What is The Point

What Is The Point?

What Is The Point?

Understand Critical Thinking Skills In Day To Day Living.

This article is a part of self development theme of articles on this website. This information will help you in your daily business.

An article on time management has also just been publish on this site. (Have a read to get some time saving tips.)

Understanding How The Brain Thinks

The prefrontal cortex is the home to critical thinking.

The executive function control centers for your body are develop in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of the brain.

The PFC gives us the potential to consider and voluntarily control our thinking, emotional responses, and behavior.

It is the reflective “higher brain” compared to the reactive “lower brain”.

What is The Point

You can begin by asking what an animal’s nervous system is doing?

At the doctor’s office when the doctor hits the patella tendon on your leg it creates a reflex with the leg kicking up.

Your brain is not interested in this action. It’s a basic reflex arch with only two neurons, but it is much more advanced, that anything like a tree or a plant can do without a central nervous system.

One more example is when you step outside and suddenly step toward a circular object.

The body knows that this object comes to you, and the signals move into the visual portion of the brain from your ears. Your brain connects to other neurons and sends out messages to your body’s muscles that make you crawl out, so that the thing doesn’t reach you.

You need nerve cells, which can sense information about the outside world and relay this information to other nerve cells, to help your brain think. The flow of information, the cells speak to each other, is the physical basis from which to think.

The idea that nerve cells can alter is a vital aspect of the nervous system that supports thought. We will think about past experience basically so that we respond differently when they encounter an experience again.

When you know that a game is going on, you’re probably not as surprised when you see a ball heading to you. Before you went to the field, stored in your brain, reflected what soccer is and what to expect to be played. The brain analysis of this environmental situation continues to be a significant factor.

What is The Point
What is The Point

Your brain is just as involved even though you don’t think purposefully and consciously like trying to recall a reality and solve a puzzle. It also monitors where you are in the world and what things in the near future you may expect.

You can use this part of the brain to identify and respond to arguments.

How to Identify An Argument?

Identifying Arguments in Nonfiction.

You can identify an argument in the following way. First, determining the central idea of a text.  Ask yourself, how it is conveyed through particular details. Then summarise the text separate from personal opinions or judgments. Cite textual sources to support your comments on what the text is about. Finally, find inferences and/or generalizations drawn from the text. This is the best way to define an argument with a blog, article, essay, or report.

What is The Point
What is The Point

(1) What is the guiding principle in understanding arguments?

Monty Python’s definition is almost perfect. Only a little in order to arrive at an adequate definition:

An argument is a connected series of sentences, statements, or propositions (called “premises”) that are intended to give reasons of some kind for a sentence, statement, or proposition (called the “conclusion”).

This definition does not pretend to be precise, but it does tell us what arguments are made of (sentences, statements, or propositions) and what their purpose is (to give reasons). Another virtue of this definition is that it is flexible enough to cover the wide variety of arguments that people actually give.

Different arguments are intended to give reasons of very different sorts. These reasons might be justification to believe or to disbelieve some claim. They might, instead, be explanatory reasons why something happened. They might even be practical reasons to do some act. Because reasons come in so many kinds, arguments are useful in a great variety of situations in daily life.

What is The Point
What is The Point

Trying to determine why your computer crashed, why your friend acted the way she did, and whether it will rain tomorrow as well as trying to decide which political candidate to vote for, which play to use at a crucial point in a football game, where to go to college, and whether to support or oppose capital punishment—all involve weighing and evaluating reasons.

It is inaccurate, therefore, to think of arguments as serving only one single simple purpose. People often assume that you always use every argument to make other people believe what you believe and what they did not believe before hearing or reading the argument.

Actually, however, some arguments are used for that purpose, but others are not. To fully understand arguments in all their glory, then, we need to distinguish different uses.  In particular, we will focus on two exemplary purposes: justification and explanation of argument.

(2) What is an argument?

An argument is a connected series of sentences, statements, or propositions (called “premises”) that are intended to give reasons of some kind for a sentence, statement, or proposition (called the “conclusion”).

(3) What is an assumption?

Definition of assumption is

1 a taking to or upon oneself the assumption of a new position.

2 the act of laying claim to or taking possession of something the assumption of power.

3 an assuming that something is true a mistaken assumption.

(4) How are the terms defined in an argument?

Arguments are a form of expression consisting of a coherent set of reasons presenting or supporting a point of view; a series of reasons given for or against a matter under discussion that is intended to convince or persuade the listener.

For example, an argument by counsel consists of a presentation of the facts or evidence and the inferences that may be drawn therefrom, which are aimed at persuading a judge or jury to render a verdict in favor of the attorney’s client.

