You are on page 1of 67



Argumentation embraces fields /
arts such as:
• debate and negotiation;
• dialogue;
• conversation;
• persuasion;
• information seeking;
• inquiry;
• deliberation;
- Argumentation represents a fundamental concept in
various domains such as: Rhetoric, Logic, the
Philosophy of Language, Linguistics, Pragmatics, but
beyond its specificity, it is intrinsically related to the
human activity – the authority and the personality the
emitter proves and the quality of the receiver’s
perception and response.
- Argumentation always aims at persuading or convincing
the audience (to whom it is addressed) of the value of
the theses for which it seeks assent.
- Unlike demonstration, argumentation cannot be
conceived in an impersonal manner. Because the purpose
of all argumentation is to gain or reinforce the adherence of
an audience, it must be prepared taking into account this
very audience. On the contrary, in order to have any
effectiveness it is essential for it to be adapted to the
audience’s perspectives, comprehension, age, social status,
education, needs and aspirations, etc. Consequently, the
orator / the person who presents an argument to the
audience must seek to build his argumentative discourse on
theses already accepted by his audience.
- Demonstration represents a method of explaining
something by example.
Argumentation studies:
• rules of inference*;
• rules of logic;
• procedural rules in both artificial and
real world settings.
*to infer / to make an inference = to form an
opinion that something is probably true
because of information that you have
(Longman Dictionary)
• Argumentation is concerned primarily
with reaching conclusions through
logical reasoning, that is, claims based
on premises.
Main steps of argumentation
• Understanding and identifying arguments
(either explicit or implied), and the goals of
the participants in the different types of
• Identifying the premises from which
conclusions are derived;
• Establishing the “burden of proof" -
determining who made the initial claim and is
thus responsible for providing evidence why
his / her position merits acceptance;
• Gathering evidence for his/her position in order to
convince or force the opponent's acceptance (by
producing valid/sound, and cogent arguments, devoid
of weaknesses, and not easily attacked);

• In a debate, fulfilling the burden of proof so as to

create a burden of rejoinder. One must try to identify
faulty reasoning in the opponent’s argument, to attack
the reasons/premises of the argument, to provide
counter examples if possible, to identify any logical
fallacies, and to show why a valid conclusion cannot
be derived from the reasons provided for his/her
Components of Argument

In The Uses of Argument (re-edited in 2003),

Stephen E. Toulmin proposed a layout
containing six interrelated components for
analyzing arguments:

(! the optional elements a marked with an *)

