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What is Argumentation?

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Jessica Smith

on 5 June 2014

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Transcript of What is Argumentation?

What is Argumentation?
Argumentation: The rational and constructive process of resolving a conflict of opinion.

A form of instrumental communication
governed by rules
relying on reasoning and proof
dependent on an audience
that influences belief or behavior.
Role of the Audience
To succeed in argumentation, you must adapt your message to the audience.

Their backgrounds, expectations, motivations, and knowledge all impact how they perceive your arguments.
: An attempt to influence an audience to accept a particular point of view.
- May include
emotional and logical appeals.
is a subset of persuasion.
- Appeals to the
side of human nature.
Instrumental Communication
A set of concepts or ideas that allows you to accomplish something.

Argumentation is an instrument for reasoning with others.
Argumentation is always characterized by controversy

The need for argumentation arises when opinions differ.

Advocate: someone who argues in support of a particular change in belief or behavior.

Opponent: someone who discourages the change supported by the advocate.
Argumentation is rule-governed
Formal and informal rules learned from observation, experience, and education.

e.g. generalizing from representative cases,
supporting claims with evidence,
debate structure
"Unless we act swiftly, shots will continue ringing out across the Northern Rockies...the landscape will be littered with the bullet-ridden bodies of these magnificent creatures...and orphaned wolf pups could be left for dead in their dens. We must prevail on the Obama Administration to call off the guns and restore federal protection for wolves."
Save the Wolves!
In 2008, the Bush Administration stripped wolves of their endangered species protection.
Afterward, the wolf population in Yellowstone declined by 27%
200 scientists have signed a letter opposing wolves' removal from the endangered species list.
Wolves are an integral part of the ecosystem in the West.

Are persuasion and argumentation synonyms?
Facts & statistics about blood needs
Procedural information
Frequently asked questions

Practical vs. Analytic Arguments
Analytic Arguments
Use formal logic
Claims follow from a series of certain premises
Results in an unchallengeable conclusion
What if you could see dark clouds ahead and all of the cars in the other lane had their lights on?
What conclusion might you reach?
Would it be reasonable to bet that snow was atop the mountain even if it was May?
If you are driving up this steep hill, is it reasonable to assume you are entering a mountainous region?
Practical Arguments
Premises are probable rather than certain
Claims are contingent on audience acceptance
Premise: All mortals die.
Premise: All men are mortals.
Claim: All men die.
Claim: The Broncos will win the Superbowl.
Premise: Peyton Manning is a superior quarterback.
Premise: The Broncos have the best defense.
Full transcript