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Lecture 4

Lecture Four: Analyzing Arguments

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York University
Modes Of Reasoning
MODR 1730
Philip Mac Ewen

Lecture Four: Analyzing Arguments September 28, 2011 Identifying Arguments Look for argumentative discourse (the conclusion and its premises, delete everything else) - It is often easier to look for the conclusion first. Once you know the conclusion it is easy to find the premises because you know what you are attempting to prove Identifying Claims Every premise and every conclusion has to be a claim. A claim expresses a complete thought in words. Some sentences contain more than one claims - it is necessary to separate the claims to properly analyze the argument Identifying Premises and Conclusions There are two tests to identifying these two types of claims - Cue and indicator word test - Function criterion The function criterion is more reliable because sometimes indicator words are not present in the claim, or they are ambiguous and do not actually indicate a premise or conclusion. The Three Structures of Arguments There are only three structures of arguments, and this will always be true. - PC (Premises followed by Conclusion) - CP (Conclusion followed by Premises) - PCP (Premises before and after the Conclusion) The first structure is the most commonly used because it is the logical flow of knowledge. This is the structure followed when mapping arguments The second structure highlights the conclusion, which is why we put it first. The third structure is used when you want to hide the conclusion (it is something undesirable, something you do not want to tell ect) Examples PC: P1. Fido is my dog P2. I love dogs C. I love Fido CP: C. Elect a Liberal government on election day in Ontario P1. The Liberals have given us stable government for the last four years P2. There have been no major scandals while the Liberals have been in power. PCP: P1. Tiger Tail ice cream is good to eat P2. Kids like it a lot C. You should eat Tiger Tail ice cream too P3. Everybody likes it, not only kids Mapping Arguments The Standard/Conventional Form 1. Draw square brackets [ ] around each claim. 2. Starting at the beginning, number each claim 3. Circle, or put parentheses around any indicator words ( ) 4. Map the passage in standard form, with the premises at the beginning and the conclusion at the end (PC structure) Example 1. [We should not legalize marijuana for any reason.] 2. [If we legalize it, it would only induce more people to try it, and to become addi
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