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Argument Analysis An argument is a set of assertions, one of which is intended to follow from or be supported by the other(s). Since the pursuit of happiness.

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Presentation on theme: "Argument Analysis An argument is a set of assertions, one of which is intended to follow from or be supported by the other(s). Since the pursuit of happiness."— Presentation transcript:

1 Argument Analysis An argument is a set of assertions, one of which is intended to follow from or be supported by the other(s). Since the pursuit of happiness requires health and knowledge, and the pursuit of happiness is a Constitutional right, access to health care and education is a constitutional right.

2 Identifying Arguments A passage contains an argument when there is an attempt to establish that a claim is true by offering reasons or evidence for its truth. Every argument contains both a factual claim (or claims, the premises) and an inferential claim (a claim about what the facts imply, the conclusion).

3 Argument or non-argument? The fool has said in his heart, there is no God. (Psalms 14.1) If God does not exist, everything is permitted. (Ivan Karamazov) The house burned down because the Halogen bulb was touching the drapes. You should support the president because we need to appear united.

4 Argument Analysis Premises: The claims that offer reasons or evidence, facts appealed to for support. Conclusion: The claim that the premises are intended to establish. Since hiring a public relations firm costs thousands of dollars that could be used for charitable causes, it follows that the Catholic Church should not hire a public relations firm.

5 Signal Words Conclusion Signals: Therefore; so; hence; thus; consequently; it follows that; accordingly; etc. Pedophiles can’t be rehabilitated, therefore, they should not be released from prison. Premise signals: Since; for; because; inasmuch as; etc. Since spanking teaches children to use violence to resolve conflict, parents should not spank their children.

6 Specific Premise Signals Numbering devices: first, in the second place, thirdly, etc. Cumulative devices: furthermore, moreover, in addition, also, etc. Contrastive devices: however; nevertheless, on the contrary, etc. In opposing prayer in public schools, I am not deserting my God. On the contrary, it is possible I am thus serving my God, who I believe wants his children to pray to him of their own freewill and not because they are forced. (P. Walker)

7 Arguments without signals In arguments without signal words, the inferential claim is implicit. It is not obvious that one must be capable of being a moral agent before one can be considered an object of moral concern. We certainly consider children and the insane to fall within the scope of moral concern even though we do not hold them responsible or consider them to be moral agents. (B.E. Rollin)

8 Argument or non-argument? Neither a borrower nor lender be. For loan oft loses both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry. (Shakespeare) Lying is not only saying what is not true. It is also and especially saying more than is true, and, as far as the human heart is concerned, saying more than one feels. (Albert Camus)

9 Argument? A person never becomes truly self reliant. Even though he deals effectively with things, he is necessarily dependent upon those who taught him so. They have selected what he is dependent upon…. (B.F. Skinner) Check it out!

10 Arguments? Just because one says he has a weapon... it still does not give the officers the right to use deadly force unless they can reasonably assume that deadly force is being used upon them." Jeffrey M. Galen When a person decides to engage officers in a pursuit, refuses police orders to end the threat they are posing to the safety of officers and the public, tells the police that they have a gun, exits a vehicle and takes an aggressive shooting stance, extends their arms out and points an unknown object at the officers, they are subjecting themselves to the consequences of their actions, which may include being shot." Tyler Izen

11 Incompletely Stated Arguments Sometimes a premise or conclusion is assumed without being explicitly stated. Here is a single conditional statement that ass umes a premise and a conclusion: If you aren’t willing to steal to get into Harvard, then you should not be willing to cheat to get in. If you tell her he is having an affair, she may end up blaming you, and you don’t want that to happen.

12 Unexpressed Premises Carlos won’t become a great golfer, he focuses too much on technique. You shouldn’t use immoral means to get the things you want in life. It may come back to haunt you later. I should spend more time studying, since it is either that or prepare myself to accept failure. Cheating is immoral because you don’t want to live in a society of cheaters.

13 Premise Support Sometimes an argument contains a sub- argument to support a premise. Capital punishment should be used only if there is no alternative means of protecting society. But life without the possibility of parole is an alternative. Keeping murderers locked securely away for life protects society as well. So, capital punishment should not be used.

14 Casting Arguments A method of diagramming arguments to exhibit their logical structure. Premises may provide independent or interdependent support for the conclusion. It is raining. You are sick. You hate Yanni. So, you should not go to the concert. It is raining and the concert is outdoors, so it will probably be canceled.

15 Casting Technique Bracket each assertion. Number each assertion. Express the relationships between the assertions in a tree diagram, with conclusion on top. [If you cheat on the exam you have sacrificed character for career.] (1) [You should not sacrifice character for career.] (2) [So, you should not cheat on the exam.] (3)

16 Casting Example [The feds raised interest rates] (1) [ This means that credit card rates and mortgage rates will increase.] (2) [We can barely pay our bills as it is.] (3) You’d better find another job, dear.] supports 2 2 and 3 together are needed to support 4

17 Casting example 2 [There is no doubt that humans commonly hallucinate.] (1) [ There’s considerable doubt about whether aliens exist, abduct, or molest us.] (2) [ So reports of alien abduction are probably imagined] (3) 1 and 2 together support 3 3 1

18 Argument Casting [The elusive Jesus is a standard feature in the appearance stories] 1 [Jesus is elusive] 2 [because he was not flesh and blood,] 3 [ he was not restricted by space,] 4 [and his appearances took place over an extended period.] 5 [However, as time passed and the tradition grew, the reported appearances become more palpable, more corporeal.] 6 [They gradually lose their luminous quality and take on aspects of a resuscitated corpse.] 7 [For these reasons, the stories of the appearances need to be examined closely for clues to their history and function.] 8 (Robert Funk)

19 Cast of Funk’s Argument

20 Cast this! Since murderers rarely consider the possibility of getting caught, the threat of capital punishment does not deter them. Since justice requires only that the punishment fit the crime, not that it take a specific form, capital punishment is not required by justice. And, since mandatory appeals are more costly than a life sentence, capital punishment does not save money. Capital punishment, therefore, is bad public policy.

21 Cast the Argument The claim that the effectiveness of prayer in medical treatment is evidence of supernatural intervention is dubious. Quiet meditation calms the patient. The belief that others care about the patient’s welfare may also reduce stress. Developing a positive, hopeful outlook improves prognosis. None of these psychological benefits of prayer requires a supernatural explanation.


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