Types of arguments in critical thinking

C: John is tall. The premise, 'P1', is offered in support of the conclusion 'C'. A second convention involves diagramming.

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We can insert numerals into 1. The associated diagram is. Quiz 1. Here is the theory you need to know for Chapter 1: A. What it means to standardize an argument B. Two conventions for standardizing C.

Common fallacies

Five basic argument types. Example 1. Recall something that someone has tried to convince you of -- something you should do or believe -- in the last several days? Make note of this example because we will come back to it. While arguments are intended to convince, this does not mean that all attempts to convince are arguments. Most of us use and encounter a variety of methods of persuasion.

Critical Thinking & Reasoning: Logic and the Role of Arguments

A parent might use a simple gesture or facial expression to persuade a child to refrain from a specific behavior; advertisers sometimes try to convince us to buy their products with advertisements that depict a cute child or pet, a handsome man or pretty woman and the name of his or her product. Sometimes people try to persuade by manipulating language in a variety of ways, such as, through threats and flattery, or by calling people names that have powerful emotional associations, or phrases that insinuate or suggest claims.

Such efforts to convince are not arguments. Arguments can be distinguished from these other types of persuasion because they provide reasons for accepting the conclusion. To determine the conclusion, ask yourself, "What is this writer or speaker trying to convince me of?


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A passage that only informs is not an argument; the writer or speaker must be trying to convince you of something before it can be called an argument. Note that 2 and 3, 14 and 15, deal with the same information, though only one of each pair is an argument. The Parts of an Argument: Conclusion and Reasons. The purpose of arguments, namely to convince or persuade, is reflected in the relationship of their parts. We have already said that an argument is comprised of a claim, or conclusion, and at least one reason for accepting the claim or conclusion.

The propositions in an argument are inferentially related, that is, one or more of the propositions are intended to establish the truth of the main proposition or conclusion. The conclusion of the argument is the claim that the writer or speaker is trying to convince another person to accept. In addition to a conclusion, an argument must have at least one reason offered in support of the conclusion.

A proposition offered in support of a conclusion can be called simply a reason, or a premise. Don't allow these terms and concepts to obscure from you the fact that hearing and developing arguments is a very common activity, even if you have never reflected on it. If you tell a friend, "You should stop smoking. It's bad for your health," you have given an argument, whose main claim, or conclusion, is "You should stop smoking," and includes at least one reason, or premise, "It's bad for your health.

Earlier I asked you to think of an example of something someone has tried to convince you of recently. Recall that example. Did that individual offer at least one reason for you to be convinced or persuaded? If he or she offered a reason, then that individual presented an argument. One of the objectives of this lesson is for you to be able to distinguish sets of propositions that are arguments from those that are not arguments.


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  • We have offered the following definition of argument: An "argument" is a set of propositions, which is designed to convince a reader or listener of a conclusion, and which include at least one reason premise for accepting the conclusion. Most newspaper articles, for example, give reports and are designed primarily to inform you. Instructional manuals provide directions on how to do something.


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    • If asked to determine whether a set of propositions is an argument or not, ask yourself the questions, "Is this passage trying to convince me of something. Remember that so long as you have a conclusion and at least one reason or premise, the passage is an argument.

      Conclusion indicators and premise indicators - In identifying conclusions and premises, it is sometimes helpful to look for certain key words which, if used properly, indicate a conclusion or a premise. Terms such as, "therefore," "hence," "thus," "consequently," or "so," normally introduce a conclusion.

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      Examples of Logic

      Similarly, terms such as "since," "because," "for," and "inasmuch as" often introduce a premise. In light of Given that For the reason that In conclusion It follows that As a result The two independent reasons converge on the same conclusion. Premise [1] is offered in support of two distinct conclusions: [2] and [3].

      Standardizing To standardize an argument is to break it down into its constituent elements in a manner that shows the logical relationships between the parts. An argument, in our technical sense, is a reason or reasons offered in support of a conclusion. So, for anything to qualify as an argument it must have two components: at least one reason and one conclusion.

      Different Types of Arguments - Marianne Talbot

      Standardizing involves identifying these component parts. Thus with respect to example 1. Standardizing Conventions If all arguments were simple like example 1. One variant, 'standard notation', designates reasons or premises with a 'P' and an associated numeral, and a conclusion or conclusions with 'C' and an associated numeral. Thus, 1. C: John is tall.