Analyzing The Validity Of Argument

Monday, April 05, 2010 Jo Hanniffy 5 Comments

Apart of should be able  know about the difference between "Truth and Validity In An Argument" in the critical thinking study is to be able to distinguish an argument from explanation or a description; analyzing an argument into its premises and conclusion; distinguish inductive from deductive argumentation; and explain the relationship between validity and truth in reasoning. These are very important part of learning in the critical thinking, hence we will be able to analyze argument in all right way; as well as it leads us to  think and behave academically in critical thinking. 

As I've already recommended on my previous post --- for those who interested in critical thinking please read the book of Douglas N. Walton, Informal Logic, and another good book is Nigel Warburton, Thinking from A to Z.


Argument derives from terms and claims; there will be no argument come alone without terms and claims, and the terms can be clear or unclear --- but remember there's always logical relationship between terms and claims. 

However, although there is a logical relationship between terms and claim --- argument can be valid or invalid depending on the proportions of the premises and the conclusion. Nevertheless, the fact that argument is valid does not guarantee the truth of its conclusion --- but an argument is sound when it is valid and only true premises.

Also, the main thing need to remember is that difference between Claim and Argument. Claim is a statement either true or false, while Argument is a set of reasons supporting conclusion.

Here is one of the methode of argument called modus ponendo ponens (MPP) *MPP was orginally from latin*.

If A, then B. A. Therefore B

For example:

If Cut Nyak Dien was born in Galway then RA Kartini was born in Dublin. Cut Nyak Dien was born in Galway therefore RA Kartini was born in Dublin.

Remember, that argument is all about valid or invalid; therefore, you don't look at the true or false of the concept --- if the sound argument it says logically then the argumen is valid. We know (for Indonesian certainly know about this) that Cut Nyak Dien wasn't born in Ireland as well as RA Kartini --- but for other people who are not Indonesian, they just see the whole sentence make a sense (logic) --- they don't know about the whether the information is true or false.

Here is another methode of argument called Modus tollendo tollens (MTT):

If A, then B. Not B. Therefore Not A

For  example: 
If  the post office closed, the letter will not be posted. The letter is not posted. Therefore the post office is closed.

The validity or invalidity of argumen will depend on the logic --- doesn't depend on the true of false of the concept. And validity itself can be sound or unsound depending on the proportion of the premises.

DBLN, 21.05-040410


  1. -_-_-_-_-_-_-Cosmorary-_-_-_-_-_-_-
    *******Salam ‘Blog’!!*******
    Assalamualaikum warohmatullahi wabarokatuh



  2. nice article jeung
    makin pinter deh aku gw jadinya.
    two thumbs

  3. Mampir mbak....di kala tante nia (Insom-NIA) kian menggoda....

  4. like this lah pokoke permaisrui
    coba ada jempol kek fesbuk, saya kasih 4 jempol deh :D

  5. Boso inggrisku "NOL" besar...:(


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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