Section 1 - The Language of Reasoning Flashcards Preview

A LEVEL - Critical Thinking > Section 1 - The Language of Reasoning > Flashcards

Flashcards in Section 1 - The Language of Reasoning Deck (129)
Loading flashcards...

What is an argument?

A piece of writing that tries to persuade you to accept a conclusion.


What is a conclusion?

The idea, belief or theory that an argument is trying to persuade you to accept.


What are the two types of conclusion?

• Intermediate conclusion
• Main conclusion


What is an argument's conclusion often referred to as and why?

• The main conclusion
• To stop it being confused with the intermediate conclusion


What is a reason?

A part of an argument that aims to persuade you that the conclusion is true.


What must an argument consist of?

• At least one reason
• Only one main conclusion


What is an assertion?

A conclusion/statement that isn't supported by any reasons.


What happens if an argument doesn't include any reasons?

It is an assertion, not an argument.


Describe the difference between an argument and an assertion.

An argument includes REASONS, while an assertion is just a statement.


Name the element: "Custard creams are the best biscuit ever."

Assertion - there is no reason backing it up.


What is the structure of an argument?

• The different parts of an argument and the logical way they're linked together.
• It is NOT the order of the reasons and the conclusion, but the way in which they are all linked logically.


Does changing the order of an argument's parts change the structure?

No, the order can be changed without changing the logical link between the conclusion and reasons.


What is common notation?

Using letters to stand for the different elements of an argument so you can see its structure more clearly.


Give the common notation symbols for:
• Reason
• Conclusion
• Counter-assertion
• Counter-argument

• Reason - R
• Conclusion - C
• Counter-assertion/Counter-argument - CA


What is the common notation for an argument with one reason and one conclusion?

R -> C


In common notation, what happens if there's more than one reason?

They're numbered like this: R1, R2, etc.


What are the important things to remember when asked to "state" something in a document?

• Quote directly from the text -> Don't rephrase!
• Don't use ellipsis (...)!


What is an argument indicator?

A word that shows that a reason or conclusion might be coming up. (e.g. "therefore")


Name some reason indicators.

• Because
• Since
• As
• Due to
• For


Name some conclusion indicators.

• Therefore
• Thus
• So
• Consequently
• Should (!)
• Which is why


Do argument indicators always work?

No, because:
• Some arguments contain no indicator words
• Argument indicators can be used in other contexts as well -> Misleading


State the conclusion in this argument:

"We should consider both sides of the debate before criticising beauty contests. It's easy to condemn something that seems so focused on the superficial, but perhaps perhaps they do promote something other than shallowness. For example, many contestants argue that the contests encourage public speaking and therefore improve their self-confidence."

"We should consider both sides of the debate before criticising beauty contests."


What is the "Therefore Test" used for?

Finding the reasons and conclusions in a piece of text.


Describe the "Therefore Test".

1) Put the word "therefore in front of a statement to see if it works as a conclusion.
2) Then insert the word "because" in front of the other statements to check the conclusion follows from them.
3) If it makes sense -> You correctly identified parts of the argument


If you get stuck trying to decide whether something is a reason or a conclusion, what is a good question to ask yourself?

Is this telling me *why* I should accept something or is it telling me *what* I should accept?


Remember to revise the "Therefore Test".

See pg 7 of revision guide.


What is a counter-argument?

• Part of an argument that goes against the main conclusion
• Always has a conclusion + at least one reason


What is a counter-assertion?

• A statement that goes against the conclusion of an argument
• Not supported by any reasons


Why are counter-arguments and counter-assertions included in an argument?

• Dismissing them can strengthen an argument's conclusion.
• Makes it seem balanced and well thought through.


What is it called when you show that a counter-argyment or counter-assertion is wrong?

Dismissing it.