An Introduction to Reasoning - download pdf or read online

By Stephen Toulmin, Richard Rieke, Allan Janik

ISBN-10: 0024211605

ISBN-13: 9780024211606

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Extra resources for An Introduction to Reasoning

Sample text

Within scientific forums, the business of establishing "intel­ lectual claims" is no less exacting and significant than the business of establishing property rights before a court of law. In their detailed substance, of course, the procedures we are required to follow in making good claims of different kinds will be very different: In establishing our property rights over a stolen bicycle. In winning the prospects for the Super Bowl. In convincing others to have respect for our critical opinion about the merits of a movie.

Between the general procedures to be followed in supporting all these claims, how­ ever, there is much less difference. In each case, our business is a three-fold one: To draw attention to the generally accepted and relevant facts (grounds) on which the claim is to be based. To indicate what general rules, laws, or principles (warrants) make these facts relevant to the claim. To make it clear just how the available grounds and support provide a basis for the present claim rather than any alternative or rival claim.

We have to know what kind of an argument we need to con­ struct before deciding which of all those facts to bring forward and put to work as grounds. That is to say, the character of the general ways of arguing that we rely on determines the relevance of particular facts to particular claims. Warrants as general procedures How we can argue safely, then, depends on the general ideas we have already mastered in the field of discussion concerned. We approach all situations with prior conceptions about the kind of matter at hand: about how we can argue, think about, interpret, and/or deal with such things.

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An Introduction to Reasoning by Stephen Toulmin, Richard Rieke, Allan Janik


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