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
Famous quotes containing the word argument:
“If this phrase of the balance of power is to be always an argument for war, the pretext for war will never be wanting, and peace can never be secure.”
—John Bright (18111889)
“There is no good in arguing with the inevitable. The only argument available with an east wind is to put on your overcoat.”
—James Russell Lowell (18191891)
“The argument ad feminam, all the old knives
that have rusted in my back, I drive in yours,
ma semblable, ma soeur!”
—Adrienne Rich (b. 1929)