–Claim - Conclusions whose merit must be
–Data - The facts we appeal to as a basis for
the claim;
–Warrant* (~ Reason) - The statement
authorizing our movement from the data to
the claim;
–Backing* (~ Support) - Credentials designed
to certify the statement expressed in the
warrant; it must be introduced when the
warrant itself is not convincing enough to the
readers or the listeners;
–Rebuttal* (~ Contradiction / Denial) -
Statements recognizing the restrictions to
which the claim may legitimately be applied;
evidence against claim. im)Evidence Against Claim)
–Qualifier* (i.e. an adjective or adverb) - It
refers to words or phrases expressing the
speaker’s degree of force or certainty
concerning the claim. Such words or phrases
include “possible,” “probably,”
“impossible,” “certainly,” “presumably,” “as
far as the evidence goes,” or “necessarily”.
So, the internal structure of
arguments consists of:
• a set of assumptions or premises
• a method of reasoning / deduction
• a conclusion / point.
! An argument must have at least one premise and
one conclusion.
!Each premise and the conclusion are only either
true or false (never ambiguous).
! Arguments are referred to as being valid / sound or
invalid (! not as being true or false).
Example 1
• Claim: The blond-haired are less intelligent than
the brown-haired.
• Data: The blond-haired cannot judge as well as the
brown-haired do.
• Warrant: The ability to make inferences is a mark
of intelligence.
• Backing: The driving test scores weighted very
much in favour of the brown-haired.
• Rebuttal: Passing driving tests is not a conclusive
proof that someone is intelligent.
The blond-haired might have failed the test because of
many other reasons apart from lack of intelligence.
• Qualifier: The blond-haired are by far less
intelligent than the brown-haired.
Example 2
• Data: Affirmative action policies provide equal
access to education for all ethnic groups.
• Claim: Universities should reinstate affirmative
action admission policies.
• Warrant: Equality of access is a basic American
• Backing: Equality before the law is a fundamental
right of all Americans.
• Rebuttal: Affirmative action policies do not result
in “reverse discrimination” because they are only
part of a process that attempts to ensure fairness in
college admissions.
• Qualifier: If a university does not have a diverse
student body ...
Example 3
• Data: Crops can be genetically engineered to
produce a pesticide.
• Backing: A pesticide is a chemical substance used
used to kill pests, like insects. By genetically
engineering crops to produce insecticides, fewer
cops will be lost to insects, which will result in more
• Qualifier: Many sources discuss this. Numerous
crops such as potatoes, cotton, and corn have been
modified with a Bt gene that controls production of
a toxic protein.
• Warrant: If a crop produces a pesticide that is
harmful only to pests, it is a very strong reason to
allow genetically engineered food.
• Claim: Genetically modified foods should not be
• Rebuttal: Genetically engineering crops that
include pesticides can kill other “non-target”
insects such as monarch butterflies.
Example 4
• Data: A Pennsylvania school district banned ''unwelcome
verbal, written or physical conduct which offends,
denigrates or belittles an individual.''
• Claim: A hate speech code should not be adopted
because it would not reduce hate.
• Backing: Smether (1993) argues that stopping people
from saying hateful things does nothing to change hateful
• Warrant: Paradoxically, hate speech codes can actually
strengthen prejudice by driving it underground where it
escapes challenge.
Issues for Argumentation:
 Ethical treatment of animals (the stray
euthanisation program)
 Euthanasia (assisted suicide) law extended to
under 18s and Alzheimer's patients
 Gay couples adopting children
 The war in Iraq / the Syrian civil war
 Smokers rights / abortion right
 Wearing seatbelts in order to prevent the risk
of killing the loved ones
 Drug addiction
 - Death penalty – abuse or necessity ?
 - Improving our health vs. getting slim

with pills
 - Branded uniforms in school

 - Verbal Violence on TV

 - Buying a house nowadays

 - Drunk driving (the controversial legal

 - Animal experiments / testing

 - Women in the army

Types of Arguments
In brief, Chaïm Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca* establish the
following taxonomy of arguments:
- quasi-logical arguments,
- arguments based on the structure of the real,
- arguments to generate the configuration of the real,
- and arguments based on the delimitation of notions.
According to the opinion of the above-mentioned authors, the starting point
in argumentation is the concept of “agreement” supported by truths, facts
and surmisings* (subordinated to the real), and by values, hierarchies and
topoi* (related to the preferential).
* Chaïm Perelman, Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca, La nouvelle rhétorique; Traité de
l’Argumentation, P.U.F., Paris, pp. 259-610
* to surmise = to guess that something is true, using the information you know already
* topoi = [plural form of topos] a rhetorical convention; a motif in literature
Valid & Invalid Arguments
• Valid / Sound Arguments:
P1 - All politicians are liars.
P2 - Jim is a politicians.
C - Hence, Jim is a liar.
• Invalid / Unsound Arguments:
P1 – All politicians are liars.
P2 – All used car-salesmen are liars.
C - All used car-salesmen are politicians.
Another distinction establishes:
• Deductive arguments asserting that the truth
of the conclusion is a logical consequence of the
premises → if the premises are true, the
conclusion must be true; it is impossible for the
premises to be true but the conclusion false. Thus,
the conclusion follows necessarily from the
premises and inferences.
• With deductive arguments / syllogisms, our
conclusions are already contained, even if
implicitly, in our premises.
• From generals to particulars.
Example of Deductive Argument:

