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Argument Analysis Understanding the structure of an argument.

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Presentation on theme: "Argument Analysis Understanding the structure of an argument."— Presentation transcript:

1 Argument Analysis Understanding the structure of an argument

2 All propaganda is dangerous. Therefore, network news is dangerous, because network news is propaganda.

3 All arguments have two main parts: Premise Conclusion

4 What is a premise? Any claim used to prove the truth of another claim in an argument. May be factual or opinion

5 What is a conclusion? Any claim you are trying to prove in an argument Must be an opinion

6 The author will sometimes use signal words to help the reader distinguish between the premise and the conclusion Premise Signal Words Any word or phrase, that if you have an argument, tells you that what follows may be some type of premise Conclusion Signal Words Any word or phrase, that if you have an argument, tells you that what follows may be some type of conclusion

7 Memorize the signal words on your handout!!!!!!!!!!

8 If you do not memorize them... You will be very sorry!

9 ______ sent me an autographed photo. (premise) He/she wants my body. (conclusion)

10 Harriet should divorce Harry because he will not work, he hasn’t bathed since 1988 and he is seeing her grandmother.

11 Important Terms: Final/Main Conclusion: The main point that the author is trying to prove in an argument. It is never used to prove anything else in the argument. What all the evidence is either directly or indirectly proving. Rule: Can be introduced only by conclusion signal words.

12 Unsupported Premise/Basic Premise Any premise in an argument for which there is no evidence offered. May be factual or may be an opinion. Rule: Unsupported premises may be introduced only by premise signal words.

13 Supported Premise/Subconclusion/Intermediate Conclusion Any premise in an argument for which there is evidence given. It is a premise and a conclusion at the same time. It is used to prove another claim, and at the same time, a claim is being used to prove it. Rule: May be introduced by premise or conclusion signal words.

14 Sometimes, the author of an argument will offer support for some of the premises he or she is using in the argument. When support or evidence is offered for a premise, that premise is called a supported premise or subconclusion.

15 Example Harriet should divorce Harry because he refuses to work, as shown by the many job offers that he has refused, hasn’t bathed since 1998, and is dating her grandmother.

16 When no evidence is offered to prove a premise, that premise is called an unsupported or basic premise.

17 Example Harry will surely get an A+ in this class. He attends regularly and has submitted every assignment on time. He has also received ‘A’s’ on all of his tests.

18 Your examples:

19 Harry will surely get an A+ in this class. he attends regularly. he has also submitted every assignment. He has also received ‘A’s’ on all of his tests, as shown by the tests in his folder.

20 Another Example: He got an A+, so he probably cheated. Consequently, he should be suspended.

21 The next concept we need to discuss is the difference between dependent and independent premises. The best way to get at this difference is to look at some examples.

22 Example One All students who study hard will pass their courses, and you are a student who is studying hard. It follows that you will pass your courses.

23 Now we must ask a question: Does each premise in this example have enough information in it to get you to the conclusion: ‘you will pass your courses?’

24 ‘You are a student who is studying hard,’ it follows that you will pass your courses. O.K. that seems to make sense and pass our test. What about the first premise?

25 All student who study hard will pass their courses, it follows that you will pass your courses. Is there something missing here? Something that we need to get to the conclusion? Yes. In order to get to the information in the conclusion, we need to know that you are a student who is studying hard.

26 Since at least one of the premises does not have enough information in it to get you to the information in the conclusion, these premises must be taken as dependent.

27 One method you can use to determine if the premises under question are dependent is this. Cover up one of the premises. Can you determine what is implied? If so, then the premises are dependent.

28 Example All cats have fleas and Fluffy is a cat, so Fluffy must have fleas. Can you determine what is implied with certainty?

29 Yes, therefore the premises are dependent.

30 Your Examples: All men are dogs. John is a man; therefore, John is a dog. All bad students have to sit in front of the class. Stork is sitting in front of the class, so he must be a bad student. All kids eat junk food; Lin is a kid, therefore, he eats junkfood. I wear hats, and hats make you go bald. Therefore, I will be bald.

31 Your examples: Joan is in better shape. She works out at Bally’s, and working out at Bally’s helps one to get in better shape. All cats like warm places. Oreo is a cat, so she likes warm places. Kate eats salads and salads are healthy foods, so Kate eats healthy foods.

32 How about an example of an argument with independent premises?

33 What are independent premises? Premises are independent when each premise has in it enough information to get you to the information in the conclusion.

34 Example: Smoking in the workplace should be banned. Smoke damages computer hardware and software; second hand smoke causes many health problems, including cancer, and finally, smoking on the job presents a poor impression to potential clients.

35 Are these premises dependent or independent? Does each one have enough information in it to get you to the information in the conclusion? Yes. They are independent. But let’s use our test to check.

36 Smoking in the workplace should be banned. Smoke damages computer hardware and software; second hand smoke causes many health problems, including cancer, and finally, smoking on the job presents a poor impression to potential clients.

37 Can we determine what is implied here? No, so the premises are independent.

38 Your examples: Ashley loves me as much as I love her, so we moved in together. Our love is so deep we go to the same school. Therefore, we belong together. Rain can cause you to wreck your car. Rain also can make you slip. So rain causes a lot of problems for people. In spring the flowers bloom and all the animals fall in love. Therefore, Spring is the best season. The desks in this classroom are extremely small. Harris-Stowe should purchase new desks, so tall students can sit more comfortably.

39 Your Examples: Drinking and driving is not safe. Drinking slows down a body’s natural reflexes, and it affects judgment. Men can be a pain in the rear end. They can also make you cry. Men, therefore, cause a lot of stress to women. Puppies can cause problems. They chew on furniture and pee on stuff.

40 How about an example that sums this all up?

41 All men are slobs, as indicated by the many wives unhappy with the housekeeping habits of their husbands. Harry is a man, so it necessarily follows that Harry is a slob.

42 Do we have any supported premises here? Yes, the premise ‘All men are slobs.’

43 Are the premises dependent or independent? Let’s check Does ‘Harry is a man’ have enough information in it to get you to ‘Harry is a slob’? No, we need to know ‘all men are slobs.’ Let’s use our test to check.

44 All men are slobs, as indicated by the many wives unhappy with the housekeeping habits of their husbands. Harry is a man, so it necessarily follows that Harry is a slob.

45 Can we determine what is implied? Yes, we can determine that ‘all men are slobs’ is what is implied. The premises, then, in this argument are dependent. What does the diagram look like?

46 ____________________ U.P. S.P. U.P. F.C.

47 Another Example: The Constitution guarantees the separation of religion and the state. Seeing that prayer is part of religion, and in view of the fact that public schools are supported by the state, prayer must be banned in public schools. You should vote, then, for Senator Smith, since she supports the banning of prayer in public schools, as indicated by her statements of October 29, 2003.

48 The next concept we must cover is the concept of an ‘enthymeme.’

49 What is an enthymeme? An enthymeme is an argument with a part missing or implied. That is, it is an argument with either a missing conclusion or a missing premise. When you have an enthymeme, you must supply the missing part (write it down last, so it will be numbered last) and include it on your diagram.

50 Example: All children who go to Josie’s preschool are smart, so little Joey must be smart. Go ahead and determine what is missing, write it last, and following the steps we went over in class, diagram this argument.

51 Another Example: All students who study hard will pass this class, and Harry has studied very hard in this class.


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