Structuring and Analyzing Arguments: The Classical, Toulmin, and Rogerian Models
Key Terms: Deductive vs. Inductive Reasoning • Deductive Reasoning = in traditional Aristotelian logic, the process of reasoning in which a conclusion follows necessarily from the stated premises; inference by reasoning from the general to the specific • Inductive Reasoning = the process of reasoning from the specific to the general, in which the premises of an argument are believed to support the conclusion but do not ensure it. Inductive reasoning is used to formulate laws based on limited observations of recurring patterns.
Key Terms: The Syllogism • Three-part deductive argument, in which conclusion follows from two premises • A straightforward example: Major premise: All people have hearts. Minor premise: John is a person. Conclusion: Therefore, John has a heart.
THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE Major premise: Tyrannical rulers deserve no loyalty; Minor premise: King George III is a tyrannical ruler Conclusion: Therefore, King George III deserves no loyalty. Purdue University Writing Lab
Classical Argument • Began in ancient Greece, approximately fifth century B.C. • Communicated orally and designed to be easily understood by listeners • Based on formal logic, including the syllogism • Six main components
Classical Argument: Six Elements 1) Introduction: captures attention of audience; urges audience to consider your case 2) Statement of Background: narrates the key facts and/or events leading up to your case 3) Proposition: states the position you are taking, based on the information you’ve already presented, and sets up the structure of the rest of your argument 4) Proof: discusses your reasons for your position and provides evidence to support each reason 5) Refutation: anticipates opposing viewpoints; then demonstrates why your approach is the only acceptable one (i.e. better than your opponents’) 6) Conclusion: summarizes your most important points and can include appeals to feelings or values (pathos)
The Toulmin Model • Developed by British philosopher Stephen Toulmin in the 1950’s • Emphasizes that logic often based on probability rather than certainty • Focuses on claims • Three primary components
TOULMIN LOGIC This is an effort to describe argument as it actually occurs in everyday life. The CLAIM is the main point of the essay; it is usually stated as the thesis. The GROUNDS is the material a writer uses to support the claim (evidence) The WARRANT is the inference that connects the grounds to the claim; it can be a belief that is taken for granted, or an assumptions that underlies the argument. Purdue University Writing Lab
TOULMIN LOGIC Claim: value/judgment George Bush doesn’t care about black people. Grounds: FEMA’s response to hurricane Katrina was intentionally slow Warrant:cause-effect The reason the federal government didn’t respond faster is because most of the victims were black.
TOULMIN LOGIC: Declaration of Independence Claim: King George III deserves no loyalty. Grounds: King George III is a tyrannical ruler (supported by facts and examples) Warrant: Tyrannical rulers deserve no loyalty. The clearer your warrant, the more likely readers will be to agree with it. Purdue University Writing Lab
Rogerian Model • Developed by psychologist Carl Rogers (also in the ’50s) • Emphasizes problem-solving and/or coming to consensus • Allows the author to appear open-minded or even objective • Appropriate in contexts where you need to convince a resistant opponent to at least respect your views
Rogerian Arguments: Structure • Introduction: statement of problem to be solved or question to be answered • Summary of Opposing Views: described using a seemingly objective persona • Statement of Understanding: concedes circumstances under which opposing views might be valid • Statement of Your Position • Statement of Contexts: describes contexts in which your position applies/works well • Statement of Benefits: appeals to self-interest of readers who may not yet agree with you; demonstrates how your position benefits them