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

By James B. Freeman

This monograph first provides a mode of diagramming argument macrostructure, synthesizing the traditional circle and arrow method with the Toulmin version. A theoretical justification of this system via a dialectical figuring out of argument, a severe exam of Toulmin on warrants, an intensive dialogue of the linked-convergent contrast, and an account of the correct reconstruction of enthymemes follows.

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Demand for goods in general is increasing. Notice that the warrant of the proponent’s argument at this point, unlike Modus ponens which is a two-premise formal inference rule, is a one-premise material inference rule. 4 Integrating the Standard Approach and the Toulmin Model From: To infer: 15 Demand for x in general is rising Prices for x in general will rise Should the challenger ask for the warrant, stating this rule would be the proper answer. Now it is at least conceivable that in composing an argument, a proponent might begin by asserting (1) Prices for goods in general will rise because (2) Demand for goods in general is increasing But, taking the challenger as representative of the audience he is addressing, he might imagine her not seeing why (2) is relevant to (1).

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. Suppose someone had observed 1,000 tosses of that particular die.

As Toulmin indicates (Toulmin 1958, 97), in answering the data-generating question, our proponent may present a plurality of facts to support his claim. There is another way in which the challenger might be dissatisfied with the body of data the proponent has brought forward. She might grant that each piece of data is acceptable 7 We shall explain why we see this as a first approximation in Chapter 4. 16 1 An Approach to Argument Macrostructure Fig. 16 1 2 3 and relevant to the claim from her viewpoint (her stock of inference habits facilitates each inferential move from datum to claim).

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