Arguments/Explanations...

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Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 08:27 am
Am I right in determining between those that are arguments and those that are explanations.
I have posted this once already, but these are my ready-to-hand-in answers. Thanks for any help.
A. "On the basis of the material before us, I have no hesitation in finding the that chairman should not continue to acts as chairman," Mr. Justice L. Houlden said in giving judgment for the divisional court. "The constant interference by the chairman in the cross examination of witnesses by counsel for the union, the hostility exhibited by the chairman for counsel for the union and---the most egregious matter---the chairman making his award in the circumstances I have outlined, raise a reasonable apprehension of bias or a real likelihood of bias."
I believe the preceding passage contained an argument, but it seems to have taken place in the past and is now being explained.
The following provides explanation: " 'On the basis of the material before us, I have no hesitation in finding the that chairman should not continue to acts as chairman,' Mr. Justice L. Houlden said in giving judgment for the divisional court."
Here Justice Houlden is simply accounting for why something happened. He simply explains that on the basis of the material before him, he has no hesitation in finding that the chairman should not continue to act as chairman. It strikes me however that the next part of the text is an argument and can be standardized.
- Someone who raises a reasonable apprehension of bias or a real likelihood of bias is not fit to act as chairman.
-The chairman has preformed actions that raise a reasonable apprehension of bias or a real likelihood of bias
Therefore
-The chairman is not fit to act as chairman
To me it seems that there is an explanation of how something came to be, and a past argument given to show how the conclusion was arrived at.
B. Justice Minister Otto Lang deserves praise for firmly committing the government to switching cannabis from the Narcotics Control Act to the Food and Drug Act and promising that jail terms will no longer be handed out for simply possession. The minister also is correct in his stand on penalties for importing marijuana and hashish into Canada. He says the present minimum prison term of seven years and a maximum of life is far to harsh.
Explanation. The author of this piece offers two reasons why the Justice Minister deserves praise. The intention is not that he deserves praise, but why he does.
C. Galileo: But can you doubt that air has weight when you have clear testimony of Aristotle affirming that all the elements have weight, including air, and excepting only fire?
Argument. Galileo is not attempting to account for why air has weight (explanation), but rather that it does. Some dispute it and he appeals to Aristotle. I have inserted some sort of premise means to establish Aristotle's credibility. It is implied that Aristotle is worthy of belief.
-Aristotle affirms that all elements (excepting fire) have a weight.
-[Aristotle is not to be doubted on this matter]
Therefore
-That air has weight is not to be doubted.
D. I heard that Jones voted for Smith, so Smith must be a liberal.
Argument. At stake is Smith's political affiliations, and the speaker argues that he is Liberal. He argues that Jones voted for Smith, and I believe it is implied that as only Liberals gets Jones' votes, Smith must be Liberal.
-I heard that Jones voted for Smith
-[Only Liberals get Jones' vote]
Therefore
-Smith must be a liberal
E. Because of the unusually wet spring, there was a high incidence of crop-failure. So the price of produce went up.
Explanation. Nothing is being argued here. The economy is being explained: The wet spring caused crop failure which in turn caused the produce prices to increase.

 
jgweed
 
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 11:32 am
@Horace phil,
Comment I. Legal argumentation is a special kind of argument, based on the law and whether the circumstances as presented in court apply, and if so how.

Comment II. Example D is an informal fallacy, so perhaps it is not correct to call it an argument. Example E is an example of an inductive argument based on a causal string.

The question arises, under certain occasions, isn't an explanation an argument, or at least part of an argument? A prior step in this discussion would have to be precisely what an "argument" is, and we might end up by deciding that there is not a single definition of argument that would fit all possible cases in which we seem to think there is, in fact, an argument.
Cheers,
John
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 08:03 pm
@Horace phil,
A. I think that in the first example, there is an argument for the conclusion that, " there was a reasonable apprehension of bias or a real likelihood of bias."

B. I think there is neither an argument nor an explanation here

C. Argument that air has weight. Reason. Aristotle says so.

D. Argument. Conclusion. Smith is a Liberal. Reason, Jones voted for Smith

Explanation of why the price of produce went up.
 
Horace phil
 
Reply Tue 9 Jun, 2009 07:17 am
@kennethamy,
I agree with you, though I am still unsure about B...
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 13 Jun, 2009 09:44 am
@Horace phil,
Horace;67648 wrote:
I agree with you, though I am still unsure about B...


Yes, B is a difficult one. And I might have to change to, undeterminable. I wonder what the teacher thought the correct answer is, and, especially, why.
 
 

 
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