Argumentative Approaches

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Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 11:15 am
What really is an argument? An argument at its very core is a presentation of facts and opinions that are composed to support a common position of one sort or another. Is an argument so much a shouting match between two people about a given topic? Informally, yes, but in the formal sense, there is a much more orderly composition that when utilized by both parties (or as many parties that are involved), it becomes something vastly more understandable and fruitful.

The notion of an effective argument is very interesting in that it deals with a variety of variables. Perhaps one of the most important features is truth functionality. Is the argument fallacious? Is it accurate? How do you measure and accept within tolerance the validity of a given statement? You could go as far as logic, inferences, fallacies, etc. You could also go as far as the writing/argumentative style of your opponent, that is, what sort of obfuscating methods (or even tactics) do they use to mislead you. It all depends on your own particular argumentative approach.

QUESTION 1: What is your idea of an argument and the inherent limits, subtleties, etc. of it?

Now take what your conceptions of an argument, its limits, its subtleties, and apply it to the following example argument. Essentially, it is an argument that contains a substantial thesis and multiple premises (some of which are fallacious and some are fairly accurate).

Sample Argument wrote:

The notion of the freedom of speech is a fundamental part of our democratic society, since it allows us to voice our concerns without fear of censorship or undue limitation. In one way, a society which has free speech must be a democratic society. Indeed, if a democracy does not have free speech, it is not a viable democracy. But then, terrorists use speech to disseminate hateful propaganda. Only a society which has no restrictions on free speech can be a true and viable democracy. Thus in these ways, if a democracy is to remain viable, we must continue to have free speech.


QUESTION 2:
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 11:55 am
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon;169590 wrote:
What really is an argument? An argument at its very core is a presentation of facts and opinions that are composed to support a common position of one sort or another.


As far as I understand the concept, an argument in the sense you are talking about is a set of statements (propositions). One of which is the conclusion. The others of which are the premises. And it is claimed by the arguer that the premises so support the conclusion that they make the conclusion worthy of belief. Why would you think that an argument is composed of facts and opinions, or positions?
 
Twirlip
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 12:43 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon;169590 wrote:
QUESTION 1: What is your idea of an argument and the inherent limits, subtleties, etc. of it?

An argument is a communication aimed at bringing about assent to a proposition solely by appeal to reason. (I don't know how to define 'reason', but I take it to be an innate human faculty, not always used.)
VideCorSpoon;169590 wrote:
QUESTION 2:

Even on a charitable reading, it appears to be a tautology; and on any reading, it is very muddled (even though I agree with the proposition which appears to be both its conclusion and one of its premises, viz. "if a democracy does not have free speech, it is not a viable democracy"). Maybe it's just me, but I would have to read through the argument several times more to be quite sure of what it is or is not saying!
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 01:05 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;169599 wrote:
As far as I understand the concept, an argument in the sense you are talking about is a set of statements (propositions). One of which is the conclusion. The others of which are the premises. And it is claimed by the arguer that the premises so support the conclusion that they make the conclusion worthy of belief. Why would you think that an argument is composed of facts and opinions, or positions?


An argument in the sense I am talking about is, to quote again from the initial post, "presentation of facts and opinions that are composed to support a common position of one sort or another." The presentation of facts and opinions (the premises) are composed to support a common position (the conclusion). I think everyone can agree that an argument follows that very basic framework, whether it be; "premise, premise, conclusion" or "premise, conclusion, premise, counter premise, restatement of conclusion," etc.

On your own comment though, as the second part of my question may have eluded to (if answered), an argument has all sorts obfuscations and general structural quirks, etc. Some of the parts of the sample paragraph show common mistakes or misleading comments, etc. It would all depend on how you approach the argument goes (or even how adept you are to single them out). For example, you mention in your own post #2 that, "it is claimed by the arguer that the premises so support the conclusion that they make the conclusion worthy of belief." Is it always the case that the "arguer" supports the conclusion or that they make the conclusion worthy of belief? Could an argument not be fallacious, or completely malformed? Could this actually be the intent in the first place? Simply, is it as you may imply that an argument is necessarily a well formed argument? Incidentally, in the sample paragraph, there is a sentence that addresses this very subtlety in arguments.

However, all of this is beside the point. The question is what do you think an argument is and based off of those conceptions, could you apply it to the sample argument.

---------- Post added 05-27-2010 at 03:16 PM ----------

Twirlip;169610 wrote:
An argument is a communication aimed at bringing about assent to a proposition solely by appeal to reason. (I don't know how to define 'reason', but I take it to be an innate human faculty, not always used.)


