Argumentative Approaches

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kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 06:18 am
@jgweed,
jgweed;169881 wrote:
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?


What other warrants are there? Perhaps you ought to say what you think a warrant is. I suppose I can point a gun at you, and tell you to accept as true that 2 +2= 7. Is that what you have in mind as other than a logical warrant?
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 08:54 am
@jgweed,
kennethamy;169874 wrote:
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).

I think the issue with this is that no one is arguing that. One point that could have been derived from my previous post was that "among the various types of argumentative approaches, Aristotle said x, although Y, but in any case Z." Aristotle's categorical argument is not complicated, it is just different. Also, in the previous paragraph, the argument being contrived of as an argument in a "generous" sense was more like another premise. And when I say "generous," a say it in regards to the context in which I am talking about it. If it is a "place holder" so to speak, it would not superficially fit well with the general conception of an argument (of which the thread is about and perhaps could have been an additional talking point).
kennethamy;169874 wrote:
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.
kennethamy;169874 wrote:
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.

The word "substantial" taken within the context of "content" is that it is the essential concept, the basic idea, the main idea, the should-be obvious notion, the how-could-I-miss-the-basic-premise-of-the-story, etc. etc. As in the context of the substantial content, the issue has been the subtleties of predicates in arguments. Ignoring that won't make it get any better though.
kennethamy;169874 wrote:
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.

Sweet bejezus, I think you may have actually indirectly answered one of the parts of the topics of the thread. (OMG Calm down, vide, calm down.) So would you say that you would agree with Jebidiah and Arjuna that it is important to understand elements such as the author's motives, etc? The type of content is insubstantial in the respect that it does not form an explicit part of the argument, but more of an implicit part. Also, would you say that an argument is inherently understood in heuristic terms? Or is argumentative approach a general set model for us to emulate instead? But how would I never teaching logic (which actually is untrue, since I have had a thread series devoted to it for some time and have helped out at least one person with their homework) connect to this conversation? Would you say (considering this little addition) that an argument is still valid if it contains personal attacks, or even had additional irrelevant premises? Could an irrelevant personal attack still be considered a valid form of argument?

Also, suicide is not the answer Kennethamy. Tensor calculus is also not the answer Kennethamy. I would add, dimensional non-quantified super hyperbaric multidimensional mechanics is not the answer as well. LOL! Get it? Obfuscation? Irony? Curiouser and curiouser.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 08:57 am
@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 do I. But why must that be a part of the argument? In logic classes, student are given the exercise of extracting the argument out of the other stuff surrounding it in natural settings (magazine articles, letters to the editor, and so on) so that they can simply focus on the alethic merits of the argument without being confused by explanations, and other irrelevant comments. Not that these may not be important for understanding why (for instance) that argument is being made. But what is important is one thing, What is relevant is a different thing. The first does not imply the second, although the second does imply the first. If you are interested in how much money is contained in your bank account you want to focus on addition and subtraction of the figures. That does not mean that you should not consider questions like overspending, or saving money. Those are very important. Maybe more important than the other stuff about calculating the amount you have in your account at the moment. Only those questions are not relevant to the calculation. Videcorspoon's approach is simply confusing, and mixes up the relevant with what may well be important, but irrelevant.
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 09:01 am
@jgweed,
jgweed;169881 wrote:
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?


I like this, especially the multifaceted way in which you convey that an argument should have a literal quantifier, a warrant, for which we judge a conclusion as true (or even possible false).

Would you say that an irrelevant premise would classify as a warrant? It may classify with your stipulations for logical warranty. In some ways, I think it would because, if anything, it would serve to more exemplify the premises that are more accurate and pertaining to the true conclusion. In other ways though, I think it wouldn't because I think we would have to come to terms with its inherent irrelevancy. Seriously, why keep dead weight in an argument.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 09:10 am
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon;169981 wrote:
I like this, especially the multifaceted way in which you convey that an argument should have a literal quantifier, a warrant, for which we judge a conclusion as true (or even possible false).

Would you say that an irrelevant premise would classify as a warrant? It may classify with your stipulations for logical warranty. In some ways, I think it would because, if anything, it would serve to more exemplify the premises that are more accurate and pertaining to the true conclusion. In other ways though, I think it wouldn't because I think we would have to come to terms with its inherent irrelevancy. Seriously, why keep dead weight in an argument.


Now, if only we knew what a warrant was, and how to decide whether something is a warrant, we would be all set. Do you think that if I inform you that unless you believe that 2+2=7 I will shoot you, that I have given you a warrant for believing that 2+2=7?

Seriously, why keep dead weight in an argument?

Indeed!
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 09:23 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;169986 wrote:
Now, if only we knew what a warrant was, and how to decide whether something is a warrant, we would be all set. Do you think that if I inform you that unless you believe that 2+2=7 I will shoot you, that I have given you a warrant for believing that 2+2=7?

Seriously, why keep dead weight in an argument?

Indeed!


