Three Styles of Argument • Classical (Six-Part Oration) • Typically a polarized argument • Rogerian • A qualified argument—counterargument is key • Toulmin • Claim, Warrant, Reason and Evidence
Classical Arguments • Use deductive reasoning • Syllogism--logical reasoning from inarguable premises Major Premise: All humans are mortal. (Irrefutable generalization) Minor Premise: Socrates is human. (particular instance of the generalization) Conclusion: Therefore, Socrates is mortal. • If A=C and B=A, then B=C
Classical Arguments • Enthymeme--Starting point is an assumption • Not a stated general truth, often implicit • Rhetor presumes that the audience accepts it as truth Unstated Premise: [People earn what they are worth] Minor Premise: Teachers don’t work very hard. Conclusion: Teachers make too much money.
Classical Oration– Six-Part Oration Review • Exordium: Win the attention/goodwill of audience while introducing a subject or problem. • Narratio: Presents facts of the case, explaining context • Partitio: Divides up the subject, explaining what the claim is, what the key issues are, and in what order the subject will be treated • Confirmatio: Offers support for the claim • Refutatio: Acknowledges and refuses opposing claims/evidence • Peroratio: Summarizes the claim and moves the audience to action
Modified Six-Part Oration • Introduction • Gains attention • Establishes credibility. • Establishes common ground with audience. • States claim • Background • Presents necessary information • Lines of Argument • Presents good reasons—logical and emotional appeals—to support claim
Modified Six-Part Oration • Alternative Arguments • Examines view of opposing arguments • Notes advantages and disadvantages of these • Explains why your view is stronger • Conclusion • Summarizes argument • Elaborates on implications of your claim • Makes clear what you want the audience to think or do • Reinforces your credibility and could offer an emotional appeal
Rogerian Arguments • Based on the idea that people should not respond to one another until they can fully, fairly, and even sympathetically state the other person’s position • Qualified Arguments • Rhetors concede that alternatives to their claim exist • Some alternatives might even be reasonable in certain circumstances • Meant to promote compromise
Rogerian Arguments – Structure • Introduction • Describe the issue, problem, or conflict • Shows that the rhetor understands and respects any alternative positions • Contexts • Discuss contexts, situations in which the alternative views might be valid • Writer’s Position • States the rhetor’s position and the circumstances in which it is valid • Benefits to opponent • Explains to opponents how they would benefit from adopting the rhetor’s position
Toulmin Argument • Acknowledge the complications of life in arguments • Situations in which the rhetor says sometimes, often, presumably, unless, and almost • Requires the readers to test their ideas and analyze arguments
Toulmin Argument– Structure • Claim: debatable, controversial statement that rhetor hopes to prove • Evidence and Reasons: personal experiences, facts, authorities, etc. • Warrants: Logical connections between the evidence and claim Reason: Smoking causes serious damages in smokers and endangers nonsmokers as well. Warrant: The Constitution was established to “promote the general welfare,” and citizens are thus entitled to protection from harmful actions by others. Claim: So, the federal government should ban smoking.