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Testing the validity of argumentation

Testing the validity of argumentation

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Testing the validity of argumentation

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  1. Testing the validity of argumentation Lessons 12-13

  2. The quality of argumentation concerns soundness and effectiveness. • The soundness of an argument is primarily dependent on whether it is submitted in accordance with the rules of critical discussion and whether it can succeed in the procedure of critical testing conducted in accordance with these rules. • The effectiveness of an argument can be taken into account in connection with the strategic maneuvering.

  3. The real point in the identification of schemes • For each scheme there is one or more critical questions which can/should be asked by the antagonist to check the soundness of an argument • Causal schemes: Does Z always lead to Y? • Analogy: are Z and Y really comparable? • Symptomatic: is Z really symptomatic of Y?

  4. Othercategorizations of schemes See Walton et al 2008: 276 and ff. for classifications of schemes in classical rhetoric, up to modern theories • Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca (1958/1969): • arguments based on processes of association • arguments based on processes of dissociation. • Walton et al. (2008): • inductive, • deductive • defeasible arguments (also called abductive)

  5. critical questions for argumentation based on a symptomatic relation Jack Xis an experienced teacher Y because he spends little time on lesson preparation Z (and spending little time on lessonpreparationistypical/symptomatic of being an experiencedteacher) Critical questions Is Z indeed typical of Y? Is Z not also typical of something else?

  6. Linguistic realizations of “is symptomatic of” • X is characteristic of • Y X is typical of Y • X is illustrative of Y • X is a sign of Y • X is evidence of Y • X shows Y • X implies Y • X means Y • X proves that Y • X indicates Y • X testifies to Y • X is a token of Y • X tells us something about Y • X, (so) apparently Y • X, (so) obviously Y • X, (so) it is clear that Y • X, (so) it turns out that Y

  7. Symptomatic relation IT IS NOT surprising that David Miliband has relied on the Food Standards Agency (FSA) on the quality of organic food (Organic food is no better, says minister, News, last week). Flying in the face of the science, which the FSA purports to uphold, it disregards the research — for example the work from Glasgow and Liverpool universities, which showed substantially higher levels (68.2%) of Omega 3 fatty acids in organic milk compared with conventional milk, and a more favourable ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids. There is other information showing higher levels of vitamins and lower levels of pesticides — nobody knows the true risks as nobody has tested the safety of the use of multiple chemicals on food crops — the so-called cocktail effect. Foggia, 29 April 2010

  8. Symptomatic relation IT IS NOT surprising that David Miliband has relied on the Food Standards Agency (FSA) on the quality of organic food (Organic food is no better, says minister, News, last week). Flying in the face of the science, which the FSA purports to uphold, it disregards the research — for example the work from Glasgow and Liverpool universities, which showed substantially higher levels (68.2%) of Omega 3 fatty acids in organic milk compared with conventional milk, and a more favourable ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids. There is other information showing higher levels of vitamins and lower levels of pesticides — nobody knows the true risks as nobody has tested the safety of the use of multiple chemicals on food crops — the so-called cocktail effect. Does FSA report really show that organic food is no better? (first critical question) Foggia, 29 April 2010

  9. Symptomatic relation • Why is it that Latinas catch so much flack over the time we spend in front of the mirror? ”It can seem like vanity, but I think those who think that about us do not understand it’s part of our heritage,” says Smoak-Bartolo. ”It’s deeply rooted. It’s a reflection of our grandmothers, our homeland and our pride.” (Los Angeles Times, October 10, 2000) [Snoeck-Henkemans] • Originalargument (to which the writerisreacting): • Latinas are vain • Becausetheyspend long time before the mirror • And spending long time before the mirroris a sign of vanity Is spending hours before the mirrorreally a sign of vanity? (second criticalquestion)

  10. Critical questions for argumentation based on analogy Critical questions 1 : Are there respects in which C1 and C2 are different that would tend to undermine the force of the similarity cited? 2 : Is A the right conclusion to be drawn in C1 ? 3 : Is there some other case C3 that is also similar to C1 , but in which some conclusion other than A should be drawn? (Walton www.springer.com/cda/content/.../9783319063331-c1.pd)

  11. Critical questions for argumentation based on a relation of analogy It’s not necessary to give 10$ allowance to Jimmy, because his brother always got just 5$ a week. X (Jimmy)is comparable to Z (his brother) Critical question: 1 : Are there respects in which C1 and C2 are different that would tend to undermine the force of the similarity cited? Are there any significant differences between Jimmy and his brother?

  12. Arguments based on analogy • The Sunday Times today publishes the personal testimony of Mohanned Al-Fayed, in which he takes issue with the official account of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. The owner of Harrods, the London Store and the father of the princess’ lost love, Dodi al-Fayed, clearly believes that he and his family are the victims of an Establishment plot that embraces the political classes, the security forces and the media. • We sympathize with him for his loss but we do not believe his conspiracy to be true. The deaths of glamorous figures have always provoked conspiracy theories. President John Kennedy’s assassination and Marilyn Monroe’s death were followed by outrageous allegations. Once the evidence was made public, however, a fair-minded examination robbed the conspiracy theory credibility. Most people now have little difficulty believing Kennedy was assassinated by a lone gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald, and that Monroe died of a drug overdose. • (Letter to the editor)

  13. Critical questions for argumentation based on a causal relation Lydia must have weak eyes because she is always working at the computer working at the computer leads to weak eyes Critical question Does Z always lead to Y? Does working at the computer for long periods of time lead to weak eyes?

  14. Critical questions for argumentation based on the pragmatic argument • If A is brought about, then good (bad) consequences will (may plausibly) occur • Therefore, A should (not) be brought about. Critical questions • How strong is the likelihood that these cited consequences will (may, must, etc.) occur? • If A is brought about, will (or might) these consequences occur, and what evidence supports this claim? • Are there other consequences of the opposite value that should be taken into account? (Reed/Walton 2001) • Are the consequences of the proposed action preferable, as alleged by the protagonist ? (Garssen 2010)

  15. Critical questions for argumentation based on the pragmatic argument Doctors should stop wearing white jackets, because this will create distance (and having distance between doctors and patients is not a good thing). Critical questions? …. …. ….