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:
“Your views are now my own.”
—Marvin Cohen, U.S. author and humorist.
In conversation, after having taken a strong position in an argument and heard a complete refutation of his position.
“Mistakes are made on two counts: an argument is either based on error or incorrectly developed.”
—Thomas Aquinas (c. 12251274)
“A striking feature of moral and political argument in the modern world is the extent to which it is innovators, radicals, and revolutionaries who revive old doctrines, while their conservative and reactionary opponents are the inventors of new ones.”
—Alasdair Chalmers MacIntyre (b. 1929)