Identifying Arguments | Informal Logic

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 JS Hanniffy 1 Comments


I apologize to the mistake in writing the sure name of the author’s informal Logic in my previous posting; the sure name should be Walton instead of Watson. I should have changed it yesterday; however, the article has been bookmarked in at least 3 or more social bookmarks; thus through this blog I would like to apologize for the error.

Let’s continue to the topic of critical thinking.

If you are interested in this subject, please read the book of Walton about Informal Logic. You will find further information about critical thinking in his book; there are a lot of books about critical thinking, but I think Walton is suitable for those who are studying critical thinking; I’m not sure if this module is studied in faculty of Psychology in Indonesia?

I’ve already given types of dialogue on my previous posting yesterday, haven’t I? The types of dialogue are to introduce you in recognising valid argument; it is very important to be able to identify valid arguments either it’s true or false. My lecture said that some people find it easy to identify whether the argument true or false; I assume, as these people may naturally have already born with this skill.

For being able to identify valid arguments, you need know that argument is always identified by clear premises, reason, and clear conclusion. However, there are many of argument in realistic context with confusing premises, and also unclear direction; this is called as deductive validity. The worst of it is when people attempt to keep arguing it --- I’m sure you find so many phenomena like that.

To achieve a good conclusion, the dialogue must derive from a clear premises or reason; in other word it has to be reasonable.  Obviously, there is no a conclusion if there is no reason; according to this, there is no argument at all.

Let’s examine an example of the statement below:

“It is right to ban cigarette advertising because it encourages young people to start smoking. But even if had no such influence on young people, it would be right to ban it because it could give existing smokers the mistaken impression that their habit is socially acceptable”.

Do you find the reasons and the conclusion from the example above? And how many premises you can see from the example above?

Here is my theory of the example above. I found 2 premises and 1 conclusion on the statement above.

The conclusion: It is right to ban cigarette....

The reason 1: Because it encourages young people to start....

The reason 2: Because it could give existing....

So, the reasons 1 and 2 are supporting the conclusion; this is called argument. There has to be 1 or more reasons to support the conclusion in argument. There will be no argument without reason(s) and conclusion(s).


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1 comment:

  1. This article may be very complicated for me
    because, sometimes I need to know how make the good conclusions

    ReplyDelete

Nice saying shows your character but that doesn't mean you can criticize. You can still do both in nice and polite way.

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