1. All men are mortal. (premise)

2. Socrates was a man. (premise)
3. Therefore, Socrates was a mortal. (conclusion)

• If you accept the truth of the premises, then you

must also accept the truth of the conclusion !
• Inductive arguments asserting that the truth
of the conclusion is supported by the premises; if
the premises are true it is improbable that the
conclusion would be false. Thus, the conclusion
follows probably from the premises and inferences.
Inductive arguments provide us with new ideas
and thus may expand our knowledge about the
• But the premises do not entail the conclusion.
• From particulars to generals.
Example of Inductive Argument:

1. Socrates was a Greek. (premise)

2. Most Greeks eat fish. (premise)
3. Socrates probably ate fish. (conclusion)

• Even if both premises are true, it is still possible for

the conclusion to be false (maybe Socrates was
allergic to fish, for example) !
Counter arguments
Types of Counter Arguments:
• a different conclusion could be
drawn from the same facts;
• a key assumption is unwarranted;
• Def: - in informal logic, • a key term is used unfairly;
an argument that has • certain evidence is ignored or
true premises but a false played down;
conclusion. • one or more disadvantages or
practical drawbacks to what you
propose could arise;
• an alternative explanation or
proposal that makes more sense
could be given, etc.
The Role of Presupposition
• A presupposition is an implicit assumption
about the world or background belief relating
to an utterance whose truth is taken for
granted in discourse. Examples:
Jane no longer writes fiction.
Presupposition: Jane once wrote fiction.
• A presupposition must be mutually known or
assumed by the speaker and addressee for the
utterance to be considered appropriate in context. It
will generally remain a necessary assumption
whether the utterance is placed in the form of an
assertion, denial, or question, and can be associated
with a specific lexical item or grammatical feature
(presupposition trigger) in the utterance.
• Presuppositions are of two types: actual and
• An actual presupposition is any potential
presupposition that is not canceled by its context.
• Example: John regrets that he stopped doing
linguistics before he left Cambridge has the following
actual presuppositions:
1. There is someone uniquely identifiable to speaker and
addressee as John. / 2. John stopped doing linguistics
before he left Cambridge. / 3. John was doing
linguistics before he left Cambridge. / 4. John left
Cambridge. / 5. John had been at Cambridge.
• A potential presupposition is a presupposition that is
triggered by some part of an utterance (such as a
subordinate clause) taken in isolation, but that may or may
not be a presupposition of the whole utterance.
• Example:
The utterance John says that the king of France is bald has
two presuppositions:
There is someone identified as John.
There is a king of France.
• Of these two, only the presupposition that there is someone
identified as John is an actual presupposition, because the
second (that is potential) presupposition is reported.
• Persuasion is a form of social influence consisting
in guiding people toward the adoption of an idea,
attitude, or action by rational and symbolic (though
not always logical) means. It relies on credibility
and on influence.
• Manipulation is taking persuasion to an extreme,
where the one person or group benefits at the cost
of the other.
• In his book on persuasion entitled Yes! 50 Scientifically
Proven Ways to be Persuasive, Robert Cialdini (together
with Noah J. Goldstein & Steve J. Martin, Ed. Simon &
Schuster, 2008) defined six "weapons of influence":
 Reciprocation - People tend to return a favor. He often uses
the example of Ethiopia providing thousands of dollars in
humanitarian aid to Mexico just after the 1985 earthquake,
despite Ethiopia suffering from a crippling famine and civil
war at the time. Ethiopia had been reciprocating for the
diplomatic support Mexico provided when Italy invaded
Ethiopia in 1937.
• Commitment and Consistency - Once people commit to
what they think is right, orally or in writing, they are more
likely to honor that commitment, even if the original
impulse or motivation is subsequently removed. For
example, in car sales, suddenly raising the price at the last
moment works because the buyer has already decided to
• Social Proof - People will do things that they see other
people are doing. For example, in one experiment, one or
more confederates would look up into the sky; bystanders
would then look up into the sky to see what they were
seeing. At one point this experiment aborted, as so many
people were looking up that they stopped traffic.
• Authority - People will tend to obey authority figures,
even if they are asked to perform objectionable acts.
Cialdini cites incidents, such as the Milgram
Experiments in the early 1960s and the My Lai
• Liking - People are easily persuaded by other people
whom they like. Cialdini cites the marketing of
Tupperware in what might now be called 'viral
marketing'. People were more likely to buy if they liked
the person selling it to them. Some of the many biases
favoring more attractive people are discussed.
• Scarcity - Perceived scarcity will generate demand. For
example, saying offers are available for a "limited time
only" encourages sales.
Rhetorical Strategies for Persuasion
There are three types of rhetorical appeals, or
persuasive strategies, used in arguments to support
claims and respond to opposing arguments:
• Logos or the appeal to reason relies on logic or
reason. Logos often depends on the use of inductive
or deductive reasoning.
• Ethos or the ethical appeal is based on the character,
credibility, or reliability of the speaker.
• Pathos or the emotional demand appeals to an
audience's needs, values, and emotional sensibilities.

