We explain what argumentation is and what its components are. Also, its general characteristics, how it is classified and more.
What is Argumentation?
Argumentation is the art of expressing oneself verbally in favor or against a certain subject or position, using examples, reasoning and concrete propositions for the purpose of persuading or convincing .
Argumentation has been a topic of human interest since ancient times , especially in those areas of work that tend to social communication and persuasion of the masses. Philosophers of the stature of Aristotle took care of this, and numerous schools of ancient philosophical thought distinguished themselves from each other on the basis of their argumentative methods and logical customs.
An argument is distinguished from an opinion in that the latter does not need to be supported with relevant reasons or information, while an argument does. The study of theories of argumentation, thus, allows to discern the logical mechanisms through which conclusions are obtained from a premise.
Characteristics of the argumentation :
Every argument constitutes an attempt to convince one or more recipients of the veracity or convenience of a conclusion, obtained from one or a set of premises, through deductive or inductive processes of a logical, rational order.
Opinions, founded or unfounded , or feelings, or premonitions are not arguments ; Although all this can be used as a premise in a debate, for which they will serve as premises for subsequent arguments.
Components of the argumentation
The argument is the connection between the premises and the thesis.
The argumentation process comprises the following components:
- Thesis. A main conclusion for or against which will be debated.
- Premises. A set of propositions that allow the thesis to be approached from a logical perspective.
- Argument. The connection between the premises and the thesis, demonstrating the way in which the former lead to the latter.
- Debate . Logical and orderly opposition of arguments by those who converse, defending or attacking the positions involved. Examples can be given, hypotheses established, comparisons, etc.
- Conclusion . A new thesis obtained from the revision of the premises and the initial thesis. It can be the same or different from the latter.
At the end of the debate, a series of conclusions on the subject should be presented.
At the end of the debate, those involved will have reached a number of conclusions , and they will (or will not) agree on a common view on the issue, whether this is one of the two opposing ones or a third that emerged in the debate.
The flaws or weaknesses of the arguments may lie in their fallacious character (if they are not true) , implausible (if they are not credible), weakness (if they are easily refutable) or invalidity (if they are not relevant). In any case, the argumentative debate will consist of demonstrating the failures of the opposing arguments and defending those of their own.
An argumentative context is called the conditions that accompany the argumentative opposition, that is, the conditions external to the debate but that also influence it , such as the culture of the debaters, the place, certain linguistic conventions, the pre-existing relationship between them, etc.
Types of argumentation
The argumentation addresses the thesis from causes and consequences.
There are three types of argumentative speech, namely:
- Demonstration. It starts from premises in search of a conclusion, using deductive mechanisms. It is allegedly “objective”: the speaker does not state himself, he speaks of objective facts.
- Argumentation. Approach the thesis from causes and consequences, using appropriate language for it.
- Description . It tends towards the intermediate between demonstration and argumentation, since it describes the problem laying the foundations of the debate.
One of the conditions for argumentation implies knowledge of the characteristics of the addressee of the argument, namely:
- that the adversary does not share the argument but can do so,
- that the adversary has the knowledge , intelligence and will to debate fair and square and to be able to be convinced.
Without this property condition, it is impossible (or sterile) to engage in a debate.
An argumentation requires concrete examples that validate the reasoning.
- Appointment. in which the words of another are used to validate one’s reasoning.
- Concrete examples. As factual situations that check the validity of the reasoning.
Without this condition of legitimacy, any debate is futile, since the opposing arguments are rejected a priori.
The negotiators lead the argumentative confrontation towards conciliatory grounds.
The debate is also called “ negotiation ”, a preferable term when allowing the emergence of a third position , and not the imposition of one of the two confrontations. In fact, understood this way, negotiators are those capable of leading the argumentative confrontation towards conciliatory grounds, to find a joint conclusion or resolution.
The term fallacy refers to an argument that appears to be valid and correct , but is not. It is commonly used as a synonym for deception, although it is not necessarily so: many logical fallacies are actually faulty reasoning, logical flaws, which should not necessarily be at the service of manipulation and lies.
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