An attorney may begin to develop an argument in the Opening Statement, the initial discussion of the case in which the facts and the pertinent law are stated. In most cases, however, an attorney sets forth the main points of an argument in the closing argument, which is the attorney’s final opportunity to comment on the case before a judge or jury retires to begin deliberation on a verdict.

(5) What are some key points about premises?

For nonfiction writing, the term premise carries largely the same definition as in philosophy. A premise or premises are integral parts of constructing an argument. Indeed, says the language website operated by Purdue University, the very definition of an argument is that it is an “assertion of a conclusion based on logical premises.”

Nonfiction writing uses the same terminology as in philosophy, such as syllogism, which Purdue OWL describes as the “simplest sequence of logical premises and conclusions.”

What is The Point
What is The Point

Nonfiction writers such as those in a Blog, use a premise or premises as the backbone of a piece such as an editorial, opinion article, or even a letter to the editor of a newspaper. Premises are also useful for developing and writing an outline for a debate. Purdue gives this example:

  • Nonrenewable resources do not exist in infinite supply. [premise 1]
  • Coal is a nonrenewable resource. [premise 2]
  • Coal does not exist in infinite supply. [conclusion]

The only difference in nonfiction writing versus the use of premises in philosophy is that nonfiction writing generally does not distinguish between major and minor premises.

Fiction writing also uses the concept of a premise but in a different way, and not one connected with making an argument. James M. Frey, as quoted on Writer’s Digest, notes:

“The premise is the foundation of your story—that single core statement of what happens to the characters as a result of the actions of a story.”

What is the point
What Is The Point.

(6) What are some key points about the conclusion?

A good conclusion will review the key points of the dissertation and explain to the reader why the information is relevant, applicable, or related to the world as a whole. Make sure to dedicate enough of your writing time to the conclusion and do not put it off until the very last minute.

(7) What type of argument is given?

There are several kinds of arguments in logic, the best-known of which are “deductive” and “inductive.” An argument has one or more premises but only one conclusion. Each premise and the conclusion are truth bearers or “truth-candidates”, each capable of being either true or false (but not both). These truth values bear on the terminology used with arguments.

(8) What are the criteria for a good argument?

Before you can begin writing an argumentative article, you need to make sure you have a debatable topic. Think of this type of paper as you would any disagreement you’ve had in the past. Perhaps you and a friend debated the reasons you should or shouldn’t go to a particular restaurant or why one of you should not date a particular person. You need more than one side to an issue to form an argument. To check if you have the right topic for this type of essay, consider the subject matter.

Whats the point

(9) Are the premises true or acceptable?

All valid arguments have all true premises and true conclusions. All sound arguments are valid arguments. If an argument is valid, then it must have at least one true premise. Every valid argument is a sound argument.

(10) Do the premises support the conclusion?

There are two types of argument: deductive and inductive. A deductive argument is one in which it is claimed that the conclusion follows necessarily from the premises. In other words, it is claimed that under the assumption that the premises are true it is impossible for the conclusion to be false.

(11) Are there other relevant known factors to take into consideration?

Is the resource material reputable? Are statements made and not backed up by facts?

(12) Is there any fallacy in the argument?

Before committing any argument on paper we consider several factors as such:
1) Scope of the research or source of the material. Is it reliable?
2) Reputation (maybe impact factor, indexing)
3) Publisher
These are all well-known factors you certainly should consider before you decide to give it a”go”. However, do you think your outlook contributes to some extent in the decision-making process? For example, let us consider a blog website which looks too clumsy and not user friendly and another with decent look and easy to use the web interface (both have the same impact factor), which one you will choose if you have to?

By practicing these 12 key questions that help writers identify, analyse and evaluate arguments critically,  you can develop and exercise critical thinking skills.

 

4 thoughts on “What Is The Point?”

  1. It is good that before you respond or join to an argument you should have first to consider many things and angles so that you will be able to make a good fight and it is very helpful that you mentioned the 12 guides for backing up or arming yourself before joining an argument. Yes its the prefrontal cortex that mostly process our critical thinking and its the part of the brain that shows our intelligence and it depends what stimuli that we receive or in what situation a human being got into…if a human being will run or fight from that stimuli because it will harm him or he will just remain calm, observe and watch..if the stimuli is not harmful to him…so our central nervous system or brain process all the information that we experienced before and stored it for future used and that would be a very helpful process since it is needed for the survival of the species. Even the lower form of life possessed that type of defense for survival and adaptation and they exist since the beginning of time up to the present.And going back to your 12 tips that will help you in the argument process,I think it is very helpful tips since if you master it …then you can develop and exercise critical judgement which is very useful if applied to our present life…thank you for sharing.

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  2. Hello there thanks for this review. It was helpful and educative. Well talking about argument, people give or have their opinion as to why they argue. Basically the main purpose of an argument  is to prove a point the other party that is, trying to make the other party see things from you own side of view. It is a good way to build the brain though.

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