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October 15, 2013 / compassioninpolitics

What are the principles of good, logical, and ethical argument?

I would suggest the following 12:

1) Relevance (to the question under consideration)
2) Gravity/Scope/Impact/Implication/Significance in Size or Degree
3) Purpose/Meaning/Values (Ethics, Empathy, Compassion, Character, the Human Spirit, Self-Actualization, etc…)
4) Defines those purposes and objectives clearly
5) Backed by Good Reasons (Quality, Credible)
6) Distinctions/Nuance
7) Clear defining of terms (i.e. not via obsfication, over-vagueness, or confusion)
8) Honesty (including doesn’t engage in logical fallacies in a malicious way)
9) Engages the other side (in either a direct or indirect way)–thus facilitating
10) Perspective (ideally multi-perspective or multi-diciplinary)
11) Includes and/or identifies assumptions (or conditions)
12) Understands options and/or opportunity costs (and defines them clearly)

For Historical Perspective you can learn about the Toulmin Model of Argument–the most trusted in addition to Aristotle in the field of logic, argument, and rhetoric–explained here and here. (the former is the Wikipedia entry for Toulmin, whereas the later is the visualization of his model along with an explanation)

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