• Psychology has long studied the non-logical

aspects of argumentation. For example, studies
have shown that simple repetition of an idea is
often a more effective method of argumentation
than appeals to reason.
• Psychological variables such as "wishful thinking"
are those in which subjects take the likelihood of
predictions for the desirability of the
(People hear what they want to hear and see what
they expect to see. If planners want something to
happen they see it as likely to happen. On the
Negotiation is a dialogue (as an alternative resolution to a
dispute) meant to cause some agreement upon a matter
of discussion, to bargain for one’s or another’s
advantage, or to craft outcomes to satisfy various
- Negotiation involves three basic elements: process,
behavior and substance.
• The process refers to how the parties negotiate: the
context of the negotiations, the parties to the
negotiations, the tactics used by the parties, and the
sequence and stages in which all of these play out.
• Behavior refers to the relationships among these parties,
the communication between them and the styles they
• The substance refers to what the parties negotiate over:
the agenda, the issues (positions and - more helpfully -
interests), the options, and the agreement(s) reached at
the end.
Tactics of Negotiation
• negotiation hypnosis,
• a straight forward presentation of demands or setting of
• cherry picking (a more deceptive approach, the act of
pointing at individual cases or data that seem to confirm
a particular position, while ignoring a significant portion
of related cases or data that may contradict that position),
• intimidation,
• salami tactics (a divide-and-conquer process of threats
and alliances used to overcome opposition),
• Shell (G. Richard Shell, Bargaining for Advantage: Negotiation
Strategies for Reasonable People, New York, Penguin Books,
2006) identified five other negotiation styles:
1). Accommodating: Individuals enjoy solving the other
party’s problems and preserving personal relationships,
being sensitive to the emotional states, body language,
and verbal signals of the other parties. They can,
however, feel taken advantage of in situations when the
other party places little emphasis on the relationship.
2). Avoiding: Individuals who do not like to negotiate and
do not do it unless warranted. When negotiating,
avoiders tend to put back and avoid the confrontational
aspects of negotiating; however, they may be perceived
as tactful and diplomatic.
3). Collaborating: Individuals enjoy negotiations that
involve solving tough problems in creative ways.
Collaborators are good at using negotiations to
understand the concerns and interests of the other parties.
They can, however, create problems by transforming
simple situations into more complex ones.
4). Competing: Individuals enjoy negotiations because
they present an opportunity to win something.
Competitive negotiators have strong instincts for all
aspects of negotiating and are often strategic. Since their
style can dominate the bargaining process, competitive
negotiators often neglect the importance of relationships.
5). Compromising: Individuals are eager to close the deal
by doing what is fair and equal for all parties involved in
the negotiation. Compromisers can be useful when there
is limited time to complete the deal; however,
compromisers often unnecessarily rush the negotiation
process and make concessions too quickly.