I like this interpretation, especially with your use of "appeal to reason," which seems very modern to me. Would you find that an argument must necessarily have an appeal to reason? Would you say, based off of your final comment above, that reason is an integral part of argumentation?

Twirlip;169610 wrote:
Even on a charitable reading, it appears to be a tautology; and on any reading, it is very muddled (even though I agree with the proposition which appears to be both its conclusion and one of its premises, viz. "if a democracy does not have free speech, it is not a viable democracy"). Maybe it's just me, but I would have to read through the argument several times more to be quite sure of what it is or is not saying!


Definitely good eye on the paragraph being muddled. A major point I was intending to convey was that based off of your own conception of an argument, you would be able to negate the obfuscations concurrently. I have to say though, you may be on to a good interpretation though by singling out the "if a democracy does not have free speech, it is not a viable democracy," although it is part of a bigger puzzle though. Some statements affect its potency as far as the general argument is concerned. So essentially, based off of what you consider an argument, what else could be amended, changed, to make it a truly effective argument?
 
Jebediah
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 02:08 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
I formal argument is what kenn described. An argument in the sense that people mean when they say "My argument is that..." is kind of a mish mash usually. Both approaches have their uses, but I do want to see what the person thinks and why they think in when they make an argument.

Quote:
The notion of the freedom of speech is a fundamental part of our democratic society, since it allows us to voice our concerns without fear of censorship or undue limitation. In one way, a society which has free speech must be a democratic society. Indeed, if a democracy does not have free speech, it is not a viable democracy. But then, terrorists use speech to disseminate hateful propaganda. Only a society which has no restrictions on free speech can be a true and viable democracy. Thus in these ways, if a democracy is to remain viable, we must continue to have free speech.


I would point out that all societies have some restrictions on free speech--they don't allow incitement to violence (as far as I know). Of course these aren't pure democracies but I assume you don't mean that.
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 03:22 pm
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;169676 wrote:
I formal argument is what kenn described. An argument in the sense that people mean when they say "My argument is that..." is kind of a mish mash usually. Both approaches have their uses, but I do want to see what the person thinks and why they think in when they make an argument.


So you would say (I am gathering so correct me if I am wrong) that an argument is essentially a statement, such as "My argument is that I do not like water melon because it is tasty" or something to that effect (possibly without a conclusion statement because "because" is a premise indicator). If so, I think that may problematic in the respect that "argument" is being predicated in a multiple way. Almost as though there is a second level predicate incorrectly labeling a statement as an argument in virtue of calling it such. Would it be fair to suppose that an argument is an amalgamation of statements in which have common purpose with all of what has been said in mind?

But in some respects, some arguments do not have to have blunt conclusions since they can have inherent implications in the premises. Open editorials do this many times over, with all the fluff cut out of course.


Jebediah;169676 wrote:
I would point out that all societies have some restrictions on free speech--they don't allow incitement to violence (as far as I know). Of course these aren't pure democracies but I assume you don't mean that.


So within the context of the sample paragraph, would all of the premises be incompatible with your thoughts? One thing that Twirlip had mentioned in her post was that there was a good feeling about the premise, "if a democracy does not have free speech, it is not a viable democracy." If the paragraph is taken at face (namely no other information being considered except for the material in the paragraph), I wonder if what you would have to say would in fact be a sort of flip of necessary/sufficient conditions pertaining to the same sentence. In fact, your reasoning may lend criticism to a few other premises, including the last premise which states that "only a society which has no restriction on free speech can be a true and viable democracy."

Also, if you were to say "not all societies have free speech," that problematic within the context of the paragraph because it is an over extension of the content. All societies are not all democracies of which there may be, sub-cat, the case that there is the possibility that there exists one such democratic society which has restricted free speech.
 
sometime sun
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 03:28 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
I tend to go into arguments believing I am wrong, as only a good argument will hold this true, a bad argument will be that which proves they and I are wrong in our wrongs.
Accepting you are wrong and having someone prove to them selves and you this is a correct assumption is easier than thinking you are right and never being able to be proved anything.
It is harder for someone to prove you are right at being wrong that someone proving you wrong at being right.
 
Jebediah
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 03:30 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon;169704 wrote:
So you would say (I am gathering so correct me if I am wrong) that an argument is essentially a statement, such as "My argument is that I do not like water melon" or something to that effect (possibly without a conclusion statement). If so, I think I think that may problematic in the respect that "argument" is being predicated in a multiple way. Almost as though there is a second level predicate incorrectly labeling a statement as an argument in virtue of calling it such. Would it be fair to suppose that an argument is an amalgamation of statements in which have common purpose with all of what has been said in mind?

