Argument

In and philosophy, an argument is an attempt to persuade someone of something, by giving reasons or evidence for accepting a particular conclusion. The general structure of an argument in a natural language is that of premises (typically in the form of propositions, statements or sentences) in support of a claim: the conclusion. Many arguments can also be formulated in a formal language. An argument in a formal language shows the logical form of the natural language arguments obtained by its interpretations.*

In a typical deductive argument, the premises are meant to provide a guarantee of the truth of the conclusion, while in an inductive argument, they are thought to provide reasons supporting the conclusion's probable truth. The standards for evaluating other kinds of arguments may rest on different or additional criteria than truth, however, such as the persuasiveness of so-called "indispensability claims" in transcendental arguments or even the disclosure of new possibilities for thinking and acting.

The criteria used in evaluating arguments and their forms of reasoning are studied in logic. Ways of formulating arguments effectively are studied in rhetoric (see also: Argumentation theory).

Read more about Argument:  Formal and Informal Arguments, Standard Argument Types, Deductive Arguments, Inductive Arguments, Defeasible Arguments, Argument By Analogy, Transitional Arguments, Other Kinds of Arguments, Explanations and Arguments, Fallacies and Nonarguments

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Famous quotes containing the word argument:

    Our argument ... will result, not upon logic by itself—though without logic we should never have got to this point—but upon the fortunate contingent fact that people who would take this logically possible view, after they had really imagined themselves in the other man’s position, are extremely rare.
    Richard M. Hare (b. 1919)

    The argument is over.
    St. Augustine (354–430)