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The Logical Structure of Arguments What exactly do editors mean by logical structure First off they dont mean the kind of precise certainty you get in a pilosophy class in formal logic In other words dont try to sound so smart when you are writing its good to know what youre talking about but dont try to show that you know everything there is about the subject Editors discourage students from using the word prove when writing arguments because it is seldom that real-world arguments prove anything they only make a good case for something Therefore the best you can generally do is hope to strengthen the resolve for what your argument is based on and weaken the resistance of those who oppose your view Real world arguments are also grounded in beliefs assumptions or values and not in abstract universal statements So what editors do mean by logical structure is to base your argument so that you focus on the audiences beliefs assumptions or values in order to persuade them to your point of view In the 1950s Stephen Toulmin rejected the prevailing models of argument based of formal logic in favor of a very audience-based courtroom model His model differs from formal logic in that is assumes that all assertions and assumptions a contestable by opposing counsel and that all final verdicts about the persuasiveness of the opposing arguments will be rendered by a neutral third party The system we use for analyzing arguments combines Toulmins system with Aristotles concept of the enthymeme Toulmin adds that a warrant is the name for the unstated assumption that turns an enthymeme into a complete logical structure Toulmin also states that arguments need grounds and backing to be considered convincing The Toulmin system is basically a modern outline for writing arguments today As outlined by the Toulmin system an argument needs support Two forms of support are evidence and sequence of reasons Evidence as support
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