Funny enough, your question pertains to a part of Douglas Hofstadter's notion of formal systems and representational symbols with multiple levels of qualification (which I think may be turned to warranty in this example). Suppose we start off with a new system, with ( P, Q, -- ). You have a formal definition, which is that; xp - qx - is a formal axiom whenever x is a string of -- -- -- --. So if we have; -- p -- q ---, we know that this is an axiom. So now suppose we have a rule which says; 1 Rule: if you have xpyqz, then you can derive the statement xpy--qz-. What happens in the end is that this system reveals that the systems that you have grown up using are just short hand, meaningless notation. The main thing to say is that string 1 plus string two equals string three. I wonder if the fact that as far as Hofstadter's string theory is concerned, 2+2=7 is reducible to representational components which are what we want them to be at any rate. LOL! That whole obfuscation thing again! Simply, the warrant is the representational assembly of whatever we put down and give axiomatic warranty for. This seems very logical to me at any rate.

But it seems to me though that jgweed's comment is very dynamic in the respect that it is able to accommodate any type of warrant, perhaps as long as the warrant there leads to a warranted conclusion. Almost like an argumentative formula with a wide degree of applicability.

Now was any of that dead weight in an argument, that is debatable. LOL! Indeed! (this is fun)
 
jgweed
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 09:56 am
@VideCorSpoon,
Think of the various methods we establish the truth of the premisses. We can adumbrate examples, establish authorities and quote from them, draw distinctions, set up criteria for acceptance and show how the premises meet them, examine contrary doctrines or arguments proving them false, we can describe a situation in a more thorough manner, we can clarify, and so on. We can even show the logic of the prior argumentation for each premise as well as that of the argument taken as a whole.

Except in logic classes where one wants to examine the bare structure of an argument, we seldom find such simple examples in reading philosophers or in practical applications. In THESE very complex and often subtle arguments, logic alone cannot compel assent or even understanding, and must be supplemented with other tools.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 10:04 am
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon;169993 wrote:

perhaps as long as the warrant there leads to a warranted conclusion. Almost like an argumentative formula with a wide degree of applicability.

)


Sure does, since the criterion you have just offered for a warranted system is a tautology, and an empty one, at that. Could not have a wider applicability than that.
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 10:10 am
@jgweed,
jgweed;170002 wrote:
Think of the various methods we establish the truth of the premisses. We can adumbrate examples, establish authorities and quote from them, draw distinctions, set up criteria for acceptance and show how the premises meet them, examine contrary doctrines or arguments proving them false, we can describe a situation in a more thorough manner, we can clarify, and so on. We can even show the logic of the prior argumentation for each premise as well as that of the argument taken as a whole.

Except in logic classes where one wants to examine the bare structure of an argument, we seldom find such simple examples in reading philosophers or in practical applications. In THESE very complex and often subtle arguments, logic alone cannot compel assent or even understanding, and must be supplemented with other tools.


Would you think that, as I think I am drawing a consensus from participating members, that the intention of the author, or even more simply the implicit assumptions (or even conclusions) would factor into what you may say as other tools to supplement the argument?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 10:20 am
@jgweed,
jgweed;170002 wrote:
Think of the various methods we establish the truth of the premisses. We can adumbrate examples, establish authorities and quote from them, draw distinctions, set up criteria for acceptance and show how the premises meet them, examine contrary doctrines or arguments proving them false, we can describe a situation in a more thorough manner, we can clarify, and so on. We can even show the logic of the prior argumentation for each premise as well as that of the argument taken as a whole.

Except in logic classes where one wants to examine the bare structure of an argument, we seldom find such simple examples in reading philosophers or in practical applications. In THESE very complex and often subtle arguments, logic alone cannot compel assent or even understanding, and must be supplemented with other tools.


When we offer examples, use authority, etc. these all can be, and should be, formulable as premises and conclusion. Exactly that is what exercises in casting natural language arguments into standard form so that the arguments can be assessed is all about. Of course there are very complex arguments in philosophers. The challenge is to cast these into a form that we can handle without missing what is essential. As an example, take Descartes's argument in his first and second Meditations. In the first Meditation he argues (and this is supported by three lemmas) that (1) if Empiricism is true, then skepticism is true. In the second Meditation, he argues that (2) skepticism is not true (because of the the Cogito). It then follows from (1) and (2) that Empiricism is false. By the valid inference form, modus tollens. Do you know of any better, and clearer way of understanding Descartes arguments in the first two Meditations? Of course. once we see that his argument is"

1. Empiricism implies skepticism
2. Skepticism is false.

Therefore, 3. Empiricism is false. (From 1 and 2. By modus tollens).

We can then evaluate the argument, and have a fixed target. That is how (IMO) we should philosophize.

Have you any objections?
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 10:21 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;170006 wrote:
Sure does, since the criterion you have just offered for a warranted system is a tautology, and an empty one, at that. Could not have a wider applicability than that.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 10:27 am
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon;170013 wrote:


How could a warranted conclusion not be warranted? It is fine to be serious. It is fine to be humorous. What is not so fine is to confuse them so that neither you nor your reader knows when you are doing the one, and when you are doing the other. Confusion is the bane of philosophizing. Let's try to minimize it, although it will crop up sooner of later. That is the nature of the subject. But there really is no need to abet and encourage it.
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 10:29 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;170015 wrote:
How could a warranted conclusion not be warranted?


