An argument (Latin argumentum, " actually: illustration, illustration; transfer: argument, evidence " ) is a statement that is used to justify another statement. Arguments are the subject of investigation in the argumentation theory and logic. Arguments to convince others of the truth or falsity of a statement. They are an essential tool in the field of science, criticism, debate and dialogue. A combination of more than one argument is an argument. When these are examined and weighed against each other, it is a discussion.

  • 6.1 Arguing
  • 8.1 launches
  • 8.2 Argumentation Theory

Scientific argumentation and rhetoric

An argument aims in their context and structure in science at truth in the matter, in the rhetoric on the conviction of the listeners or readers.

Because the intent of the argument differs in both areas, the assessment of the resources is different. Thus, for example, the repetition of the same statement in the rhetoric of a recognized means while it is undesirable in the scientific argument, because the repetition does not make a thesis properly and also reduces the density of information.

While it comes to inter-subjectively comprehensible, insightful, and thus permanently convincing arguments in science, it's the rhetoric to effective possible means of persuasion. Thus, for example flattery to the audience rhetorically useful but scientifically irrelevant. A speaker tries to the various prejudices of its respective audience to connect while the scientists analyzed using generally insightful arguments.

Argumentation theory and logic

The argumentation theory deals inter alia with the definition and structure of arguments, the question of their validity and consistency, the structure of argumentation and the investigation of argumentation models. In the logic structure of arguments in view of their validity is tested, regardless of the content of the statements. A deductive argument is valid if the truth of the premises necessarily attracts the truth of the conclusion by themselves. If the premises are true, then the conclusion is true. For the validity of an argument, it is not decisive whether the premises are true. For example, the argument "If the 1.1.2014 was a Monday, then was the 01.02.2014 a Tuesday. The 1.1.2014 was a Monday. So was the 02.01.2014 a Tuesday " valid, even if the 1/1/2014 Monday was not. An argument is valid if its conclusion follows logically from his premises. The term consistency of an argument is used ambiguously. A conclusive argument is either the only valid argument itself or the valid argument, including its true premises.

Types of arguments

One can distinguish between deductive and non- deductive arguments. A deductive argument makes the claim to be logically valid. A non- deductive argument does not raise this claim. In an inductive argument on premises One should support a general statement. A bad argument is also called fallacy, apparent argument or sophistry. An argument in which not all the necessary premises are called, it's called a enthymeme.

History of argumentation theory and logic

First approaches to argumentation theory can be traced back to Plato in Europe. He has coined the concept of dialectics. The first elaborated argumentation theory can be found in the writings of topic and rhetoric of his pupil and later critic Aristotle.

In the later ancient knowledge was the dialectic prerequisite for admission to the dispute. Only when a speaker initially reproduced the arguments of the opponent's own words to the plenary, to this summary ( paraphrasing ) said yes, the rebuttal was allowed. For violation of this rule the debater from the plenum ( similar to the current European rules of procedure of court ) were excluded.

European and North American forms of argument in the legal field with the speech before the court date back to ancient specifications. Here, this form of involvement of all parties by accessing the briefs of the respective opposite side has been established to prepare with the aim of the reasoning and evidence in procedural law that the prosecutor and defense paraphrase in their pleadings, the arguments of the respective opposite side and formulate themselves before they bring in their own arguments.

Argument structure

Linear Assembly

For a linear structure of the argument, the various arguments put together a chain of reasoning that the proof of the proposition ( assertion core statement ) is to serve the speaker / author.

The linear structure of the reasoning in normal form:

The premises can be demonstrated, from which then results by conclusion of the proof of the assertion first. The argument can, however, also occur in the reverse order, ie first the thesis is presented, then the arguments are explained it. This can be useful to increase the drama or tactical reasons.

In practice, not all assumptions are stated explicitly in contrast to so-called normal form, are accepted as if they be known and.

There are different concepts with regard to the order in which the arguments are put forward: So the strongest argument can be at the beginning to attract the attention of the addressee (primary effect), or at the end to leave a lasting impression ( Rezenzeffekt ).

Dialectical structure

Originally described by Plato and Aristotle as the art of conversation, not the dialectical argument concludes one or more premises in the same direction, but combines speech and response, two opposing sets together to form a synthesis. The Aristotelian theory of argumentation is in his writing Topik. The eighth book of this specification also provides insights into the dialectical reasoning exercises in the Platonic Academy.

How to controversial topics can be treated by the lecture such that the opponent can see, you have understood it, was ready to follow him and even would offer a compromise on their own, far opposite position at the end of the speech to honestly.

Practice of argumentation

While in the sciences and in the judiciary generally oriented in a logical argumentation ideals in the sense required by evidence, other rhetorical devices are used in other areas. Agents such sophisms, ie, the intentional use of fallacies and polemic eristics be used to achieve certain goals. This is also referred to as pettifogging.

Arthur Schopenhauer has 38 such rhetorical devices listed that are intended to be right for the sake of the keep right. You are likely to lead an extremely unprofessional and degrading argument with the help of logic, however, were his life not published by himself. The forms of argument described there should enable the speaker to himself then to be right when he says the truth. Julius Frauenstadt published 1864 in his estate band from Schopenhauer notes Eristic this dialectic. In politics, but also in the U.S. criminal justice system to take the place of conclusive arguments often exaggerated formulations and / or personal attacks which are intended to undermine the credibility of the opponent.

During the development of rhetorical figures to the doctrine of argumentation has expanded to general areas of life. Since the effect of reasoning is aimed at convincing others of one's own thesis, the selection and formulation of arguments plays an important role, especially in daily practice. In psychotherapy, social work and the sales pitch is considered crucial that the arguments are formulated to understand and appreciate and take into account the situational context and the motivation, experience, expectations and beliefs of the interlocutor.


Arguments are expressions which are proven by verifiable facts or occupied by an appeal to authority. (Ex: Scientific tests, examinations or similar). Examples make an argument more powerful and vivid.

  • By reasons (per - contra ) to be weighed, will be discussed.
  • Especially convincing is the argument that if a conceptual correlation can be seen by satzverknüpfende expressions.

Example: therefore, so, hence, thus, also, by the way; besides that ...; It is also important that; a further example; from the above examples, it follows that; that's the thing that ...; on the other hand; however; however ...

These and similar expressions are intended to illustrate the readers or listeners the relation of thought. Often these terms are at the beginning of a paragraph.

Ethics of argumentation

As ethical requirements of an argument are often considered the conversational maxims of Paul Grice.

Tetens formulated an argument similar to the following bids:

  • Bid the fair examination of all beliefs,
  • Requirement of openness and freedom,
  • Order of the orientation to the results of a serious discussion,
  • Imperative to overcome contingent limitations of a discussion,
  • Requirement of intelligibility and
  • Precept of truthfulness.