Arguing and Writing
- speaking and writing in a logically coherent way, using clear arguments ;motivation for self-development and professional development; speaking a foreign (English) language at a level sufficient for informal communication as well as for the search and analysis of foreign sources of information
- Arguments and non-argumentsCritical thinking and its relations to logic, the truth or falsity of statements, knowledge, and personal empowerment. What Arguments are. Justifications and Explanations. The basic concept of reasons, argument, inference, premises, and conclusion. Distinguish between statements and nonstatements. Non-argument: Some explanations, introductions, descriptions, summaries, background information, and other extraneous materials. Consideration of opposing theories. Indicator words to help pinpoint premises and conclusions. Distinguish between passages that do and do not contain an argument. Distinguish between arguments and superfluous material, arguments and explanations. Exercise Identify the premises and conclusions in the following arguments. Determine which of the following passages contain arguments and which do not.
- Standards for evaluating argumentsArgument Basics. Distinguish between deductive and inductive arguments. Standards for deductive arguments: validity, truth, soundness. Standards for inductive arguments: stong, weak, and cogent. The argument patterns. If-then sentences: modus ponens, modus tollens, hypothetical syllogism, denying the antecedent, affirming the consequent. Deductive standards: Propositional logic and categorical logic. Venn diagram for any categorical statement. Structure of categorical syllogisms. Inductive Reasoning: enumerative induction, analogical induction, causal arguments. The concepts of nec-essary and sufficient conditions. Exercise For each of the following arguments, identify the implicit premises that will make the argument valid. For each of the following arguments, change or add a premise that will make the argument strong.
- The Language of argumentSuppressed premises. Finding missing parts and diagramming arguments. Summarizing Extended Arguments. Common Mistakes to Avoid in Standardizing Arguments. Diagramming Short Arguments. Summarizing Longer Arguments. Paraphrasing. Arguments marker: assuring, guarding, discounting. Writing assessment. 1. Find a 150 to 200-word passage purporting to present an argument for a particular view but actually being devoid of arguments. Look in magazine or newspaper letters to the editor. 2. Find an essay arguing for a particular view, and identify the premises and the conclusion.
- Logical fallaciesFallacies of Relevance: genetic Fallacy, composition, division, appeal to the person (popularity, tradition, ignorance, emotion). Red herring, straw man. Fallacies of unacceptable premises: begging the question, false dilemma. Decision-point fallacy, slippery slope. Refutation.
- The inference to the best explanationsInference to the best explanation as a one of the most common forms of inductive. The five criteria to judge the adequacy of theories. Ad hoc hypothesis. Using inference to the best explanation in all disciplines and in everyday life. Causal Reasoning. Correlations and false correlations, Sufficient conditions and necessary conditions. Background assumptions. False analogies. Research project and business plan: similarities of logical structure. Group Activity At home: Each group needs to find at the Internet an example of real business plan, write an evaluation of logical structure of this plan. In class: The groups present the projects in front of group of experts (selected from all groups). Experts make an argumentative feedback for all the projects. Plan of evaluation of business plan: Describe a logical structure of this plan. What is the stronger logical point of this business idea? What are weaknesses of this plan? Explain why. Offer the best possible scenario that will make this business plan stronger. For course attendants it is also recommended to take course “Think Again: How to Reason and Argue” at Coursera: https://www.coursera.org/course/thinkagain
- From clear thinking towards clear writingThe idea of clear writing and critical writing. Distinguish between critical and non-critical writing. Indicators of critical writing: thesis statement. Argument patterns in writing: Hoey model, Toulmin model. Linguistic indicators of critical writing: thesis statement, writer’s voice, hedging/boosting Exercise Identify the element of a thesis statement and decide how to make it stronger.
- Management reasoning in writingThe idea of reasoning within a discipline. Focus on GMAT critical reasoning and essay writing
- Writing an argumentative essayFocus on GMAT critical reasoning and essay writing. Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of an ar-gument. Evaluating arguments and formulating alternative explanations.
- Feedback in writing: improving argumentation in a textWhat is feedback in analytical writing and how to use it. Focus on GMAT critical reasoning and essay writing.
- Interim assessment (3 module)0.3 * Class assignments + 0.3 * Home assignment + 0.4 * Written examination
- Åsa Hirvonen, Juha Kontinen, Roman Kossak, & Andrés Villaveces. (2015). Logic Without Borders : Essays on Set Theory, Model Theory, Philosophical Logic and Philosophy of Mathematics. Boston: De Gruyter. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=984100
- Guenthner, F., & Gabbay, D. M. (2013). Handbook of Philosophical Logic : Volume 17. Dordrecht: Springer. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=622917