(3) The Structure of a Logical Argument

A logical argument is much different than a situational argument such as when a parent confronts a child about not cleaning up his or her room.  There is no emotional language in a logical argument but rather it demonstrates a proof by using clear and concise language that follows a series of agreed upon statements of supporting truths.

The central parts of the logical argument are comprised of one or more premises and a conclusion.  Premises are series of statements which can be somewhat easily agreed upon.  These are brought together to give support for an ultimate proposition which is the conclusion of the argument.

In order to make one’s viewpoint pursuasive, it is often necessary to construct multiple supporting arguments.  As a demonstration of this, consider the following example in the form of a syllogism.

  • Premise: There is a volcano nearby that is getting ready to erupt
  • Premise: Erupting volcanoes kill everything close by
  • Conclusion: If we don’t evacuate the area soon we will die when the volcano erupts

In the previous example, the conclusion would hold true if the supporting premises are accepted as true.  However, it is likely that to gain acceptance of the first premise, it will be necessary to construct an additional supporting argment that proves that indeed a volcano is nearby and that it is likely to erupt.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       .

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