Think Again: How To Understand Arguments

Argument markers
  • Conclusion markers - so, thus, therefore, thus, accordingly, consequently etc.
    • sentence after them is the conclusion.
  • Reason markers - since, because, for, as, for the reason that etc.
    • sentence after them is a premise/reason.
  • If clause does not constitute as an argument marker.

Standard form an argument, helps understand what type of argument one is making.

Premise 1
Premise 2
Premise n
. . Conclusion (from 1 to n)

Argument Standard Form

The problem of skeptical regression -

Arguments are made of premises. Premises themselves need to be proven using arguments. This leads to regression.

Regress problem can be solved if it is a circular chain of arguments, or infinite regression, or if a premise is unjustified/wrong. Essentially all of these are bad arguments.

Another way to solve the problem is to start with shared assumptions.

Ways to solve regression problem.
  1. Assuring
    1. Authoritative - i assure you, some trustworthy source tells me
    2. Reflexive - authority is the self.
    3. Abusive - it is only common sense, only a fool will think etc
  2. Guarding - Weakening the premise by introducing uncertainty
    1. Extent - reducing applicability of the premise.
    2. Probability
    3. Mental - mental state of the person making the argument.
  3. Discounting - citing an objection. Phrases - but, although, whereas, nevertheless, even though, still etc.
    • The trick of discounting straw people - use easier objections and discount them to keep focus on them rather than possibly more difficult objections.
  4. Evaluation - falls with in acceptable standard or widely help standard.
    • Slanting - negatively evaluating without giving any reason.
Close analysis

Analysing an argument, marking various argument markers, language markers such as assuring, guarding, discounting, or evaluating terms.