Mid-term review


Argument theory:

Johnson: pp 42-46, 143-179 (Chpt 6), 91-107, Chpt 10

Rieke et al: Chpt 1, 3, 305-311

Summarized with these 4 approaches: (1) Symoblic logic, (2) fallacies, (3) Toulmin/pragmatism, (4) Postmodernism (optimistic and pessimistic)

Abstracts of these approaches: ADR, Hamblin, Logic (FDL, informal, quasi), Feminist theory, “Good reasons,” Perelman, Science, good story.

Notes on “take home points”: Structure matters, evidence matters, style matters.

Notes on 9/7: “How important is argument, what determines the outcome, how should it be defined”

A good summary is to notice that the approaches differ in what they’d look at, how they’d analyze it, and what their final conclusion would be.


Presidential debates

Articles: Racine group, Benoit & Brazeal, Hinck & Hinck, Smith & Voth, Benoit & Hansen.

Notes: abstracts of articles

Notes: Why debates might really be negative, no matter what the articles (Hincks & Benoit & Brazeal) say

Notes: What did the candidates need to do (before the first debate), did they do it (after first debate)?


NO CLASS on the 11th or the 18th.  16th will be legal simulation debrief.  Papers are DUE on November 30.



Symoblic logic/ fallacies





1. Non-answers

2. Skipped structure (raise min wage to NCLB)

1. central themes; who’s the better prez?  Example: Flip-flop vs. new start

1. Height

2. Personality

3. Wealth (Heintz vs. big oil)

4. War history vs. CiC

5. Control issues


Missing parts are bad

Evidence: Democratic elections vs. stability(stability isn’t factual).

2. Numbers without jobs and health insurance

3. incumbent = burden of proof

1. Who’s got power?

2. Who’s abusing power?

3. Might makes right

4. Use of empty symbols

5. Style: Personable vs. vocabulary


Social security is invalid: Nobody knows the plan

Kerry better on the economy

Optimistic: Bush must defend unilateralism

Pessimistic: People vote on crap/no real change