MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE
How should we evaluate arguments that people make to persuade us? And how should we construct our own arguments to be the most effective?
At its core, an argument consists of a conclusion and one or more premises, or claims.
It does not use reasons that contradict each other, contradict the conclusion or explicitly or implicitly assumes the truth of the conclusion. Checklist:
A premise is relevant if it provides some bearing on the truth of the conclusion. Checklist:
A premise should be acceptable to a mature, rational adult.
The claim should meet the following standards:
This principle is a judgment call. Checklist:
A good argument includes an effective rebuttal to all anticipated serious criticisms of the argument. Arguers often use arguments that misrepresent the criticism, bring up trivial objections as a side issue, or resort to humor or ridicule are using devices that clearly fail to make effective responses. Checklist:
Premise 1: I can’t explain or imagine how proposition X can be true.
Premise 2: if a certain proposition is true, then I must be able to explain or imagine how that can be.
Conclusions: proposition X is false.
... is a faulty assumption that becomes the basis of an argument and makes it logically unsound. For example, all birds can fly. Penguins can't fly. Therefore, penguins aren't birds. The premise that all birds can fly is false since some birds can't fly.
A false premise underpins many logical fallacies, making it essential to understand them.