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Toulmin on Argument

Argumentation, Spring 2013

Katie Ciani

on 27 January 2014

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Transcript of Toulmin on Argument

An Interpretation and Application
Toulmin on Argument
Why Toulmin?
System for Classifying Artistic Proofs
The Structural Model
An argument is defined as
from data, through warrant, to claim

Why Use the Toulmin Analysis & Terminology?
1. Provides an appropriate structural model by means of which rhetorical arguments can be analyzed and criticized
2. Suggests a system for classifying artistic proofs which employs argument as a central and unifying construct
An argument is
from accepted
, through a
, to a
The Big 3
Data (D): materials of fact or opinion which are commonly called
. Without it, an argument has no informative or substantive component. A.K.A.- "What do you have to go on?"

Claim (C): the appeal produced by an argument, or the
. Always potentially controversial. A.K.A.- "What's your point?"

Warrant (W): authorizes a mental "leap" from data -> claim. It carries the accepted data to the doubted claim, essentially certifying it. A.K.A.- "How did you get there?"
This way of very detailed analysis breaks down an argument into its various elements and decides how effectively these elements participate in the overall whole of an argument by identifying the claim, reasons, and evidence and evaluating their effectiveness.
Data + Claim = The Main Proof
The Zombies are coming!
We've got to get out of here!
If the Zombies come, it will be bad for us.
The Secondary Elements
(1) Backing: credential designed to certify the assumption expressed in the warrant. Used when readers are not willing to accept a warrant at face value.

(2) Rebuttal: Safety valve/ escape hatch appended to claim statement to recognize conditions under which the claim will not hold.

(3) Qualifier: register the degree of force that maker believes his claim to possess. Usually expressed by a qualifier such as "possibly"
The Zombies are coming!
We've got to get out of here!
If the Zombies come, it will be bad for us.
'The Night of the Living Dead' taught us that Zombies are cannibalistic
The zombies are similar to the zombies in the movie 'Warm Bodies'
The zombies will eat us or rip us limb from limb
Proofs that are not supplied by the writers efforts, but existed beforehand. Approach claim without aid of a warrant. To accept an inartistic proof is to automatically endorse the claim they support.
Proofs that are supplied through rhetorical invention. The data is not immediately conclusive, so a warrant plays a crucial role. The proof is directly dependent on the inventive powers of the arguer.
3 Types of Artistic Arguments
(1) Substantive:
By means of assumption concerning relationship existing among phenomena in the external world. Traditionally called

(2) Authoritative:
By means of an assumption concerning the quality of the source of the data. Traditionally called

(3) Motivational:
By means of an assumption concerning inner drives, values, or aspirations which impel the behavior of the people to whom the argument is address. Traditionally called
a.k.a.- 3 ways to carry the data to the claim
Substantive Arguments
Data consists of one or more accepted facts about a person, object, event, etc., which the warrant attributes to a generative power and specifies the nature of the effect.

Data consists of clues of symptoms and the warrant interprets the meaning of these signs while the claim affirms that some person/object/event possess the attributes of which the symptoms have been declared.

Data consists of information about a number of persons/objects/events, taking them as a representative sample of a given class, and the warrant assumes that what is true of the sample will be true of additional members

Data consists of one or more statements about a single object/event/condition and the warrant asserts that the instance reported in the data bears an essential similarity to a second instance in the same category. The claim affirms the new instances based what has been accepted concerning the first instance.

: Data reports that a relationship of a certain nature exists between two items and the warrant assumes that a similar relations exists between a second pair of items while the claim makes explicit the relationship assumed in the warrant.

Data is a generalized conclusion about known members of a class of persons/objects/events in which the warrant assumes that what is true of the items in the data will also be true of an unexamined item thought to fall in the same class.
Ex: The US has a lack of trade penalties against China for lax safety laws, so American children are not being protected from dangerous Chinese toys.
Ex. My car is making metallic grinding/dying mountain lion noises, so it is going to be a costly repair.
6 types of Substantive Arguments
Ex. Elle Woods (Legally Blonde), Romy & Michele (High School Reunion), and Karen (Mean Girls), are all blonde, and all dumb, so all blondes are dumb .
Ex. A lack of effort caused many of my students to fail their midterm exam, so a lack of effort might cause them to fail their final exam.
Ex. Humans are similar to rats. Drug Company's newest Drug X cause horrible side effects in the lab rats, so it will cause terrible side effects in humans.
Ex. A majority of celebrities live in mansions, so Cameron Diaz lives in a mansion.
Lets Practice!
For the below advertisement, list the data, claim, and warrant, as well as, if applicable, any backing, qualifiers, or rebuttals.
according to Wayne Brockreide and Douglas Ehninger
Full transcript