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Lecture One: Reasoning about Social Issues

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Modes Of Reasoning
MODR 1730
Philip Mac Ewen

Reasoning About Social Issues September 7, 2011 The Nature of Logic and Reasoning I The Nature of Reasoning or Argument: Reasoning or argument is a type of discourse (spoken, written or signed) which tries to support a point by support a point by appealing to evidence. The most widely used discourse is informational discourse. A common example would be the Internet which is an informational highway. There are two parts of arguments: The conclusion is the point that the argument is trying to prove The premises is the evidence it appeals to There is a negative connotation to the word “argument” ie. verbal aggression and/or fighting, but that is not the kind of argument we will be looking at for this course. Tests to determine which is the premise and which is the conclusion: Function test: determine the role that each plays in the reasoning or argument - premises are the evidence statements - conclusion is the point the premises are trying to prove Indicator word test: there are many words that give a hint whether the statement is a conclusion or premise Premise: if, because, since, for, in light of, in view of Conclusion: then, consequently, as a result, thus, therefore, hence, it follows that The first test is better because some of the words are ambiguous and mean multiple things. “Because” and “then” are common ones. Argumentative Discourse Why study this course? To learn how to reason well, which is a characteristic of educated people. It is one of the primary forms of discourse employed at the university. Mastery of an academic or professional discipline requires competence in argumentative discourse. There are many types of discourse: Ceremonial - a method of trying to make more pleasant for other people, ie. breaking the ice, making conversation, asking how someone is Eucharistic - to give thanks for something that we have, be gracious Eulogistic - praising people for what they have accomplished, to give compliments (often about people who have deceased) Informational - description of people, places and events Interrogative - asking questions in order to seek out information Hortatory - imperative discourse. It is telling you exactly what to do
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