But in some respects, some arguments do not have to have blunt conclusions since they can have inherent implications in the premises. Open editorials do this many times over, with all the fluff cut out of course.


When people are talking about something, the argument is the thing one person said that they expect to convince or explain the issue to the other person. Often not a formal argument.




Quote:
So within the context of the sample paragraph, would all of the premises be incompatible with your thoughts? One thing that Twirlip had mentioned in her post was that she had a good feeling about the premise, "if a democracy does not have free speech, it is not a viable democracy." If the paragraph is taken at face (namely no other information being considered except for the material in the paragraph), I wonder if what you would have to say would in fact be a sort of be a flip of necessary/sufficient conditions pertaining to the same sentence. In feact, your reasoning may lend criticism to a few other premises, including the last premise which states that "only a society which has no restriction on free speech can be a true and viable democracy."

Also, if you were to say "not all societies have free speech," that problematic within the context of the paragraph because it is an over extension of the content. All societies are not all democracies of which there may be, sub-cat, the case that there is the possibility that there exists one such democratic society which has restricted free speech.
I think this is a bad way to argue :shifty:

My thoughts on the sample are that I don't know why they are arguing for it, and disagree that we should have no restrictions on free speech for the reasons I mention. I don't care to talk about premises in a formal manner if the person hasn't made their argument explicitly formal. I like it when people keep it short and I understand what the mean and why they are saying it.
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 03:48 pm
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;169707 wrote:
When people are talking about something, the argument is the thing one person said that they expect to convince or explain the issue to the other person. Often not a formal argument.

This seems rather vague though. Granted a person can say many things in an argument, regardless of whether or not that argument is actually well formed. Indeed, within the context of certain editorial pieces, you can have an experienced writer compose an entire 500 word article without bluntly stating the thesis/conclusion/etc. There would have to be, I would imagine, a very storm implicative conclusion littered throughout the entire article though.

But I think I am beginning to see your view of an argument, namely that A is trying to convince B on a given subject. Would you say there are any subtleties to the argument though? Would you imply that an argument does not have to be well formed to be an argument to begin with? In a worst case scenario, could you have an argument filled entirely with statements?

Jebediah;169707 wrote:
I think this is a bad way to argue

My thoughts on the sample are that I don't know why they are arguing for it, and disagree that we should have no restrictions on free speech for the reasons I mention. I don't care to talk about premises in a formal manner if the person hasn't made their argument explicitly formal. I like it when people keep it short and I understand what the mean and why they are saying it.

Honestly, it really does seem like a bad way to argue (at least superficially). It seems that rather than narrowing obfuscations and logical reasoning on-the-fly, it may just be a lot more simple to say "If A, then B" rather than "If A, then B, If C, then D, either A or C, thus B or D," even though both are really sound inferences and valid.

As far as the sample goes, the thesis/restatment is that "The notion of the freedom of speech is a fundamental part of our democratic society, since it allows us to voice our concerns without fear of censorship or undue limitation ... Thus in these ways, if a democracy is to remain viable, we must continue to have free speech." The premises/counter-premises that follow were to be identified at the discretion of the reader as to whether or not they were compatible with your particular view of an argument. If anything, are the premises agreeable with the thesis/restatement? Indeed, an argument does not have to have everything that may make sense and be completely agreeable. In fact, I know for certain that out of the many premises in there, there is only one that actually works right. But then again, with a novel way of approaching an argument, one may argue that one premise, while it may be too vague or obfuscating, may in fact coincide with a valid form. I suppose we could consider the paragraph a working exercise in our own conceptions of argumentation.
 
Jebediah
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 03:57 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon;169717 wrote:
This seems rather vague though. Granted a person can say many things in an argument, regardless of whether or not that argument is actually well formed. Indeed, within the context of certain editorial pieces, you can have an experienced writer compose an entire 500 word article without bluntly stating the thesis/conclusion/etc. There would have to be, I would imagine, a very storm implicative conclusion littered throughout the entire article though.


It is vague; many people argue vaguely.

Quote:
But I think I am beginning to see your view of an argument, namely that A is trying to convince B on a given subject. Would you say there are any subtleties to the argument though? Would you imply that an argument does not have to be well formed to be an argument to begin with? In a worst case scenario, could you have an argument filled entirely with statements?
Person A: it's not going to rain today
Person B: the weatherman said it was

That's person B's argument. You could formalize it and state all the implied premises, but I don't see why you would in that case.


