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Arguments: creating & refuting (argumentation skills course) Mārtiņš Liberts SSE Riga & LMT Debate Club coach.

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Presentation on theme: "Arguments: creating & refuting (argumentation skills course) Mārtiņš Liberts SSE Riga & LMT Debate Club coach."— Presentation transcript:

1 Arguments: creating & refuting (argumentation skills course) Mārtiņš Liberts SSE Riga & LMT Debate Club coach

2 Agenda SEXI model Toulmin model Creating arguments Refuting arguments NOTE: All Valid arguments are Sound; Not all Sound arguments are Valid

3 SEXI model by unknown debater

4 SEXI argument: basics  Summarizes the argument in a clear and concise form  Introduces the desired activity or value  Might introduce the main reason for the activity or value S I ExEx Statement Explanation Illustration  The most important part of any argument  Provides the analysis behind the Statement  Provides necessary validity for the argument  Few things can be used to Illustrate:  Basic logics  Analogy  Example  Statistics TIP: the best argument is the clearest one

5 SEXI argument: examples  We should tax cars to decrease pollution S I ExEx Statement Explanation Illustration (Basic Logics)  Taxing provides incentive for drivers to use cars less and to switch to other alternatives – other means of transportation NOTE: ‘basic logics’ simply expands Explanation TIP: avoid using ‘basic logics’ alone Shows desired action & main reason Explains the reasoning behind Statement Validates Explanation  Whenever you tax something it becomes more expensive, thus people are less able to afford it and are either limiting its usage or shifting to alternative products or services

6 SEXI argument: examples  We should tax cars to decrease pollution S I ExEx Statement Explanation Illustration (Analogy)  Taxing provides incentive for drivers to use cars less and to switch to other alternatives – other means of transportation TIP: if two things share some features, they might still not be completely similar Shows desired action & main reason Explains the reasoning behind Statement Validates Explanation  After putting taxes on alcohol, its usage has decreased and more people are spending their time in other ways

7 SEXI argument: examples  We should tax cars to decrease pollution S I ExEx Statement Explanation Illustration (Example)  Taxing provides incentive for drivers to use cars less and to switch to other alternatives – other means of transportation TIP: make sure that example used is not an exception Shows desired action & main reason Explains the reasoning behind Statement Validates Explanation  When introducing a tax in Latvia for cars that have engines larger than 5 l, less of such cars have been purchased

8 SEXI argument: examples  We should tax cars to decrease pollution S I ExEx Statement Explanation Illustration (Statistics)  Taxing provides incentive for drivers to use cars less and to switch to other alternatives – other means of transportation TIP: statistics should be clear, reasonable, not always absolute numbers should be used Shows desired action & main reason Explains the reasoning behind Statement Validates Explanation  Questionnaire answered by 5 000 people last week shows that approximately 57% would use public transportation instead of a car if annual costs of cars increased by Ls 1 000

9 Toulmin model by Stephen Toulmin

10 Toulmin argument: basics  Main point, thesis, controlling idea  Claim may be directly stated or it may be implied  “What is author trying to prove?” Claim Support Warrant (-s)  Reasons to support Claim ( evidence, facts, statistics, proof, expert opinion, examples, explanations, data, arguments, logical reasoning or grounds )  “What does author say to persuade listener of Claim?”  Assumptions or presuppositions underlying the argument  Warrants are generally accepted beliefs, values, common ways our culture or society views things  Warrants provide underlying reasons linking Claim & Support  Warrants are often unstated and implied  “What is causing author to say the things he does?”

11 Toulmin argument: example  We should tax cars to decrease pollution Claim Support (Statistics) Warrant (-s)  Taxing provides incentive for drivers to use cars less and to switch to other alternatives – other means of transportation that pollute less  Questionnaire answered by 5 000 people last week shows that approximately 57% would use public transportation instead of a car if annual costs of cars increased by Ls 1 000  People are generally willing to pay as little as possible and any price increase makes at least some people to decrease the consumption  Decreasing pollution is a generally good idea Shows main idea, desired action & main reason Explains & proves reasoning for Claim Underlying beliefs

12 Toulmin argument: advanced  One should not use superlatives (all, every, absolutely or never, none, no one)  One may need to qualify Claim with expressions (many, many times, some or rarely, few, possibly) Qualifier Rebuttal Backing  One needs to answer questions and objections raised in the minds of the audience (otherwise the argument will be weakened and subject to attack and counter-argument)  Rebuttal may be directed to opposing claims or at alternative interpretations of evidence or new evidence  Sometimes Warrant needs evidence to support it, to make it more believable and to further support the argument

13 Toulmin argument: example  We should tax cars to decrease pollution  We should tax cars older than 15 yrs to decrease pollution Qualifier Rebuttal Backing  Taxing provides incentive for drivers to use cars less and to switch to other alternatives – other means of transportation that pollute less  The tax introduced will be high enough to make people thing twice before buying a car  Decreasing pollution is a generally good idea  Scientific research has stated that in few hundred years it won’t be possible to live on Earth unless we intervene Allows to exclude some tricky groups Allows to rebut opposition arguments Backs not so common Warrant

14 Toulmin argument: full example  We should tax cars to decrease pollution Claim Support (Statistics) Warrant (-s)  Taxing provides incentive for drivers to use cars less and to switch to other alternatives – other means of transportation that pollute less  Questionnaire answered by 5 000 people last week shows that approximately 57% would use public transportation instead of a car if annual costs of cars increased by Ls 1 000  People are generally willing to pay as little as possible and any price increase makes at least some people to decrease the consumption  That should apply only to cars older than 15 yrs Qualifier Backing  Scientific research has stated that in few hundred years it won’t be possible to live on Earth unless we intervene Rebuttal  The tax introduced will be high enough to make people thing twice before buying a car  Decreasing pollution is a generally good idea Warrant

