Presentation on theme: "Move Over, Monty Python: Tim and Jim's Argument Clinic Is Here! Tim McGee and Jim Castagnera ( who release this work into the public domain )"— Presentation transcript:
Move Over, Monty Python: Tim and Jim's Argument Clinic Is Here! Tim McGee and Jim Castagnera ( who release this work into the public domain )
A Note on the Currency of Our Topic
Monty Pythons Argument Clinic Sketch SM SM
Session Description Despite the apparent decline of reasoned debate in some public spheres, argument persists as the privileged mode of discourse in the academy where we face the ongoing need to teach students to analyze and produce arguments suited to various audiences and intentions. The presenters will argue that this obligation, while daunting, is doable, and will provide attendees with practical approaches from the fields of law and rhetoric. Participants will be introduced to stasis theory as a way to categorize arguments and the Toulmin schema as a way to help students apply critical thinking and informal logic to socially situated arguments.
Definitions of Argument Offered in the Monty Python Sketch 1.An argument is a connected series of statements to establish a definite proposition. 2. An argument is an intellectual process. Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of anything the other person says.
Discussion of Questions 1-4 The Session Description is primarily descriptive. While it makes multiple assertions, it offers no reasons in support of those assertions and is, therefore, not an argument, strictly speaking. While each definition approximates the method of a good Aristotelian definition (genus and differens), both fall somewhat short. The first comes closer to that standard than the second.
How Aristotelian Definitions Work Church: a public building, regularly used for prayer, primarily Christian. First, place the term to be defined in the next largest category, (public building), then differentiate it from other members of that category (restaurant, theater, etc.), then differentiate further (temple, mosque, etc.).
Aristotles Minimum Requirements for an Argument An argument must have two parts: an assertion and a reason in support of the assertion. Some of Aristotles examples: – She has given birth, for she has milk. – If the war is the cause of present evils, things should be set right by making peace. – If not even the gods know everything, human beings can hardly do so.
Organizational Preview The Main Challenges – Problematic notions of proof – Confusion over validity and truth – Ignorance of the modes of discourse – Starting with more challenging (higher) stases Effective Solutions – Prohibition of the term – Careful policing of vocabulary – Introduction to the modes of discourse – Baby steps: Definitional, then Value arguments
Notions of Proof as a Mixed Blessing All art constantly aspires to the condition of music. –Walter Pater All argument aspires to the condition of deductive certainty. –Tim and Jim Therefore, I have proven... –Student Author Solution: If its not a math class, the words proof and prove should be banned, as few arguments actually achieve deductive certainty.
Some Relationships between Validity and Truth Assertions can be true or false. Deductive argument structures can be valid or invalid. A valid structure with true premises guarantees a true conclusion. A valid structure with false premises guarantees nothing. An invalid structure guarantees nothing, regardless of the truth of its premises.
An Invalid Categorical Syllogism God is love. Love is blind. Ray Charles is blind. ________________ Therefore, Ray Charles is God. This syllogism exhibits two formal fallacies, quaternio terminorum and an undistributed middle term.
Valid vs. Invalid Forms of Categorical Syllogisms Valid All men are mortal. Socrates is a man. _________________ Socrates is mortal. (Here, the middle term is man/men) (The middle term is the one that doesnt appear in the conclusion. ) Invalid All men are mortal. Socrates is mortal. ________________ Socrates is a man. (Here, the middle term is mortal.)
Venn Diagram Illustration Socrates is mortal guaranteed. Mortals Men Socrates No guarantee that Socrates is a man. Mortals Men Socrates
Persuasion Threats Seduction Bribery Argument and Persuasion Are Not Synonymous Argument is the form of persuasion that proceeds primarily by reasoned discourse. Argument
The Modes of Discourse Exposition Description Narration Argument This traditional approach to categorizing text types has fallen out of favor because few texts are purely one type or another.
Stasis Theory Stasis theory is a four-question pre-writing (invention) process developed in ancient Greece by Aristotle and Hermagoras. Later, the stases were refined by Roman rhetoricians, such as Cicero, Quintilian, and Hermogenes. The four stases of Greco-Roman rhetoric: the facts (conjecture) the meaning or nature of the issue (definition) the seriousness of the issue (quality) the plan of action (policy). Source:
Revised Stasis Theory (As presented in Writing Arguments) Six Types of Claims – Simple Categorical (X is Y) – Definitional (X is Y; meaning of Y contested) – Evaluation (X is a good/bad Y) – Resemblance (X is like Y) – Cause/Consequence (X causes Y) – Proposal (We should do X)
Definitional Argument Exercise United States v. Microsoft, 1988 Claim: Microsoft is a monopoly Stated Reasons: Microsoft dominates the market, stifles competition, and engages in predatory pricing. Q: Whats the missing premise? Clue: The missing premise must use the two terms that have been used only once already. (In other words, the missing premise cant use the term Microsoft.)