Quote:
Honestly, it really does seem like a bad way to argue (at least superficially). It seems that rather than narrowing obfuscations and logical reasoning on-the-fly, it may just be a lot more simple to say "If A, then B" rather than "If A, then B, If C, then D, either A or C, thus B or D," even though both are really sound inferences and valid.

As far as the sample goes, the thesis statement is that "The notion of the freedom of speech is a fundamental part of our democratic society, since it allows us to voice our concerns without fear of censorship or undue limitation." The premises/counter-premises that follow were to be identified at the discretion of the reader as to whether or not they were compatible with your particular view of an argument. Indeed, an argument does not have to have everything that may make sense and be completely agreeable. In fact, I know for certain that out of the many premises in there, there is only one that actually works right. But then again, with a novel way of approaching an argument, one may argue that one premise, while it may be too vague or obfuscating, may in fact coincide with a valid form. I suppose we could consider the paragraph a working exercise in our own conceptions of argumentation.
But see, there's always a person on the other side of the argument. Often they mean more than they say, or are arguing with some other motivation. And that can be enlightening. Why someone believes what they do and why they think it is important can be lost in a simple list of premises.
 
platorepublic
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 04:02 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
An argument is an art, not a science.
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 04:40 pm
@platorepublic,
Jebediah;169721 wrote:
It is vague; many people argue vaguely.


Definitely agree with you there, which is all the more reason to have a solidified conception of argumentation, that instead of having varying degrees of argumentative vagueness, more emphasis could be placed on the effectiveness of the argument (to reduce the issues of the former).

Jebediah;169721 wrote:

Person A: it's not going to rain today
Person B: the weatherman said it was

That's person B's argument. You could formalize it and state all the implied premises, but I don't see why you would in that case.

I wonder whether or not that would be a discussion rather than an argument though. If A were to say "It is not going to rain today. I have read three articles on it as well as viewing the weather channel, whose expert analysis is seldom wrong. Thus, it is not going to rain." Although inductive (in overall substantial content), it is somewhat of an argument. Seems more like A in your example is an unsupported statement, a lonely premise with an obscure implication. And if B adds to A's statement, is that really part of a single argument or a combined set of statements (and would the conclusion still have to be drawn implicitly?).

Jebediah;169721 wrote:
But see, there's always a person on the other side of the argument. Often they mean more than they say, or are arguing with some other motivation. And that can be enlightening. Why someone believes what they do and why they think it is important can be lost in a simple list of premises.

Not necessarily, although I see the abstract way in which you are approaching the topic though. It makes sense in some respects to suppose there would be another person on the other side of the argument, because then there seems to be a practical question (as to the causality of it all), essentially, why make an argument if you are the only one who is going to read it. Wouldn't this be a statement then? But take Descartes' Meditiations for example. It is written (in content and context) insularly, where it is a self-reflection of his own thoughts. But this does not suppose that the entire work is not an argument in itself though, right?
On tertiary motives, I suppose that would be the motivation of the specific author though. Wouldn't this then be implicit and probably not so much part of an express argument?

But I now gather that you would place a good deal of emphasis on the underline motive behind the writing of a given argument. That is to say, if I said, "I love ponies," being super awesome and popular as well as the reason for the season, everybody goes out an buys ponies of their own, therein making my pony monopoly very lucrative, I stand to make more from what I think (making money) from the superficial statement (my love of ponies... which are pretty).

platorepublic;169724 wrote:
An argument is an art, not a science.


In what ways is argumentation an art and not a science? Some would say that art is a science and science is an art because of the inherent subtleties in the various ways in which we approach both differently and the same way. Also, would you say that what you said is a statement or an argument?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 04:45 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon;169627 wrote:

However, all of this is beside the point. The question is what do you think an argument is and based off of those conceptions, could you apply it to the sample argument.

---------- Post added 05-27-2010 at 03:16 PM ----------





A sample argument could very well be the most famous of all arguments, Aristotle's.

1. All men are mortal.
2. Socrates is a man.

Therefore, 3, Socrates is mortal.

The argument above has all of the elements of an argument. There is a conclusion marked by the illiative (or conclusion indicator, "therefore") and there are the premises that are claimed to support the conclusion. What more would you want?
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 05:01 pm
@kennethamy,
sometime sun;169706 wrote:
I tend to go into arguments believing I am wrong, as only a good argument will hold this true, a bad argument will be that which proves they and I are wrong in our wrongs.
Accepting you are wrong and having someone prove to them selves and you this is a correct assumption is easier than thinking you are right and never being able to be proved anything.
It is harder for someone to prove you are right at being wrong that someone proving you wrong at being right.


