evidence- proof Warrant/assumptions- links claim to the evidence Backing- further assurances or data to back up the authority of the assumption
Qualifier- tempers claim; makes it less absolute and therefore easier to support Reservation/rebuttal- explains terms, conditions, objections. The three basic elements: Claim (assertion or proposition) Support (proof, grounds, evidence) Warrant (inferential leap) Claims A claim is the point an arguer is trying to make.
The claim is the conclusion, proposition, or assertion an arguer wants another to accept. The claim answers the question, "So what is your point? example: Rosario is an American citizen, because she was born in the United States. example: Barack Obama doesnt wear a flag pin on his lapel, so he must not be patriotic. More about claims... There are three basic types of claims: fact: claims which focus on empirically verifiable phenomena
judgment/value: claims involving opinions, attitudes, and subjective evaluations of things policy: claims advocating courses of action that should be undertaken Support (proof, grounds, or data) Support refers to the proof or evidence an arguer offers. Support can consist of statistics, quotations, reports, findings, physical evidence, or various forms of reasoning
example: Im a vegetarian. One reason is that I feel sorry for the animals. Another reason is for my own health. example: I made the dinner, so you can do the dishes. More about support... The support is what the arguer offers on behalf of his/her claim. The support answers questions such as: "What is your proof? "How do you know? "Why?
example: It looks like rain. The barometer is falling. example: "The other Ritz Carlton hotels I've stayed at had great pools, so I'll bet this one has a great pool too." Still more about supports... Supports can be based on: evidence: facts, statistics, reports, or physical proof source credibility: authorities, experts, celebrity endorsers, a close friend, or someone's say-so analysis and reasoning: reasons may be offered as proof
premises already held by the listener Clue words for identifying the support The support for an argument often follows words such as because, since, given that example: Airports should x-ray all luggage because a bomb could be placed in a checked baggage. example: I expect to do well on the test, since I studied all night for it. Warrants The warrant is the inferential leap that connects the claim with the grounds.
The warrant is typically implicit (unstated) and requires the listener to recognize the connection between the claim and grounds The implicit nature of warrants means the meaning of an argument is as much a part of the receiver as it is a part of the message. Some arguments are multi-warranted, e.g., based on more than one inferential leap Still more about warrants... warrants can be based on:
ethos: source credibility, authority logos: reason-giving, induction, deduction pathos: emotional or motivational appeals value premises: values shared by, or presumed to be shared by, the receiver(s) note: these categories aren't mutually exclusive, there is considerable overlap among the three More about warrants... The warrant performs a "linking" function by establishing a mental connection between the
grounds and the claim example: Muffin is running a temperature. Ill bet she has (warrant: sign reasoning; a fever is a reliable sign of an an infection. infection) example: "That dog is probably friendly. It is a Golden (warrant: generalization; most or all Golden Retrievers are Retriever. friendly) the first triad sample argument 1 The Lakers are likely to win the ballgameClaim tonight They are playing
Grounds at home Warrant (unstated) Generalization: The home team enjoys an advantage in basketball the first triad sample argument 2 It was nominated for 10 Academy Grounds Awards Slumdog Millionaire is a wonderful movie. Claim
Warrant (unstated) Sign: a movies greatness can be measured in the number of Oscar nominations it receives the first triad sample argument 4 If you surf at Huntington Beach right after it rains you risk getting a bacterial infection Runoff from the rain washes bacteria into Grounds the ocean Claim
Warrant (unstated) Cause-effect: bacteria in the water causes surfers to get ill. the first triad sample argument 3 Biff was probably in a Claim fight He has a black Grounds eye Warrant (unstated) Sign: A black eye is a reliable indicator that a person has been in a fight
Setting Up the Toulmin Model Because (evidence as support), therefore (claim), since (assumption), on account of (backing), unless (reservation). Because ____________, therefore __________, since ____________, on account of ____________, unless ____________. Textual Examples Because the fast food industry continues to grow and is not going away, therefore even those of us who support Slow Food should invest in it, since investing has the power to persuade businesses to change. Evidence Claim Warrant
Evidence, claim, warrant, backing Because foreign students spend more time in school and achieve higher test scores, therefore they receive a better education, since quality of education and learning is indicated by test scores, on account of their accuracy in assessing learning. Evidence Claim Warrant Backing Limitations regarding the Toulmin model
The Toulmin model offers a somewhat static view of an argument Focuses on the argument maker, not the target or respondent Real-life arguments arent always neat or clear The Toulmin model is an analytical tool Useful for dissecting arguments before or after theyve been made Not as useful, practical in the heat of an argument Since warrants are unstated, different listeners may perceive them differently Do Now
Complete the activity on page 128 by using the Toulmin Model. Identify the claim, evidence, and assumption for each (because, therefore, since) Try to identify the backing or reservation (on account of, unless) Decide whether your Toulmin argument needs a qualifier (would your argument be strengthened by stating usually, maybe, probably, in most cases, most likely) Rogerian Model
Developed by psychologist Carl Rogers (also in the 50s) Emphasizes problem-solving and/or coming to consensus Mutually acceptable solutions to problems Allows the author to appear open-minded or even objective Appropriate in contexts where you need to convince a resistant opponent to at least respect your views Rogerian Model basic characteristics
Seeks common ground Builds trust Reduces threat Avoids confrontation/attack Gives credit to counterarguments Rogerian Arguments: Structure Introduction: statement of problem to be solved or question to be answered Summary of Opposing Views: described using a seemingly objective persona Statement of Understanding: concedes circumstances under which opposing views might be valid
Statement of Your Position Statement of Contexts: describes contexts in which your position applies/works well Statement of Benefits: appeals to self-interest of readers who may not yet agree with you; demonstrates how your position benefits them Rogerian Structure: Stars & Striped Forever Introduction: paragraphs 1-2 Asks readers to consider the association they have with the colors red, white, & blue to call forth the image of the flag Gives history of the flag to establish its symbolic nature Opposing side, nonjudgmental: paragraph 3 Reviews origins of our understanding of respecting the flag Gives specific examples of what to do/not to do to show respect Authors viewpoint: paragraphs 4-6 Addresses the Flag Code Many ways we unknowingly disrespect the flag
Focuses on burning the flag as protest as the specific controversial issue Uses patriotic figures to provide support Focuses on important of Freedom of Speech Conclusion, common ground: paragraph 7 United by PATRIOTISM. We all agree freedom is important, but differ with the symbol of freedom the freedom is more important that its
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