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Structure of an Argument
Transcript of Structure of an Argument
: Socrates is a man.
: All men are mortal.
: Therefore, Socrates is mortal.
: Because Socrates is a man, and all men are mortal, Socrates must be mortal. This was duly proven by his death by hemlock.
A reason offered as support for a claim
A claim being supported by a premise or premises
A statement or set of statements designed to show
something is the case rather than
something is the case.
You could also try acting like a three-year-old:
Read a sentence and ask, "Why should I believe that?"
Look at the passage for an answer to the why question.
The answer is a
. The question (what you should believe) is the
Repeat the process for each conclusion.
Sometimes, you must infer the conclusion or the premise.
"You spilled it. Whoever makes the mess cleans it up."
"You should not eat that greasy hamburger. It is loaded with fat."
: You clean it up.
: You should not eat anything loaded with fat.
To determine the strength of an argument, ask...
Is the argument logically strong?
Are the premises true?
Evaluating the Strength of an Argument
Acceptability: Logically strong, true premises
Relevance: Premises must be relevant to the conclusion
Adequacy: Must give enough reason to believe the argument is true