An argument may use many different methods in order to be able to prove its point, and so long as a set conclusion is provided, and the ideas are presented “in a natural order” (Weston, p. 3). In order to best see this particular style of logic utilized, let us look to the idea of sodas. For the purposes of this assignment, a “soda” is any caffeinated, carbonated beverage made with high fructose corn syrup. Caffeine works to assist the body in staying awake and alert as a result of its “effects on the body’s metabolism, including stimulating the central nervous system” (CNS) (NIH, 2013). From this information it may then be stated that caffeine assists the body in staying awake. Sodas contain caffeine; therefore sodas assist the body in staying awake. This type of statement is considered to be a categorical syllogism, wherein A equals B and B equals C, therefore A equals C. This is also a form of deductive reasoning, wherein the thought process from one statement leads to the thought process for another, thereby allowing the individual to be able to make a conclusion based on the thought process presented.
One could go further with the argument regarding sodas stating that there are many individuals who use caffeine as a means of keeping themselves awake, waking themselves up, or providing a boost to their metabolism and CNS in order to be able to provide a pick me up. So, if Jane consumes soda in order to stay awake, and Jane is a college student in her early twenties, the following argument could be made: Jane consumes soda to stay awake; she is a college student in her early twenties, therefore college females in their early twenties consume soda to stay awake. This form of inductive reasoning works to provide a generalization regarding the soda consumption habits and the reasoning behind them for all female college students in their early twenties.
By working to be able to understand and identify the different methods that an argument could be made it is possible to see how they may be practically applied to a given conclusion, in this case, that sodas assist individuals in staying awake or alert, and how these different methods of argument and logic may be used in order to work to be able to prove the point being made and work to ensure that there is a clear and logical reasoning behind the statements that are being made. It is through the process of applying logic to a given conclusion that it is possible to see how the individual is able to provide the basic premise for their argument and as a result work to either attempt to refute the particular points made by the argument or to work to provide additional methods to shore up the argument, as in a debate. With the understanding of these different skills, it is possible for an individual to be able to argue any given point.
- National Institute of Health. “Caffeine: MedlinePlus.” U.S National Library of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2013. Web. 28 Sept. 2013. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/
- Weston, Anthony. A Rulebook for Arguments. Indianapolis: Hackett Pub., 2000. Print.