Microsoft Case Laid Out as a Standard Form Categorical Syllogism MP: Any company that dominates the market, stifles competition, and engages in predatory pricing is a monopoly. mp: Microsoft dominates the market, stifles competition, and engages in predatory pricing. ____________________________________ C: Microsoft is a monopoly.
Simple Categorical Argument Exercise Argument: Harry is a British subject because he was born in Bermuda. MP: mp: Because Harry was born in Bermuda. ___________________________________ C: Harry is a British subject. MP: Anyone born in Bermuda is a British subject.
Stephen Toulmin to the Rescue British Philosopher ( ) Studied under Wittgenstein. Attempts to reconcile formal logic and real world argument. Toulmin felt that formal logic has lost touch with its application, perhaps because it has falsified reality in the interest of neatness and rigor (Clauss 3). Logic is concerned with the sort of case we present in defense of our claims (Toulmin 7). Logic is a generalized jurisprudence (7).
Standard Form vs. Toulmin Schema MP: Anyone born in Bermuda is a British subject. Mp: Harry was born in Bermuda. __________________ C: Harry is a British subject. Backing: Evidence or argument to support the Warrant. Warrant: Anyone born in Bermuda is a British subject. Stated Reason: Harry was born in Bermuda. Grounds: Documents supporting the Stated Reason. Conditions of Rebuttal: e.g., Ways in which Harry might have lost or renounced his British citizenship. ___________________ Claim: Harry is a British subject. Qualifier: Limits upon force of claim, e.g., maybe, probably, etc.
From Category to Value To move up one stasis, from a Categorical (or Definitional) argument to an Evaluation argument, simply add a value adjective to the Y term. Categorical: X is a Y. Evaluation: X is a good/bad Y.
Supply the Missing Warrant Argument: Riders CBA is an excellent college because it is an AACSB-accredited college. Warrant: Stated Reason: Because Riders CBA is an AACSB accredited college. _____________________________________ Claim: Riders CBA is an excellent college.
Warrant Supplied Argument: Riders CBA is an excellent college because it is an AACSB-accredited college. Warrant: All AACSB-accredited colleges are excellent colleges. Stated Reason: Because Riders CBA is an AACSB accredited college. _____________________________________ Claim: Riders CBA is an excellent college.
Toulmin Schema Fleshed Out Backing: Warrant: All AACSB-accredited colleges are excellent colleges. Stated Reason: Because Riders CBA is an AACSB -accredited college. Grounds: Conditions of Rebuttal: _____________________________________ Claim: Riders CBA is an excellent college. Qualifier:
Argument in Twelve Angry Men NkQzs&feature=related NkQzs&feature=related
Toulmin Schema Analysis of an Argument in Twelve Angry Men Backing: Warrant: Stated Reason: Grounds: Conditions of Rebuttal: Claim: Qualifier:
Works Cited Bergmann, Merrie, James Moor, and Jack Nelson. The Logic Book. 5th ed. McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages, Print. Fahnestock, Jeanne, and Marie Secor. The Stases in Scientific and Literary Argument. Written Communication 5.4 (1988): Print. Fulkerson, Richard. Teaching the Argument in Writing. National Council of Teachers of English, Print. Lunsford, Andrea A., and John J. Ruszkiewicz. Everything's an Argument. Fifth Edition. Bedford/St. Martin's, Print. Osborne, Jonathan. Arguing to Learn in Science: The Role of Collaborative, Critical Discourse. Science (2010): Web. 17 May Pater, Walter. The School of Giorgione. The Renaissance - Studies in Art and Poetry; the 1893 text. Berkeley: UC Press, Print. Ramage, John D., John C. Bean, and June Johnson. Writing Arguments: A Rhetoric with Readings. 8th ed. Longman, Print. Robinson, Marin et al. Write Like a Chemist: A Guide and Resource. 1st ed. Oxford University Press, USA, Print. Toulmin, Stephen Edelston. The Uses of Argument. Updated. Cambridge University Press, Print.