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Everything's an Argument: Chapter 1

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Heather Somervail

on 6 September 2017

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Transcript of Everything's an Argument: Chapter 1

Chapter 1
Everything's an Argument
What Is an Argument?
Clothes you wear
Foods you eat
Groups you join
Music you listen to
Any text - written, spoken, or visual - expresses a point of view
To inform
To convince
To explore
To make decisions

Point is to use evidence & reason to discover some version of the truth

to discover truth.
when they think they already know it.
Purposes of an Argument
Arguments to Inform
Purpose: To tell members of an audience something they didn't know

Street signs
Newspaper headlines
Arguments to Convince
Purpose: To convince readers rather than win out over opponents ("think with me")

Academic articles
Arguments to Persuade
Purpose: Unabashedly move audiences to action.

Buy a product
Vote for a candidate
Support a policy
Occasions for Argument
Forensic arguments (Past)

Appealing to Audiences
Aristotle: Ethos, Pathos, & Logos
Arguments exist in a particular context that influences how it can be shaped and how others will receive it.
This set of concerns is called the
rhetorical situation
and can be depicted as a triangle.
Deliberative arguments (Future)
Ceremonial arguments (Present)
Pathos-Emotional appeals
Generate emotions to shape readers' responses
Ethos-Ethical appeals
Presentation of self in argument (credibility, trustworthiness)
Logos-Logical appeals
Given prominence and authority in U.S. culture
The presentation of facts, statistics, testimony, and examples
What exactly happened?
Relies on precedent.
Past actions influence the present.
Lots of cause & effect.
Criminal and civil cases

Purpose: Enhance and sharpen knowledge
Forensic Argument - Past
Ex: Did deregulation lead to the recession?

Ex: Should we have gone to war with Iraq?
Ceremonial Argument - Present
Arguments about contemporary values that are widely held within a society

Inaugural address, sermons, speeches
Deliberative Arguments (Future)
Deliberative arguments draw on results of forensic arguments
What should we do in the future?
Past also influences the future, so forensic argments may also be used.

If X is true, Y may be true.
If X happens, so may Y.
If X continues, then Y may occur.
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