Chapters 1-5 Mid Term Notes

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15 Feb 2011

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Chapter One: What is an argument?
Argument: an argument is a set of declarative sentences in which one or more sentences (the
premises) are offered in support of another sentence (the conclusion)
Conclusion: in an argument, the claim for which the premises are intended as support. It is this
claim that the arguer tries to make credible
Opinion: a belief typically about matter open to dispute where there is not full proof and others
have different ideas. Often people are aware that their opinions are not fully backed up evidence
and hold less firmly to them than to other beliefs fir, which there is more conclusive evidence,
less disagreement, or both.
Indicator words: suggest the presence of argument and help to indicate its structure; indicate
which statements are premises and which are conclusions, show the direction of reasoning
Premise indicator: since, because, for, follows from, as shown by ect.
Conclusion indicator: therefore, thus, so, consequently, in conclusion ect.
Conditional Statement: describes and links several conditions, specifying that if one conditions
hold, another will as well; found within argument but as such they do not express arguments
If arctic ice melts, then ocean levels around the world will rise.
Argument versus Explanation
Explanation: claims are put forward in an attempt to render a further claim understandableto
offer an account as to why it is true
Explanations are offered on the assumption that the fact, situation, or event being explained exists
and the question is why or how it comes into existence
1.Explanations are similar to arguments except they do not try to convince
2.Arguments try to prove the same claim is true. Explanations try to explain why some
claim is true
3.Explanations have explanans and explanandum
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Factor (1)
Factor (2)
Factor (3)
Factor N
Fact or event x came to be
Explanation by purpose: offer an account of why something makes sense by relating it to human
Explanation of meaning: explain the meaning of words; using other words that mean the same
Ex. Sibling and brother or sister
* Or it could be descriptive, expository, or narrative writing
Chapter Two: Pinning Down the Argument
Standardizing an argument: to set out its premises and conclusion in clear statements with the
premises preceding the conclusion
(a)Put the argument in a form that displays the structure of the argument
(b)Main arguments and all sub arguments must be displayed
Sub arguments: subordinate argument that is a component of a larger argument; which can be
called the whole argument
Linked support: a kind of support where premises are interdependent in their support for a
conclusion; when premises are linked the removal of one would affect the bearing of the others
upon the conclusion
1.A computer has no freedom of action
2.A computer cannot deliberately break rules
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3.Cheating requires deliberately breaking rules
4.A computer cannot cheat
Convergent support: a kind of support where premises work together in a cumulative way to
support the conclusion, but are not linked. The bearing of one premises on the conclusion would
be unaffected if the other premises were removed; however the argument is strengthened when the
premises are considered together, since more evidence is then offered
*divergent structure is when two distinct conclusions emerge from the same premises
1.People feel they are overtaxed already
2.The economy will suffer if people have less disposable income
3.We cannot raise taxes
Linear Structure: a structure in which there is a sequence of sub arguments, each with one
premise. That is to say, (1) is put forward to support (2), (2) to support (3), (3) to support (4) and
so on, until we reach the final conclusion
1.Their careers are over in just a few short years
2.So they dont have long to make their money
3. There is a reason why famous athletes deserve their million –dollar salaries
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