• The classification below is that of Aristotle’s

Sophistic Refutations, as follows:
1. Material 2. Verbal 3. Formal
(‘in matter’)
\ / \ /
Informal Logical
(‘in discourse’)
Definitions of FALLACIES:

• Material (= an argument may be fallacious in its

material content, through a misstatement of the
• Verbal (= an argument may be fallacious in its
wording, through an incorrect use of terms);
• Formal (= an argument may be fallacious in its
structure / form, through the use of an improper
process of inference).
Material Fallacies (Fallacies of
1). The fallacy of accident is committed by an argument
that applies a general rule to a particular case in which
some special circumstance (“accident”) makes the rule
inapplicable. The truth that “men are capable of seeing” is
no basis for the conclusion that “blind men are capable of
seeing.” This is a special case of the fallacy of secundum
quid according to its truth as holding only under special
conditions. This fallacy is committed when a general
proposition is used as the premise for an argument without
attention to the (tacit) restrictions and qualifications that
govern it and invalidate its application in the manner at
2). The converse fallacy of accident argues
improperly from a special case to a general
rule. Thus, the fact that a certain drug is
beneficial to some sick persons does not imply
that it is beneficial to all people.
3). The fallacy of irrelevant conclusion is
committed when the conclusion changes the
point that is at issue in the premises. Special
cases of irrelevant conclusion are presented by
the so-called fallacies of relevance.
These include:
a). the argument ad hominem (speaking “against the man”
rather than to the issue), in which the premises may only
make a personal attack on a person who holds some thesis,
instead of offering grounds showing why what he says is
b). the argument ad populum (an appeal “to the people”),
which, instead of offering logical reasons, appeals to such
popular attitudes as the dislike of injustice;
c). the argument ad misericordiam (an appeal “to pity”), as
when a trial lawyer, rather than arguing for his client’s
innocence, tries to move the jury to sympathy for him;
d). the argument ad verecundiam (an appeal “to awe”),
which seeks to secure acceptance of the conclusion on the
grounds of its endorsement by persons whose views are
held in general respect;
e). the argument ad ignorantiam (an appeal “to
ignorance”), which argues that something (e.g.,
extrasensory perception) is so since no one has shown that
it is not so;
f). the argument ad baculum (an appeal “to force”), which
rests on a threatened or implied use of force to induce
acceptance of its conclusion.
4). The fallacy of circular argument, known as petitio
principii (“begging the question”), occurs when the
premises presume, openly or covertly, the very conclusion
that is to be demonstrated (example: “Gregory always
votes wisely.” “But how do you know?” “Because he
always votes Libertarian.”).
A special form of this fallacy, called a vicious circle, or
circulus in probando (“arguing in a circle”); (example:
“McKinley College’s baseball team is the best in the
association; they are the best because of their strong
batting potential; they have this potential because of the
ability of Jones, Crawford, and Randolph at the bat.” “But
how do you know that Jones, Crawford, and Randolph are
such good batters?” “Well, after all, these men are the
backbone of the best team in the association.”).
5). The fallacy of false cause (non causa pro causa)
misallocates the cause of one phenomenon in another that
is only seemingly related.
a). The most common version of this fallacy, called post
hoc ergo propter hoc (“after which hence by which”),
mistakes temporal sequence for causal connection - as
when a misfortune is attributed to a “malign event,” like
the dropping of a mirror.
b). Another version of this fallacy arises in using reductio
ad absurdum reasoning: concluding that a statement is
false if its addition to a set of premises leads to a
! What is required to avoid the fallacy is to verify independently that
each of the original premises is true.
Thus, one might fallaciously infer that Williams, a
philosopher, does not watch television, because adding:
A: Williams, a philosopher, watches television.
to the premises:
P1: No philosopher engages in intellectually trivial
P2: Watching television is an intellectually trivial activity.
leads to a contradiction.
Yet it might be that either P1 or P2 or both are false. It might even be
the case that Williams is not a philosopher. Indeed, one might even
take A as evidence for the falsity of either P1 or P2 or as evidence
that Williams is not really a philosopher.
6). The fallacy of many questions (plurimum
interrogationum) consists in demanding or giving a single
answer to a question when this answer could either be
divided (example: “Do you like the twins?” “Neither yes
nor no; but Ann yes and Mary no.”) or refused altogether,
