0909 lecture handout argument structure objectives we

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09/09: Lecture Handout: Argument Structure Objectives · We will discuss the general structure of arguments. · We will distinguish two key components of informal arguments: evidence and warrant The Core Structure of Arguments 1. Claims and Support · An argument consists of claims. o A claim is something that a person presents as something that another person ought to believe. Examples o There is a deer in the backyard. o Mt. Everest is the highest peak in the world. o Mt. Everest is not the most difficult peak to climb.
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Intro into Ethics Professor: Jacob Affolter o John should quit his job and join the Peace Corps. o We should reduce income inequality in the United States. · The core structure of an argument is the following relationship between claims: o X is a reason to believe Y. o There are other ways to describe this relationship. o We will stick with the following: § X is a reason to believe Y. § X supports Y. 2. Examples · Extreme Example: Run for your life! · Example: Sherlock Holmes · Example: Mt. Everest Core Vocabulary 1. General Point · When we look at arguments in terms of support , we can sort out the claims in an argument based on their function. · The three main types of claim are: o Conclusion o Evidence o Warrant 2. First Type of Claim: Conclusion · The conclusion of an argument is distinguished by two things: o Everything else in the argument is ultimately there to support the conclusion. o The conclusions is not there to support anything else.
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Intro into Ethics Professor: Jacob Affolter 3. Second Type of Claim: Evidence · Evidence aims to provide a reason to believe that something else is true. o You might say that it supports the truth of another claim. · Example: The Misbehaving Dog o Each of the following items provide support for the truth of the claim that the neighbor’s dog got into your yard last night. § There is a clump of the dog’s hair stuck to the bramble bush. § There are dog droppings on the ground. § The neighbor’s dog is looking guilty. § The trash can is tipped over. o These are all evidence . 4. Third Type of Claim: Warrant · Warrant provides a reason to believe that something supports what it is supposed to support. o You might say that warrant supports the relevance of a particular claim. · Example: Mt. Everest o Suppose that someone says the following: § The encyclopedia says that Mt. Everest is the highest peak in the world. Therefore, Mt. Everest is the highest peak in the world. o Each of the following sentences supports the claim that the fact that the encyclopedia says so is a reason to believe the conclusion: § The staff of the encyclopedia has an extensive team of fact-checkers.
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  • Fall '19
  • Jacob Affolter

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