Power Point Slides-What is Argumentation? Lecture Notes Page

Definitions & Characteristics
 Interpersonal conflict=2 people engaged in verbal hostility
How do I win these arguments?
Debate=verbal competition
Collaboration=working out disagreements constructively
Cooperative knowledge seeking
Emphasis on communal knowledge-whole is greater than the
sum of its parts
 Feminists/Women=connected knowers fusing ideas & opinions
• Definition:
• Argumentation: a form of instrumental communication relying on reasoning
and proof to influence belief or behavior through the use of spoken or
written messages.
• Instrument=musical, surgical, panel in your car
• Tools or implements used for doing something or understanding how
something works
• Instrument=a set of concepts or ideas that allows you to accomplish
• Language is an instrument for communicating with others
• Mathematics is an instrument for counting and measuring
• Argumentation is an instrument for reasoning with others.
• Pull information together
• Structure your ideas
• Offer reasons for others to consider
• Persuasion is an attempt to move an audience to accept or
identify with a particular point of view
• Emotion and reason are appeals used in persuasion
• Proof and reasoning are used to appeal to rational side of
human nature
• How do listeners process persuasive messages?
• Take one of two routes:
• Central Route=highly involved, message is relevant, identify with it by
using own experience to help explain and make sense of it—thinking
about the message, the quality of the argument, the soundness of the
reasoning, the believability of the evidence
• Peripheral Route=less involved, message relevant, simple cue pulls you
in and is seized on (message, context, situation)-a shortcut that
becomes what does the thinking for us
• Truism: to succeed in argumentation, must adapt your message
to audience—all relative to the quality of the audience that
carries out the evaluation.
• How to assess audience to adapt? Field Theory: 3 ways
People who function together based on expertise
People who share common characteristics, e.g., demographics
How will people use the argumentation as an instrument to make
-use argumentation to solve
-impartial judge determines who makes better case
-individual/self through internal dialogue weighing pros/cons for a
belief or a course of action
• Began in Ancient Greece. Citizenship in Athens required
communication skills
• Studied Rhetoric to primarily persuade or change listener by
finding all means of persuading an audience to believe a
• Developed meaningful probabilities or arguments to support contested
• Aristotle-one of greatest Greek rhetoricians-argumentation was
central to human nature
• 2 Viewpoints:
• Artificial Presumption-assigned arbitrarily to one side in a dispute
because of a field-accepted belief, i.e., innocent until proven guilty.
Could just as easily assigned presumption as the French do-the accused is
guilty until he or she proves the probability of innocence
• Field-institutions, ideas, rules, policies & customs that differentiate one
from the other, create an order for what is typical or natural, and are
ongoing until sufficient change is required
• Natural Presumption-derived from observing natural order of whatever
field we are in at given time and recognizing over time what things work
for that field
• If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
• Presumption is the status quo
• Hypothesis Testing: Creating a Proposition-a statement that identifies
the argumentative ground and points to a change in belief or
behavior-that is given provisional, artificial acceptance and argued
to determine if that acceptance should continue or should be rejected
after thorough reasoning
• Scientific method used for study or experiment
3 Perspectives about Presumption:
1. Identifies existing institutions, ideas, laws or rules, policies, practices
or customs
2. Identifies what sources of info & expert opinion constitute good &
sufficient reasons for accepting or rejecting a proposed change in
belief or behavior
3. Is a decision rule that determines what the advocate must prove in
testing the proposition as a hypothesis
• The obligation of the advocate to contest the ground by offering
arguments that are logically sufficient to challenge presumption
• Balancing Act-shifting or transferring of the weight of evidence & reasoning
from one side to the other
• Requires passing judgment on & criticizing present belief or behavior &
recommends a new belief or behavior
1. The advocate has the responsibility to make a case of good and
sufficient reasons for change=burden of proof
2. In fulfilling the burden of proof, present beliefs & behaviors
described by presumption are judged & evaluated based on the
available evidence, & an alternative pattern of thought or action is
• Is one that “at first sight” or “on the face of it” is sufficient to
justify changing belief or behavior
• Suspension of presumption or what we rely on as a guide for our
• Consist of evidence supporting the arguments
• A prima facie case can be determined by using stock issues/questions that
are applied to the propositions; questions that listeners want answered
before they accept the advocate’s arguments to warrant a change. They
focus the controversy and are naturally derived from the propositions
being argued.
• Proposition of Fact
• Does or does not exist; what has or has not happened; what may occur in
the future
• Few American presidents have enjoyed favorable press coverage
while in office.
• The American mass media are relatively free from government
• Most wildlife species will cease to exist outside of zoos in the next
• The controversy concerns the relationship b/t something & what
we are asked to believe about it.
• A particular cause has led to a particular significant event
• Proposition of Value
• What is virtuous, right or wrong, moral or immoral or with our
sense of priorities
• The rights of endangered animal species are more important than the
rights of indigenous human populations.
• American commercial broadcasters have sacrificed quality for
• Protecting the environment is a more important goal than satisfying
America’s demands for full employment.
• Establishes a judgmental standard or set of standards &
applies them.
• This value is more important than that value
• Proposition of Policy
• What specific actions we should take to deal with significant
social problems
• The federal govt should significantly strengthen the guarantee of
consumer product safety required of manufacturers.
• The federal govt should control the supply and utilization of energy in the
• The US should restore normal diplomatic relations with the government of
• Seeks to change behavior
• We should do this policy to solve this problem
1. A clear statement of the change in belief or behavior the advocate
will seek
Something should be done about strikes by professional athletes
An independent labor relations board for professional sports contract
negotiations should be created to arbitrate all labor-management disputes.
2. Contain one central idea
An independent labor relations board for professional sports contract
negotiations should be created to arbitrate all labor-management disputes
and mandate the use of video play of contested plays in professional
3. Should be couched in neutral terms
• “greedy” owners & “overpaid” players
Spontaneous human combustion is real.
Family friendly companies are more successful.
Alcohol should be banned at all sporting events.
We should volunteer.
Concealed gun permits reduce crime.
Mandatory voting is better than the voluntary method.
American diplomats are adequately trained.
Couples should limit their families to one child.
Small town communities are better places to live.
Cultural images of beauty are used against women.
• Humans, by nature, are monogamous.
• The penny is a costly and irrelevant form of currency that needs
to be eliminated.
• Casinos are detrimental to the communities they are in.
• Criminal tendencies are genetic.
• We should participate in mentoring programs.
• Amateurs should be banned from climbing Mt. Everest.
• The jury system is ineffective.
• The elderly are overmedicated.
• Regular sodas are healthier than diet sodas.

similar documents