Introduction to Evaluative Arguments Scott Hale English 1213 Definitional Arguments: Basis of All Knowledge/Communication Argue that Item X belongs in Category Y Scooter (X) is a murderer (Y) Evaluative Arguments: The next step in Knowledge/Communication Having defined an item--X is a Y We then evaluate that item--X is a good/bad Y… Evaluations depend upon definitions Requirements for Evaluative Arguments: Evaluations require comparison/contrast between items within the same category/genus To argue that this is a good/bad chair requires that we compare/contrast it with other chairs... AND... Evaluative Arguments must be couched in evaluative terms…. Adjectives... Good/bad; effective/ineffective; successful/unsuccessful; cooperative/ uncooperative; resentful/unresentful… Flag Day is a joyous holiday... Toulmin Schema: Today is a beautiful day b/c it is sunny. C: Today is a beautiful day R: b/c it is sunny G: Today is sunny; Ev: Support that it is sunny today W: Any day that is sunny is a beautiful day B: Support that beautiful days are sunny Strategy for Constructing Evaluative Arguments: Construct convincing criteria for evaluation... Demonstrate that the evaluated item possess those criteria... Sunniness is the criteria for a beautiful day Today possesses that criteria (sunniness) Difficulties in Constructing Evaluative Arguments: Demonstrating that the evaluated item possess that criteria (Synthesis/analysis) Constructing convincing criteria… Problems... Problem of Standards: Normal vs. Ideal: Curfew... Normal--12:00 Midnight Ideal--Before sunrise Problem of Mitigating Circumstances: Circumstances out of the ordinary/Things we can’t control... Revision Guides…? Drunk? Hit and Run? Mitigating Circumstances revise criteria Problem of 2 Goods vs. 2 Bads: 2000 Ferrari vs. 1979 Pinto? 2000 Ferrari vs. 2000 Lamborghini? 1979 Pinto vs. 1974 Nova? Evaluating 2 Goods vs. 2 Bads revise criteria Problem of Seductive Empirical Measures: Statistics… 100% of College students drink on Friday night… 100% of College students study on Saturday night… Control the numbers… Problem of Cost: What happen if the best costs too much? To enhance student learning, OU should buy every student a laptop computer... To teach effective birth control, every student should have to have sex using a condom… Cost isn’t always about $$ Determining Criteria for Evaluative Arguments: Step 1: Determine the genus--too broad/too narrow? Step 2: Determine the purpose/function of genus Step 3: Determine criteria based upon purpose/function Step 4: Give relative weight to criteria-which is most important?