15 Creating arguments

16 SEXI vs.Toulmin  Claim with Qualifier (plus Warrant) makes Statement Statement Explanation Illustration NOTE: for the best & complete argument most of Toulmin parts should be included Claim Support Backing Warrant Qualifier Rebuttals  Support with Warrant (its Backing) as well as Rebuttals make perfect Explanation & Illustration Warrant

17 Statement / Claim: possible types Cause (how, why it happened, what was the cause, what will it produce, effects) –Technologies in newer cars decrease potential pollution Definition (classification, definition, interpretation, meaning) –Car pollution is a problem of the whole society Fact (true, real, fact, happened, exists) –Cars are causing great deal of pollution Policy (what should we do, why should we do, policy, actions to solve problem) –We should tax cars to decrease pollution Value (good or bad, beneficial or harmful, who says so, what value system should be used) –Car pollution is the worst thing human can do NOTE: remember that almost any given topic can be formed into any type of Claim

18 Argument by Aristotle Atechnic based on facts (statistics, empirical studies, surveys Discovered through research Entechnic Pisteis based on persuasive appeal Invented by careful thinking about the topic, speaker / writer and listeners / readers –Logos: giving good reasons –Ethos: coming across as a credible, trustworthy person –Pathos: connecting with the beliefs, values, and cultural assumptions of one's audience NOTE: in academic world most arguments should be based on Facts or should have good reasons (Logos)

19 Usage of Ethos Ethos (person) Especially needed if argument is very controversial –Show intelligence, moral character or good will –Use voice and distance with audience –Grammatical person (I / we, you, s/he) –Verb tense (present / past, active / passive) –Long, sophisticated words –Use qualifiers (acknowledge exceptions) NOTE: Ethos creates environment where arguments are perceived better

20 Usage of Pathos Pathos (values) Used to provide extra support to argument –Use gestures, facial expressions, movements –Use vivid explanations –Make sure to address the values of audience –Indirectly steer them into favorable path NOTE: Pathos creates environment where arguments are perceived better

21 Five Canons of Classical Rhetoric Invention: coming up with ideas –Facts, Data, Statistics, Reports, Testimony, Interviews, Polls, Surveys –Make good reasons & logical arguments –How to project yourself as a credible person –How to connect with audience’s values, beliefs, emotional state Arrangement: ordering your discourse –Exordium: an introduction to make the audience attentive and receptive –Narratio: making your claim –Partitio: forecasting your argument –Confirmatio: arguing your case –Refutatio: meeting counter-arguments –Peroratio: concluding appropriately

22 Five Canons of Classical Rhetoric Style: saying things well –“Grammatical correctness” –Appropriate word choice –Sentence structure –Metaphor, hyperbole, rhetorical questions, irony Memory: more than mere memorization –Try to make your speech / writing memorable –Connecting with shared cultural memories Delivery: the final step –Deliver your speech / paper as planned –Remember that you should alter delivery based on the media, aim Web page, Essay, Debate speech

23 5 steps to deliver speech / paper  Come up with ideas, facts, reasons, arguments  How to create a credible person, connect with audience Creating speech / paper Invention Arrangement Style  Introduction, claim, show argument, argue, refute counter arguments, conclude  Wrapping and styling ideas into nice words NOTE: practice will allow you to do necessary steps without much consideration Memory  How will you make speech / paper memorable Delivery  Go on and deliver your speech / paper

24 Refuting arguments

25 Refute definitions Look at the words used in the argument –Is there a single, clear meaning –Is that meaning clear to everyone –Seek ambiguity and uncertainty Words with various definitions Challenge expertise and assumptions of authority –Show that there are contradictory definitions

26 Refute logics Consider the rationale being used –Are logical connections clear and sound –Are there unclear, bizarre assumptions –Test causes for clear and direct connections –Are generalizations, inductive and deductive arguments correct –Are there any distractions –Is the subject changed –Show that the rationale has faults in it See if arguments don’t contradict each other

27 Refute grounds Consider data and evidence used –Show that there is not enough data –Show that some critical evidence is missing –Indicate how data that might refute the argument is being ignored –Show how data is being misinterpreted or misrepresented

28 Refute support Look at the supporting statements to the argument –Refute Warrant linking grounds to Claim –Refute Backing that supports Warrant –Challenge Qualifiers and floppy language Find the weakest link in the chain and focus on it until it breaks –Many arguments have a valid claim but weak support

29 Use a counter argument Create argument to refute existing one –Show that your argument covers more areas –Show that it covers areas more thoroughly –Make it more interesting and appealing –Make the logic and structure complete and sound –Use solid data that cannot be challenged

30 Indicate a logical fallacy Slippery slope –Weak causal link between many actions that lead into huge conclusion Attack the person –When arguments attack speakers not ideas Appeal to tradition –Traditions are nice but they don’t make argument all alone Appeal to authority –Authorities are also nice, just nice Appeal to common belief –There is no common belief, argument “you all know” just don’t work False dilemma –Some options given; however, there are more

31 Indicate a logical fallacy Hasty Generalization –One exclusion doesn’t make a law Red Herring (Squirreling) –Completely change the topic Post hoc (Post hoc, ergo propter hoc) –If X follows Y, X is caused by Y Strawman –Refutes the weakest argument and states that all arguments are refused False analogy –Even if two things seem similar, they might be not Assertion –Asserting that something is true, right etc. without proving it More can be found there: www.changingminds.org/disciplines/argument/fallacies/fallacies.htm

32 Refuting argument TIP: use many ways of refutation; however, don’t pick on too small details Definitions used Argument Logics used Grounds used Support used Counter argument Logical fallacies

33 Thank you for your attention! Let’s have some quick questions..


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