Lesson_4_Distinguishing_Argument_from_Nonargument

Lesson_4_Distinguishing_Argument_from_Nonargument - Lesson...

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Lesson 4: Distinguishing Arguments from Non-arguments How to identify arguments and distinguish them from various kinds of non-arguments.
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Distinguishing an Argument from an Explanation 4 Basic Tests: 1. The common knowledge test (well- known fact) 2. The past event test 3. The author’s intent test 4. The principle of charity test
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An argument is a claim defended with reasons. More precisely, a passage is an argument if and only if: (a) it is a group of two or more statements (b) one of those statements (the conclusion) is claimed or intended to be supported by the other(s) (the premises).
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Notice three important things that follow from this definition: 1. Arguments consist entirely of statements, i.e., sentences that it makes sense to regard as either true or false. Questions, commands, exclamations, and other kinds of nonstatements cannot be parts of arguments. (Keep in mind, however, that rhetorical questions should be treated as statements.) 2. No single statement, however long, complex, or controversial, is an argument. Arguments always consist of at least two statements. 3. Nothing counts as an argument unless it is claimed or intended that one statement follows from one or more other statements in the passage. In other words, a passage is an argument only if the speaker or writer intends to offer evidence or reasons why another statement should be accepted as true.
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Five kinds of passages that are sometimes confused with arguments are: reports unsupported statements of belief or opinion Illustrations conditional statements explanations
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" Continuing reports suggest that there is an ongoing terrorist threat to Westerners and Western interests in the Philippines. Philippine authorities have warned that there may be bomb attacks in Manila and other key cities. Visitors can expect to be subject to frequent security checks at public and private facilities, including shopping malls and public transportation. Travel at night outside of metropolitan areas should be avoided," it said. This passage is a report. A report is a statement or group of statements intended simply to convey information about a subject. Keep in mind that reports of other people's arguments should be regarded as reports rather than as arguments.
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1. Begin each day with a prayer. 2. Work hard. 3. Love your family. 4. Make light of your troubles. 5. Follow the Golden Rule. 6. Read from the Bible. 7. Show kindness. 8. Read worthwhile books. 9. Be clean and pure. 10. Have charity in your heart. 11. Be obedient and respectful. 12. End the day in prayer. These twelve rules, the "Quaker Dozen," were written long ago in a family Bible. But I believe they still fit today's problems. (Adapted from Olive Ireland Theen, "Grandfather's Quaker
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This note was uploaded on 11/13/2010 for the course BA BA12345 taught by Professor Harry during the Spring '10 term at University of Economics and Technology.

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Lesson_4_Distinguishing_Argument_from_Nonargument - Lesson...

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