Chapter 1 - Basic Concepts
1.2 Recognizing Arguments
- Must have two or more claims.
- At least one claim, the conclusion, must be controversial.
- The conclusion must be claimed to be supported by evidence.
- There must be one or more statements of evidence, or reasons, called the premises claiming to support the conclusion.
Look for indicator words.
- However, recognize that indicator words do not necessarily mean that a passage is an argument
- Also, the lack of indicator words does not necessarily mean that the passage is not an argument
Look for an inferential/supportive relationship.
- Understand that this may involve interpretation.
- This interpretation is one reason why explanations are so important to your grade.
- One way to determine whether or not a passage is an argument is to be able to distinguish it from a non-argument.
Simple Noninferential Passages
- Warning - Intended to make you aware of a danger.
- Piece of Advice - Offers a suggestion about a decision or action.
- Statement of Belief or Opinion - What someone thinks is true; however, no evidence is offered to support that belief or opinion.
- Loosely associated statements - A group of statements on the same topic without an evidentiary, or supportive, relationship.
- Report - Statements that convey information about a topic or event.
Simple Inferential Passages
- Expository passages - A passage that has a topic sentence followed by sentences that develop the topic.
- Illustrations - A passage that gives example(s) to further exemplify the topic at hand.
- Explanations - Describes why some non-controversial event or phenomena takes place.
Explanandum - The statement that describes the non-controversial event or phenomenon to be explained.
Explanans - The statement or group of statements that supports to do the explaining
Explanation versus Argument
- In an explanation, the supported claim is non-controversial.
- In an argument, the supported claim is controversial.
- The distinction is not always clear.
This is why an explanation is important.
- Conditional Statements: “If... then...”
- Antecedent - the condition that needs to be satisfied.
- Consequent -the outcome of the condition being satisfied.
Example: If I drink a beer before class, then I’ll feel good.
If (I drink a beer before class) then (I’ll feel good)
How many statements?
- Only one statement
- Can be part of an argument
- Used to express an argument
Conditional Statements = “If ... then ...”
Sufficient condition; All that is required, enough.
The antecedent of a conditional statement.
Necessary condition; A required condition, although it may not be enough.
The consequent of a condition statement.