A warranted conclusion would follow from the warrants which validate it as such.

ANYWAY THIS IS BESIDES THE POINT!!!! LOL!!!!

Seriously though, stick to the topic! What are your thoughts on the questions in the OP?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 10:32 am
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon;170016 wrote:
A warranted conclusion would follow from the warrants which validate it as such.

ANYWAY THIS IS BESIDES THE POINT!!!! LOL!!!!

Seriously though, stick to the topic! What are your thoughts on the questions in the OP?


I have already presented them, I thought. I think that your view is nefarious.
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 10:36 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;170018 wrote:
I have already presented them, I thought. I think that your view is nefarious.


Awesome, then there is nothing left to talk about. You have your opinion (which is that my view is "nefarious," (which incidentally I would like to know how nefarious now, like Jafar from Disney's Alladin nefarious or Captain Hook from Peter Pan nefarious LOL!) and I have mine. Which leads to the presentation of your argument which evidently was already stated. Well played, sir, well played. It was so good, I did not even notice them, but given a heavy emphasis on obfuscation, it seems rightly so.
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 10:37 am
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;169721 wrote:
It is vague; many people argue vaguely.

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.


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.
Well... that's what I was going to say. When you say that the author's motive is important you have to see that this motive exists in relation to the opponent's.

So to build an effective argument you have to ask: did I really understand my opponent? Otherwise you can end up presenting some really cool stuff to some phantom that only exists in your mind... in other words you're arguing with yourself. If that was your goal... then great.

"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 first speculate that my opponent thinks that in a state of unrestricted freedom of speech, no democracy nor any other type of government would be possible. A state has to be able to act as a unit in times of emergency. During wartime, for instance, the importance of civil rights is eclipsed by national security. So rights themselves are not fundamental to the viability of democracy, but rather some system that allows democracy to reboot after the crisis. If I can pick up clues that this is my opponent's position, then I can draw from the above sentences to refute this support for violation of rights. Ummm.. it might take me a while to do it though, but I have no doubt I could. If I can see George Washington in a cloud, I can see the honest truth in just about any series of assertions.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 10:45 am
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon;170020 wrote:
Awesome, then there is nothing left to talk about. You have your opinion (which is that my view is "nefarious," (which incidentally I would like to know how nefarious now, like Jafar from Disney's Alladin nefarious or Captain Hook from Peter Pan nefarious LOL!) and I have mine. Which leads to the presentation of your argument which evidently was already stated. Well played, sir, well played. It was so good, I did not even notice them, but given a heavy emphasis on obfuscation, it seems rightly so.


Sorry. Lost track of your point again. It is nefarious because, as I pointed out, it leads to confusion and obfuscation which is, I think, a pernicious thing in philosophy. I am somewhat surprised to learn that you do not, despite your evident interest in logic.
 
Jebediah
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 10:50 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;169978 wrote:
So do I. But why must that be a part of the argument? In logic classes, student are given the exercise of extracting the argument out of the other stuff surrounding it in natural settings (magazine articles, letters to the editor, and so on) so that they can simply focus on the alethic merits of the argument without being confused by explanations, and other irrelevant comments. Not that these may not be important for understanding why (for instance) that argument is being made. But what is important is one thing, What is relevant is a different thing. The first does not imply the second, although the second does imply the first. If you are interested in how much money is contained in your bank account you want to focus on addition and subtraction of the figures. That does not mean that you should not consider questions like overspending, or saving money. Those are very important. Maybe more important than the other stuff about calculating the amount you have in your account at the moment. Only those questions are not relevant to the calculation. Videcorspoon's approach is simply confusing, and mixes up the relevant with what may well be important, but irrelevant.


Yes, I agree. An argument is what you would extract out of the other stuff. An argumentative approach might focus on that other stuff, or on the argument itself, depending.
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 10:52 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;170025 wrote:
Sorry. Lost track of your point again. It is nefarious because, as I pointed out, it leads to confusion and obfuscation which is, I think, a pernicious thing in philosophy. I am somewhat surprised to learn that you do not, despite your evident interest in logic.


Sorry, I thought we were finished with the discussion. Despite what you might have learned though, in may be flawed in the respect that you are taking what you want out of every post though rather than considering what should be extrapolated from the points and counter points. Like the way your responses to my responses get shorter and shorter (content wise) and thus less related to the topic as the conversation continues, which seems to be a typical pattern with you and I. I don't fault you for this though, the main thing is that you are trying and that deserves appreciation. Sorry, but I think our conversation is finished (at least as far as these hilarious exchanges are concerned, which are I will admit very diverting but not really on topic).
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 04:10 pm
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;170028 wrote:
Yes, I agree. An argument is what you would extract out of the other stuff. An argumentative approach might focus on that other stuff, or on the argument itself, depending.


It might. But then, what has that approach to do with the argument? It really is all a mess, isn't it? And so pointless and irrelevant.
 
 

 
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