LPS 29 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Lanyard

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LPS 29 - Lecture 1 – Argument Structure Part One
1.1 What is an Argument?
Argument: a sequence of statement of which one is intended as a conclusion, and the
other the premises
oPremises: What proves the conclusion
The premises and conclusion of an argument are at all times statements/propositions
oStatement: a pronounced truth or falsity
oEx: An Anteater cannot swim.
oQuestions, commands, and exclamations are at all times neither true nor false
(and are never arguments)
Conclusions can go both at the beginning of an argument, or the end:
oMany people are swimming (conclusion). The weather is hot today (premises).
oWe thought you had a ride already (premises). The school bus has left
Standard Form
oList premises
oMark conclusion with a “therefore” sign, symbolized as: “”
Example: All dogs are animals
Harley is a dog.
 Harley is an animal.
1.2 Identifying Arguments
Inference indicator: specific words or phrases that indicate an argument is being made
oConclusion Indicators: therefore, thus, hence, so, for this reason, accordingly,
consequently, this being so, it follows that, the moral is, which proves that, which
means that, from which we can infer that, as a result, in conclusion
Ex: He is excited to go to school from which we can infer that his
girlfriend will be there.
oPremise Indicators: for, since, because, assuming that, seeing that, granted that,
this is true because, the reason is that, for the reason that, in view of the fact
that, is a fact that, as shown by the fact that, given that, inasmuch as, one cannot
doubt that
Ex: He is excited to go to school given that his girlfriend will also be
Exceptions depend on how the trigger word is used
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oIt has been a long time since I’ve seen my friend.
“Since” is used as passed/passing time, so it is not an argument.
oI went to the bike shop because my tire popped.
“Because” is used as an explanation, so it is not an argument.
Exceptions can also lack indicators and therefore require context clues or author’s
intention to identify conclusion from premise
1.3 Complex Arguments
Complex Argument: When a conclusion, that is drawn from a premise, serves as a
premise for another conclusion.
Nonbasic premises/ intermediate conclusions: the name for conclusion that became a
premises for the next conclusion (vice versa)
Basic Premises/Assumptions: the name for a conclusion that was not previously a
There can be two arguments within a complex argument.
oAll colors are created out of blue, red, and yellow. White is an absence of
color Therefore, white is not a color.  But most people label white as a color 
Therefore, many people are not aware that white is not a color.
1.4 Argument Diagrams
How to Diagram an Argument
oCircle the inference indicators (ex: therefore, so, because…)
oBracket and number the statements
if there is more than one premise in a single argument…
Underline the numbers according to its labeled premises and use
a plus sign to join premises (ex: 4 + 5)
o“+” means “together with” or “in conjunction to”
oDraw an arrow down from the premises to the conclusion
oRepeat steps if there is a complex argument
The arrow pointing down from the premises to the conclusion means “is
intended as evidence for”
Each arrow represents one step of an argument
oExample: (1) [John must be an English Major at UCI] because (2) [his name tag
says he is an English Major,] and (3) [he is wearing a lanyard and hat from UCI]
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2 + 3
Numbers that…
ohave no arrows pointed at them are the basic premises
ohave arrows pointed at them are the nonbasic premises
ohave arrows pointed at them, but not away, are collectively the final conclusion
Depending on the situation, premises joined by “and” can either be bracketed together or
Don’t separate compound sentences with brackets if doing so changes the original
meaning of the sentence!
oEx: either…or, if…then, only if, provided that, if and only if, neither…nor, unless,
until, when, before
Extraneous material in an argument should be numbered/bracketed, but not included in
an argument diagram
1.5 Convergent Arguments
Convergent: an argument that has several steps of reasoning and leads to the same
(final or intermediate) conclusion.
Below: arrows should be pointing diagonally towards the conclusion.
o2 3 4 + 5
  
1 + 6 8 + 9
When there are multiple premises that stand alone (do not rely on each other for overall
understanding of the sentence), each premise should get an arrow leading down to the
Premises require the “+” to link them together when they only make sense together.
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