because a mistaken presupposition is involved (example:
“Have you stopped arguing with your wife?”).
7). The fallacy of non sequitur (“it does not follow”)
occurs when there is not even a deceptively plausible
appearance of valid reasoning, because there is an obvious
lack of connection between the given premises and the
conclusion drawn from them. Some authors, however,
identify non sequitur with the fallacy of the consequent.
8). A Straw Man Argument - is an informal fallacy based on
misrepresentation of an opponent's position.
Person A: Sunny days are good.
Person B: If all days were sunny, we'd never have rain, and without
rain, we'd have famine and death.
B has misrepresented A's claim by falsely suggesting that A
claimed that only sunny days are good, and then B refuted the
misrepresented version of the claim, rather than refuting A's
original assertion.
Verbal Fallacies (Fallacies of
These fallacies arise when the conclusion is achieved through an
improper use of words. The principal instances are as follows:
1). Equivocation occurs when a word or phrase is used in
one sense in one premise and in another sense in some
other needed premise or in the conclusion (example: “The
loss made Jones mad [= angry]; mad [= insane] people
should be institutionalized; so Jones should be
institutionalized.”). The figure-of-speech fallacy is the
special case arising from confusion between the ordinary
sense of a word and its metaphorical, figurative, or
technical employment.
2). Amphiboly occurs when the grammar of a statement is
such that several distinct meanings can obtain (example:
“The governor says, ‘Save soap and waste paper.' So soap
is more valuable than paper”).
3). Accent is a counterpart of amphiboly arising when a
statement can bear distinct meanings depending on which
word is stressed (example: “Men are considered equal.”
“Men are considered equal.”).
4). Composition occurs when the premise that the parts of
a whole are of a certain nature is improperly used to infer
that the whole itself must also be of this nature (example: a
story made up of good paragraphs is thus said to be a good
5). Division - the reverse of composition - occurs when the
premise that a collective whole has a certain nature is
improperly used to infer that a part of this whole must also
be of this nature (example: in a speech that is long-winded
it is presumed that every sentence is long). But this fallacy
and its predecessor can be viewed as versions of
equivocation, in which the distributive use of a term - i.e.,
its application to the elements of an aggregate (example:
“the crowd,” viewed as individuals) - is confused with its
collective use (“the crowd,” as a unitary whole) - compare
“The crowd were filing through the turnstile” with “The
crowd was compressed into the space of a city block.”
6). Apophasis and Argument by Innuendo – involves,
implicitly suggesting, a conclusion without atating it
outright. For example, a job reference that says a former
employee “was never caught taking money from the cash
box”. In this example, the overly specific nature of the
innuendo implies that the employee was a thief, even though
it does not make (or justify) a direct negative statement.
7). Proof by Verbosity / Argumentum Verbosum - tries to
persuade by overwhelming those considering an argument
with such a volume of material that the argument sounds
plausible, superficially appears to be well-researched, and it
is so laborious to untangle and check supporting facts that
the argument might be allowed to slide by unchallenged.
Formal Fallacies
Deductively invalid arguments that typically commit an
easily recognizable logical error.
1). A classic case is Aristotle’s fallacy of the consequent,
relating to reasoning from premises of the form “If p 1,
then p 2.” The fallacy has two forms:
a). denial of the antecedent, in which one mistakenly
argues from the premises “If p 1, then p 2” and “not-p 1”
to the conclusion “not- p 2” (example: “If George is a man
of good faith, he can be entrusted with this office; but
George is not a man of good faith; therefore, George
cannot be entrusted with this office”), and
b). affirmation of the consequent, in which one mistakenly
argues from the premises “If p 1, then p 2” and “p 2” to
the conclusion “p 1” (example: “If Amos was a prophet,
then he had a social conscience; he had a social
conscience; hence, Amos was a prophet”).
2). Most of the traditionally considered formal fallacies,
however, relate to the syllogism. One example may be
cited, that of the fallacy of illicit major (or minor)
premise, which violates the rules for “distribution.” (A
term is said to be distributed when reference is made to
all members of the class. For example, in “Some crows
are not friendly,” reference is made to all friendly things
but not to all crows.)
Other classification of Logical Fallacies
(source: art. 'Types of Logical Fallacies', The Winthrop Writing
Center, 323-2138)

