Unit 1: What is an argument?
One view point only (a CONCLUSION) and evidence to back this up (REASONS)
Can also include an INTERMEDIATE CONCLUSION - a conclusion drawn from 1 or 2 reasons on the way to the main one
Must be an attempt to persuade
If there is no persuasion, the passage is simply an EXPLANATION
Unit 2: The structure of arguments
Joined reasons: Work together to come to a conclusion
Independant reasons: Work separately to come to a conclusion
Counter-argument/Counter-assertion: Where the author states the opposite point of view before explaining why she doesn't accept it
Hypothetical reasoning: 'if...then' reasoning. The author's conclusion is dependant on the truth of his hypothesis
Unit 3: Different standards for evaluating argumen
Deductive reasoning: The conclusion must be true if the reasons are true, since the conclusion follows with certainty
Inductive reasoning: the conclusion can follow only with a degree of certainty
Syllogisms: Has two premises (reasons) that work together to lead to a conclusion
Is the evidence VALID: The evidence may be ADEQUATE but not deductively VALID. An argument must be LOGICAL
FALSE DILEMMA: When there are more than just the two options presented to us
Unit 4: Ethical arguments
Concerns the greater good/bad of other people -Whether something is morally right or wrong. An ethical argument has MORAL DISCUSSIONS about what ought to be done.
UTILITARIAN view: For the greater good - i.e Kill one and save the rest!
DILEMMA: A difficult choice that has to be made
RELATIVISM: Conceptions of truth and moral values are not absolute but are relative to the persons or groups holding them
Unit 5: Analogies
Used to back up reasons and make them stronger
They are comparisons
Are they useful analogies?
The use of EQUIVOCAL LANGUAGE = ambiguous language
Unit 6: Assumptions
ASSUMPTION: Something that the author does not say, although it is something the author relies on to make his argument
It is a statement that is not backed up with evidence
STATED ASSUMPTION: Written down but not been backed up by evidence
UNSTATED ASSUMPTION: Not written down but author assumes that we make that connection
Unit 7: Alternative explanations
CORRELATION: two things together, in parallel
CAUSATION: a cause, something that happens. Just because two things are found together (correlation) it does not automatically mean that one thing caused the other.
*** HOC fallacy: 'Lisa is holding a rock. There are no tigers around. Therefore, Lisa's rock must somehow be responsible for the absence of tigers.
POST HOC fallacy: require a chronological component: i.e A happened then B happened. Therefore A must have caused B. Example of post hoc: 'The Mayor introduced the Bear Patrol. There have been no bear sightings for several weeks. Therefore, the introduction of the bear patrol must have caused the bears to stay away.'
Unit 8: Irrelevant Appeals
IRRELEVANT APPEAL TO POPULARITY: Lots of people do it so I can as well
IRRELEVANT APPEAL TO PITY: Use pity instead of reasons to back up your arguement, a 'sob story', persuade people by using pity
IRRELEVANT APPEAL TO AUTHORITY: You believe someone because they are famous or superior to you
IRRELEVANT APPEAL TO FEAR: Makes you scared to force you to do something
Unit 9: Generalisations
Making general statements about something. This can make a weak argument.
REASONABLE or UNREASONABLE generalisations
SWEEPING GENERALISATION: Applying the generalisation to everyone
HASTY GENERALISATION: Applying the generalisation to one person or one example
Unit 10: More fallacies
AD HOMINEM: Insult or attack someone to get your point across. You should persuade with reasoning not attacks.
TU QUOQUE: 'you too' - what you are doing is ok because other people are doing it, or because the person criticising you is being hypocritical.
STRAW MAN: Distorting another persons argument in a ridiculed way in order to knock it down more easily. Exaggerating the situation and putting it out of context.
SLIPPERY SLOPE: Exaggerating. One reason leading to another in big gaps. Once you start you can't stop - has to go to the extreme. No justification between the situations - too extreme.
Unit 11: Yet more fallacies
BEGGING THE QUESTION: Circular reasoning - the argument goes nowhere. Argument doesn't really prove anything.
CONFUSING THE NECESSARY AND SUFFICIENT CONDITION:
NECESSARY CONDITION: All the factors needed. What you need
SUFFICIENT CONDITION: Just having the necessary is not everything. Needs everything and more. Example: Lottery: 'You have to be in it to win it' Necessary = having a ticket but that does not mean you will win Sufficient = having the right numbers to win
Unit 11: Yet more fallacies
AD HOC: Explains one inconvenient truth and then discards it.
Example: 'Fishing is OK because fish feel no pain' / 'It has been shown that fish do feel pain' / 'Yes, but they don't feel pain like humans do' - this last line the ad hoc
EQUIVOCATION: Ambiguity, double meaning e.g 'The sign said 'fine for parking here', and since it was fine I parked there'
ARGUMENT FROM IGNORANCE: 'He must be guilty because he hasn't been able to prove that he isn't'