I’ve literally been sitting in from of my computer for over two hours now “writing” my blog…
Time to get to work!!
Chapter 9 was (obviously) about Analyzing Arguments. It talked about different forms of arguments such as the Aristotelian and Toulmin models of arguments. The Aristotelian model is the syllogism. A syllogism is basically a logical argument where the conclusion is inferred by two premises. The example given in the book is:
All men are mortal
Socrates is a man
Therefore, Socrates is mortal
An example that comes to mind is that all women are bad drivers.
All women are bad drivers
Sandy is a woman
Therefore, Sandy is a bad driver
However, this example shows the importance of being able to analyze arguments. Just because the argument follows the rules or seems “valid” does not mean that it’s true. Chapter 9 says, “’valid’ is a key term in argument evaluation, a term that does not mean the same thing as right or true.” Just because Sandy is a woman does not mean she is a bad driver.
The Toulmin model of arguments is a “reorder” or the syllogism. This model consists of:
1. Data: evidence to support a claim
2. Warrant: principle connected to the data from the claim
3. Claim: conclusion
Toulmin argues that this model shows what really happens through a person’s mind when they are constructing and argument. Arguments are more complex then they appear. The more data and evidence there is to support a claim the more tentative the claim becomes. I think this is an important point in analyzing arguments because they are always more complex then they seem, so we need to be able to fully analyze them in order to understand them.
Chapter 9 talked a lot about fallacies and how it’s important to be able to recognize them and point them out. Fallacies are basically false moves that can subvert argument and interpretation. Fallacies fall into the categories of Pathos, Ethos, and Logos because that is how they appeal to the audience. This chapter shows that it’s important to understand fallacies so that we can argue back when someone makes a “false move”. The most common move in fallacies is oversimplification. However, other common moves are:
· The Bandwagon- everyone’s doing it
· Begging the question- circular reasoning
· False analogy- comparing things that are more different than alike
I think that understanding fallacies is a good strategy to put in my Strategy Toolbox because it’s a good way of analyzing arguments. If I can point out fallacies in someone’s paper I can see the validity of the argument. It think that this will also help me when I write my arguments.
Finally done! Time to enjoy my Weekend!!