CLAIMS by Armaggedon



   Identifying the arguer’s point

   • A claim is the point an arguer is trying to make.
   • The claim is the conclusion, proposition, or
     assertion an arguer wants another to accept.
   • The claim answers the question, "So what is your
      – example: ―You should send a birthday card to Mimi,
        because she sent you one on your birthday.‖
      – example: ―I drove last time, so this time it’s your turn
        to drive.‖
      – example: ―Because the groundhog saw his shadow,
        there will be six more weeks of winter.‖
Clue words for identifying
  • Claims often follow words such as
    ―therefore,‖ ―thus,‖ and ―hence‖
    – example:‖ Ned is conservative,
      therefore he tends to vote for John
    – example: ―There are newspapers in
      the Boswell’s driveway, thus they are
      probably out of town this weekend.‖
    – example: ―The car’s engine is still
      warm, hence it must have been
      driven recently.‖
More clue words for identifying

   •   We conclude that…   •   It should be clear that…
   •   Results indicate…   •   We may deduce that…
   •   Consequently…       •   Points to…
   •   So…                 •   The point I’m trying to
   •   In short…               make is…
   •   It follows that…    •   The most obvious
                               explanation is…
   •   Shows that…
                           •   It is highly probably
   •   Indicates that…         that…
   •   Suggests that…      •   Proves that…
                           •   The truth of the matter
More about claims...

    • There are four basic types of claims:
    • fact: claims which focus on empirically verifiable
    • judgment/value: claims involving opinions,
      attitudes, and subjective evaluations of things
    • policy: claims advocating courses of action that
      should be undertaken
    • definition or classification: claims about
      categorization and classification
Factual claims

  • Empirically verifiable—ultimately there is a
    correct answer somewhere
  • The arguers may not be able to prove the
    correct answer
     – example: ―More than 300 innocent people have been
       executed in the United States.‖
  • An arguer is making a factual claim even if the
    arguer has the facts wrong
     – example: ―Dr. Gass is 6’4‖ tall.
  • Facts may involve the past, present, or future
     – example: ―California’s Hispanic population will more
       than double over the next 10 years.‖
Judgment or Value claims

  • Involve matters of taste, opinion, attitudes
    – example: ―Torture is wrong.‖
  • Always carry an evaluative dimension:
       • positive vs. negative
       • good versus bad
       • right vs. wrong
  • Not all opinions are equally good
    – example: ―Norbit was the best movie of 2007.‖

  • advocates what should be done
         • example: ―there oughta be a law…‖
         • example: ―You should change your motor oil every
           4,000 miles.‖
  • Requires someone to take a specific course
    of action
         • an individual
         • a legislature
         • a court
  • should ≠ would

   • advocates a specific definition or
     interpretation of a concept
      – example: ―Tiger Woods is African-American.‖
   • often necessary to define key concepts
     prior to arguing claims of fact, value, or
      – example: ―Rich people should pay higher
        taxes.‖ What constitutes ―rich‖?
   • often centers on what category or
     classification is most appropriate

To top