Presentation on theme: "Toulmin in 10 Easy Steps PowerPoint by Cam Matthews."— Presentation transcript:
Toulmin in 10 Easy Steps PowerPoint by Cam Matthews
Issue: What car should we buy? 0 Enthymeme 1: We should buy this Smart Car because it is extremely economical. 0 Enthymeme 2: We should buy this used Volvo because it is very safe. 0 Enthymeme 3: We should buy this Honda CR-Z because it is red.
Syllogism: We should buy an economical car. (unstated major premise) The Smart Car is extremely economical. (minor premise) We should buy the Smart Car. (Conclusion) Enthymeme 1: Smart Car
Syllogism: We should buy a safe car. (unstated major premise) This Volvo is very safe. (minor premise) We should buy this used Volvo. (conclusion) Enthymeme 2: Used Volvo
Major Premises as Underlying Assumptions
Economy is the major criterion we should use in selecting a car. Safety is the major criterion we should use in selecting a car. The color red is the major criterion we should use in selecting a car. Assumptions for Enthymemes #1 #2#3
How would we support or refute each enthymeme? 0 One possibility is that we might agree with the criterion in Enthymeme 1 or 2 but disagree with the stated reason by arguing that the Smart Car isnt as economical as another car or that the Volvo isnt as safe as another car. 0 Another possibility is that we might disagree with the criterion in each case and thus argue that we should base our decision not on economy or safety but on the performance or driving fun or cargo space or reliability.
Key Lesson: To see the difference between Stated Reason Unstated Assumption 0 Supporting or attacking the stated reason 0 Supporting or attacking the unstated assumption behind the reason
Enthymeme 3 0 Why does this statement seem fishy? 0 What if this reason is really true and verifiable? 0 In fact a testimony of a survey of randomly chosen people found 100 % said the car was red. 0 Through a special chemical spectroscopy test that experts ran, the cars color was proven to be red. 0 How do we get from the facts to the claim? Toulmin states that the warrant is how we get from the data to the claim. 0 Is this claim unwarranted? 0 What we need is some king of argument to back up this assumption.
Toulmin Terminology 0 The unstated assumption behind each assumption is called the warrant. 0 Together the claim the data (stated reason), and the warrant (unstated assumption) constitute the frame or skeleton of the argument. 0 Example: 0 Claim: We should buy this Volvo. 0 Data: It is very safe. 0 Warrant: We should buy the car that is the safest.
Grounds and Backing 0 The grounds are all the facts, further data, examples, evidence, or chains of reasons we use to support the data. 0 The backing is all the facts, data, evidence, examples, or chains of reasons we use to support the warrant. Whether we concentrate on providing grounds, backing, or both depends on our anticipating our audiences needs and objections.
Toulmin Terminology Enthymemes Revisited
Imagine a situation in which a writer might need to provide extensive grounds for Enthymeme 1, but not backing. What would the situation be? What kinds of grounds might you use? Possible Answer: Writer and audience have already agreed that economy is the chief criterion for choosing the car; they are disagreeing on which of two cars is the most economical. The writer supporting the Smart Car might provide grounds in the form of data about fuel economy, maintenance costs, taxes and licensing fees, and resale value.
Imagine a situation in which a writer might need to provide backing for Enthymeme 2 but no grounds. What would the situation be? What kind of argument could be devised for backing. Possible Answer: Writer and audience agree that Volvos are very safe, but they disagree on whether safety should be the primary criterion. The writer might argue that this car is for a very safety-minded middle class couple with the young children. The husband of the couple lost a sister in an auto accident several years ago and is obsessed with safety. He could never enjoy driving or riding in a car that wasnt, in his mind, the safest car he could buy. The wife of the couple has similar concerns for safety.
Now reverse the situation and imagine a scenario that requires no backing for Enthymeme 2, but plenty of grounds. Possible Answer: Writer and audience have agreed that they will buy the safest car on the market but disagree whether a used Volvo is the safest car. To argue for the Volvos safety, the writer must provide grounds in the form of insurance claim data, crash test data, data about the actual construction of the car, and so forth.
Enthymeme 3 0 Why does something seem fishy about this enthymeme? 0 Cast the answer now in Toulmin terms. 0 Answer: The warrant seems silly. We can readily see how economy and safety could be criterion for buying a car, but not redness. In Toulmin terms, this argument cries out for backing!
Claim: We should buy this Honda CR-Z. Data (stated reason) : It is red. Grounds: Direct observation; 100% consensus on informal survey that the car is red; red under color on sales form; scientific analysis of light spectrum as it is reflected from cars surface. Warrant: If we find a car thats red, we should buy it. Backing: ? ? ? ? Enthymeme 3
With a partner, think of some scenario in which one might buy a car because it is red. In other words, think of a way to provide backing for the warrant. Share
You must think it ludicrous that I think we should buy the CR-Z because it is read. But think for a minute about Grandmas situation. Grandpa died four months ago. Grandma has hardly left the house since then and need to snap out of her depression. She likes to drive, even though Grandpa usually did all the driving in that clunky old Buick they owned. She never liked that car, and she wont drive it now – maybe because it reminds her of Grandpa. What Grandma needs is a sporty, new, little, easy-to-drive-and-park car. So of course, redness isnt the only criterion we should think about. But there are dozens of sporty little cars on the market that fit our other criteria. What is most important, I think, is that the car is red. That has always been her favorite color. It is youthful and energetic. I think a little red car will help her snap out of her mourning and get her out of the house. And lets get it for her by next Monday, her birthday. Lets have her wake up and see her own little car in the driveway. So I say, lets go get the CR-Z. The Honda dealer has one on the lot, and its just exactly the kind or red that will perk Grandma up.
Credits: Adapted from Instructors Manual for Writing Arguments: A Rhetoric with Readings John D. Ramage and John C. Bean