• slippery slope (= if we don't want Z to occur A must

not be allowed to occur either);
e.g. The US shouldn’t get involved militarily in other countries.
Once the government sends in a few troops, it will then send in
thousands to die.
• hasty generalization (= a conclusion based on
insufficient or biased evidence);
e.g. Drugs are beneficial to some sick persons. ≠ Drugs are
beneficial to all sick people.
• post hoc ergo propter hoc (= a conclusion that
assumes that if 'A' occurred after 'B' then 'B' must
have caused 'A.');
e.g. Most people who are read the last rites die shortly
afterwards. → Priests are going around killing people
with magic words.
• genetic fallacy (= a conclusion is based on an
argument that the origins of a person, idea,
institute, or theory determine its character, nature,
or worth);
e.g. My mommy told me that the tooth fairy is real. →
The tooth fairy is real.
• begging the question (= the conclusion that the
speaker should prove is validated within the
e.g. George always votes wisely. But how do you know?
Because he always votes Libertarian.
. circular reasoning / petitio principii (= this restates
the argument rather than actually proving it);
e.g. I have the right to say what I want, therefore you shouldn’t try
to silence me. Women have the right to choose whether to have an
abortion or not, therefore abortion should’t be allowed. or The
unborn has the right to life, therefore abortion is immoral.

. either ... or / the fallacy of false dilemma (= this is a

conclusion that oversimplifies the argument by reducing
it to only two sides or choices);
e.g. Either a creator brought the universe into existence, or the
universe came into existence out of nothing. The universe didn’t
come into existence out of nothing (because nothing comes from
nothing). → A creator brought the universe into existence.

. ad hominem (= this is an attack on the character of a

person rather than their opinions or arguments);
•ad populum (= an emotional appeal that speaks to
positive - such as patriotism, religion, democracy - or
negative - such as terrorism or fascism - concepts
rather than the real issue at hand);
•red herring (= a diversionary tactic that avoids the
key issues, often by avoiding opposing arguments
rather than addressing them).
. bandwagon appeals (= suggesting that everyone is
doing it, so why shouldn’t he / her);
. false analogies (= assuming without sufficient proof
that if objects or processes are similar in some ways,
then they are similar in other ways as well);
. name calling (= linking a person, or idea, to a negative
 oversimplification (= reducing multiple causes to just
one or a few);
 polarization (= exaggerating positions and groups by
representing them as extreme and divisive);
 rationalization (= coming up with excuses or weak
explanations for behavior that avoids actual causes);
• Toulmin, Stephen, The Uses of Argument, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2003
• Walton, Douglas, Dialog Theory for Critical Argumentation, Amsterdam / Philadelphia,
John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2007
• Besnard, Philippe, Hunter, Anthony, Elements of Argumentation, Cambridge, The MIT
Press, 2008
• Schatzki, Michael, Negotiation (The Art of Getting What You Want), 2005-2006,

• Mulholland, Joan, Persuasive Tactics (A Handbook of Strategies of Influencing

Others Through Communication), London & New York, Routledge, 1994
• Gardiner, J.H., The Making of Arguments, Project Gutenberg eBooks, Produced
by Afra Ullah and PG Distributed Proofreaders, 2004,
• Pattee, K. George, Practical Argumentation, Project Gutenberg eBooks,
Produced by Scott Pfenninger, Charles Franks and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team, 2002