Argument Structure:: Representation and Theory by James B. Freeman

By James B. Freeman

This monograph first offers a style of diagramming argument macrostructure, synthesizing the traditional circle and arrow strategy with the Toulmin version. A theoretical justification of this system via a dialectical knowing of argument, a serious exam of Toulmin on warrants, a radical dialogue of the linked-convergent contrast, and an account of the right kind reconstruction of enthymemes follows.

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Sample text

The core argument presents a fact about the will to justify the claim about Judith’s share in the inheritance. How does the rest of the passage fit into the argumentation? Mental incompetence could invalidate a will. The proponent is considering an objection to his inference. But his reply that Mrs. Wilson was known competent does not, by itself, constitute evidence for the conclusion about Judith’s share in the inheritance, nor does the stated premise explain why the statement about mental competence is relevant to the claim about Judith’s share, nor does that premise need this information about mental competence to be seen relevant to the claim.

11 cf. Stevenson (1944, 123–24), from which this example was adapted. 28 1 An Approach to Argument Macrostructure Fig. 28 5 4 6 7 8 3= not-U 1 unless X presumably 2 Even if R Mrs. Wilson and her daughter had a reconciliation, the fact is that ➀ Mrs. Wilson’s will leaves all her estate to charity. Therefore ➁ her daughter has no share in her estate. Here the proponent is asking us to rethink or reconsider the positive argument in light of both the positive and negative evidence bearing on the conclusion.

Consider (1) (2) That die on toss 1 came up one. That die on toss 2 came up one. . (100) (C) That die on toss 100 came up one. Therefore it is probable that That die on the next toss will come up one. Given these one hundred premises (and assuming them acceptable), the conclusion is probable in their light. The argument has a high inductive probability. By contrast, to say that the conclusion is probable in its own right is to use the notion of epistemic probability, where that is defined as the inductive probability of a statement given the entire body of relevant knowledge.

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