That's an excellent way to approach an argument.

kennethamy;169746 wrote:
A sample argument could very well be the most famous of all arguments, Aristotle's.

1. All men are mortal.
2. Socrates is a man.

Therefore, 3, Socrates is mortal.

The argument above has all of the elements of an argument. There is a conclusion marked by the illiative (or conclusion indicator, "therefore") and there are the premises that are claimed to support the conclusion. What more would you want?


Exactly! However, there could be a number of novel ways in which the subject of our conceptions of arguments could be approached. There are premises and a conclusion, sure, but what about a larger compounded argument such as the sample paragraph using nonsense obfuscation to cloud the intent of the thesis?

Suppose;

1. All men are mortal
2. Socrates is a man
3. Some men are zombies
4. All zombies are dead

Universally predicated, Socrates is a man but existentially predicated, the possibility exists that some men are zombies. Can Socrates be considered part of the this existential predication? Probably. Some is not all but all could include some. So would this line of premises lend a clear conclusion that Socrates is mortal? Yes. Because even zombies and Socrates were mortal at some point before they died and possibly rose from the dead to feast on the flesh of the living in a string of mildly successful straight to dvd releases of hit horror/comedy films. Was all of that necessary? No. BAM! If the glove does not fit, you must acquit. The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence. RUMSFELD! (LOL! what???)
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 05:50 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon;169590 wrote:

QUESTION 1: What is your idea of an argument and the inherent limits, subtleties, etc. of it?
A person generally has some agenda behind an argument. We aren't computers. Emotional biases are involved whether stated or not. An ounce of understanding the emotions involved is worth a pound of pure logic.

VideCorSpoon;169590 wrote:

QUESTION 2:
"The notion of the freedom of speech is a fundamental part of our democratic society, since it allows us to voice our concerns without fear of censorship or undue limitation. In one way, a society which has free speech must be a democratic society. Indeed, if a democracy does not have free speech, it is not a viable democracy. But then, terrorists use speech to disseminate hateful propaganda. Only a society which has no restrictions on free speech can be a true and viable democracy. Thus in these ways, if a democracy is to remain viable, we must continue to have free speech."

I think an effective argument achieves some goal. Fundamentally, these statements are linking freedom of speech to the life of democracy along with what looks like support of terrorist tactics. (Who said 'I'd give the Devil the benefit of the law for my own safety's sake'? ... Thomas More?)

Stating that something is true isn't enough to persuade someone who doesn't believe it. I think I'd have to give examples of how democracy is undermined when that right is not enforced by the government.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 10:17 pm
@platorepublic,
platorepublic;169724 wrote:
An argument is an art, not a science.


Which means, what? That it cannot be determined whether or not an argument is a correct argument or not? It sounds nice to say that kind of thing, but what does it mean?

---------- Post added 05-28-2010 at 12:28 AM ----------

VideCorSpoon;169756 wrote:

Exactly! However, there could be a number of novel ways in which the subject of our conceptions of arguments could be approached. There are premises and a conclusion, sure, but what about a larger compounded argument such as the sample paragraph using nonsense obfuscation to cloud the intent of the thesis?

Suppose;

1. All men are mortal
2. Socrates is a man
3. Some men are zombies
4. All zombies are dead

Universally predicated, Socrates is a man but existentially predicated, the possibility exists that some men are zombies. Can Socrates be considered part of the this existential predication? Probably. Some is not all but all could include some. So would this line of premises lend a clear conclusion that Socrates is mortal? Yes. Because even zombies and Socrates were mortal at some point before they died and possibly rose from the dead to feast on the flesh of the living in a string of mildly successful straight to dvd releases of hit horror/comedy films. Was all of that necessary? No. BAM! If the glove does not fit, you must acquit. The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence. RUMSFELD! (LOL! what???)


Sorry, what is your point, exactly? Or even, inexactly? And what does "universally predicated" and, "existentially predicated" mean? Some men are zombies is, as far as we know, false. Let us agree on that. If some men were zombies, would Socrates be included in the class of zombies? The sentence give us no such information. So the answer is, it is undetermined, which is also an answer. At least the only answer available. Again, what is your point? If you are attempting to explain the notion of argument, and to make the notion clear, you are doing exactly the opposite, and appear to be intentionally making it confusing. So, I ask again. What is your point?
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 12:25 am
@kennethamy,
Arjuna;169773 wrote:
A person generally has some agenda behind an argument. We aren't computers. Emotional biases are involved whether stated or not. An ounce of understanding the emotions involved is worth a pound of pure logic.

