📚 Principles of Argumentation
Published (updated: ) in Leadership and Soft Skills.
Working in Industry, especially with Analytics, we have to prove certain points and ideas to our managers, colleagues and requestors. Every Data Analyst knows the benefits of data-driven decision making. But how do you make indirect conclusions backed up by logic?
I work as a Business Analyst in Banking and I prove ideas every day. Here’s my simplified take on Argumentation for Business needs.
There are four modes of discourse: narration, description, exposition, and argumentation. Of the four, argumentation is the primal form of communication and involves the fine art of persuasion as well.
Principles of Argumentation for argumentative writing are often taught in classical universities. But I believe that every CS and Analytics specialist has to apply them too to boost their Soft Skills.
The Proposition – the major premise of the argument. You’ll need at least 3 major claims to prove it.
Evidence. There are 2 types of evidence: facts and opinions. There are 4 categories of facts: by scientific measurement (temperature, pressure, Richter Scale for earthquakes), by the Way Nature Works, by Observation, by Statistics.
Opinions mean expert opinions expressed by an established authority in the field. Use examples and illustrations to bring your proposition to further convince the audience.
Fallacious Reasoning – illogical reasoning. Avoid these mistakes: hasty generalizations (insufficient data or too few examples), begging the Questions (assume something that needs to be proven as a basis), evading the Question (move from the real issue to another topic), argumentum ad hominem (direct argument to the prejudices and instincts other than real arguments).
Discussion. There are four standards of judgment: Convention of Bilaterality (at least two competing messages), Convention of Self-Risk (you risk being proven wrong), the Fairness Doctrine (debate has to be extended to guarantee that all viewpoints are considered), Commitment to Rationality (everyone has the right to use logic to debate and argue).
If you adhere to these principles, your argumentation will become undeniable and your argumentative work will be a lot more professional and deeper. People like professional speakers and conversationalists. And Soft Skills become more and more valued by employers every day.
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