I think this is as equally similar insight with that (at least as far as I have taken it) of Jebediah (specifically in post #10), namely the underline motives of the author. I think this is also a reasonable variable to consider, it would be just as important as understanding the cause of an effect.
Arjuna;169773 wrote:

I think an effective argument achieves some goal. Fundamentally, these statements are linking freedom of speech to the life of democracy along with what looks like support of terrorist tactics. (Who said 'I'd give the Devil the benefit of the law for my own safety's sake'? ... Thomas More?)
Arjuna;169773 wrote:
Stating that something is true isn't enough to persuade someone who doesn't believe it. I think I'd have to give examples of how democracy is undermined when that right is not enforced by the government.

So what you would say in the example paragraph then is that on top of the information that was given, you would definitely need additional information to gather a correct conclusion. I think this is prudent. But given the information that is there (and thinking of nothing else), and also given the fact that you may think that a primary issue with arguments is considering the motivation of the author, could you extrapolate anything from what is there and perhaps gather a conclusion in that way?
kennethamy;169821 wrote:

Sorry, what is your point, exactly? Or even, inexactly? And what does "universally predicated" and, "existentially predicated" mean? Some men are zombies is, as far as we know, false. Let us agree on that. If some men were zombies, would Socrates be included in the class of zombies? The sentence give us no such information. So the answer is, it is undetermined, which is also an answer. At least the only answer available. Again, what is your point? If you are attempting to explain the notion of argument, and to make the notion clear, you are doing exactly the opposite, and appear to be intentionally making it confusing. So, I ask again. What is your point?


When you mentioned Aristotle's arguments, I thought you were bringing it up in the context of why Aristotle conceived the categorical argument in the first place. To roughly convey it all, there are valid arguments whose validity does not necessarily depend on truth functional operators. Even in the most basic conception of Aristotle's argumentation, the universal and existential quantifiers (predicates) are sub-set statement placeholders accounting for a more abstract conception that cannot easily be convey by propositional logic. Rather, it is a class holder in a categorical framework. Sorry, but you are the one who brought up the example, I'm just working with it because you asked "what more could I want?" What I want is more insight into the subtleties of an argument in your own opinion. You gave me Aristotle's, but I am sure you have a novel solution yourself.

I suppose superficially though, the argument you posted in your post #13 (the Aristotelian argument) is an argument in a very generous sense (cannot easily be reverse engineered to propositional form), but in substantial content, it is fairly different, especially for the aforesaid reasons.

The "some men are zombies, all zombies are dead" addition was a hilarious (although I guess that was relative) play at universal and existential quantification's with a high level of redundancy. The compounded argument is full of those if it was read correctly (an objective in the second question). I suppose it was as I said at the beginning of it all, "nonsense obfuscation to cloud the intent of the thesis."
 
platorepublic
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 05:25 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;169821 wrote:
Which means, what? That it cannot be determined whether or not an argument is a correct argument or not? It sounds nice to say that kind of thing, but what does it mean?

It sounds nice, so precisely my point.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 05:33 am
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon;169844 wrote:


I suppose superficially though, the argument you posted in your post #13 (the Aristotelian argument) is an argument in a very generous sense (cannot easily be reverse engineered to propositional form), but in substantial content, it is fairly different, especially for the aforesaid reasons.

"


The fact that there are more complicated arguments than the Aristotleian example not a valid argument for the conclusion that the Aristotelian example is only an argument in a very generous sense (whatever that means). That would be like saying that because a penny is less valuable than a nickel, that a penny is only a coin in a very generous sense. Indeed, you might want to examine this argument of yours. What difference does the "substantiality" of the content of the argument make to whether or not it is an argument? None, of course. And, indeed, in order to examine and understand the nature of argument, it is heuristically important to examine an argument with insubstantial content so that the essentials of argumentation can be clearly understood. I suppose you have never taught logic. It would be almost suicidal to begin with the more complicated before the simpler was thoroughly understood. You don't introduce calculus with tensor calculus.
 
jgweed
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 06:00 am
@VideCorSpoon,
Argumentation is about providing warrants for accepting as true certain conclusions. By limiting any discussion to these (more or less) strictly logical warrants, are we not ignoring the others that are at least as important?
 
 

 
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