"Warrant" Feature

The advanced reasoning is barely distinguishable from the regular reasoning section. Stephen Toulmin's original argument structure, on which Rationale builds, also include warrants as an additional feature. Warrants essentially are broader claims that either support a particular reason or the overall thesis. Warrants usually are broader theories that support the particular reasons made in a map or other findings that support a particular reasons. Warrant usually are not elaborate with specific evidence or detailed subreasons. They are just alluded to externally validate the argument presented. So, it would be helpful to have a warrant feature in the advanced reasoning section.

by Markus
3 years ago

Just asking, what would a warrant feature look like?


3 years ago

Hi Markus, Not sure what 'supporting the overall thesis' and 'externally validate' means. What is the difference between a co-premise and a warrant? Can you give an example?

by timo
3 years ago

External and internal validity are widely used terms in social science methodology. They refer to two separate elements strengthening the validity of an argument. Internal validation refers to the reasons, sub-reasons and evidence that support a particular claim. They are internal in the sense that they relate to the specifics of a case being explained. External validity, in terms, refers to indirect support that is external to the particular argument, these are reasons and evidence that are not given full consideration in an argument because it is more tangential. But you still reference it to indicate additional, external potential support for your particular argument. Co-premises and warrants are similar in that highlight background factors to a particular argument and thereby strengthen the argument. However, they are different with respect to their level of generality. A co-premise is specific to a particular reasons which is how Rationale allows you to map it out. A warrant is something broader, a broader theoretical claim that externally validates the central thesis or some broader empirical findings. Neither of them are directly related to a specific reasons, as the co-premise is, and thus would benefit from having their own box. To make my point more concretely, please see link to this example. ttps://www.rationaleonline.com/map/mnpukh/warrant/ Hope this helps.

by Markus
3 years ago

As a workaround, what do you think of using the "support for the argument" feature?

Can you say what the difference is between the visuals here and the visuals that you expect a warrant feature to have?


3 years ago

The difference would be that in the version that you present here the macro-economic theory and the empirical studies boxes support the reason about the lower tax rate. A fuller map, however, would have several other reasons besides the lower tax rate. The point about the warrants is that the would support all of those reasons. To understand my position, it might be helpful to point out that in the social sciences we tend to differentiate between variables (Rational equivalent of reasons), hypothesis (Rational equivalent of contention) and theories (No equivalent in Rational, hence the suggestion about warrants). Also, students always wonder what the difference is between reasoning and advanced reasoning. And they are right, it makes little sense to have a separate simply because one has co-premises and the other does not.

by Markus
3 years ago

As I understand it, the difference between reasoning and advanced reasoning is linked premises - reasoning doesn't have them, and advanced reasoning does.

There's another thread: https://www.rationaleonline.com/forums/support/topic/kw6ydgjf/is-there-a-workaround-for-arguments-with-sharing/

which is generally about "arguments with sharing" where the same premise is used more than once in an argument.

Would it help if there were a way to draw support links from a single reason box up to multiple places within an argument?


3 years ago

@Markus :

  1. About the difference between Reasoning and Advanced Reasoning (Analyzing) mode in Rationale:

You write: ‘The advanced reasoning is barely distinguishable from the regular reasoning section.‘

The option of being able to add co-premises seems to me an essential difference between reasoning and advanced reasoning (analyzing) mode. The reasoning mode is a shortcut; it makes possible to visualize the way we normally speak and write. Useful as a start.

The reasoning mode is fundamentally incomplete in the sense that per definition a reason / objection is in our definition ‘a group of claims, known as premises, treated as jointly providing evidence that another claim is true’ (or not true in case of an objection). For these definitions, see these topics in the book within Rationale.

Advanced reasoning or Analysis maps are very similar to Reasoning maps, but they are much more precise and detailed in three ways. First, they require more precision in the way the claims are expressed. Second, they break down each reason and objection into the multiple claims (premises) that make it up, prompting the user to articulate the assumptions in an argument. Third, in evaluation they distinguish between the truth or acceptability of a claim on one hand and, on the other hand, the strength or validity of the inference from a group of claims (a reason or objection) to another claim.

  1. About adding 'warrants' as a special part within Advanced Reasoning:

I will answer this question in this separate blog post on Toulmin & Warrants & Rationale as I receive more questions about the combination of the Toulmin Model of Argument and Rationale.

Some more general observations on what makes a good argument mapping tool you can find in this paper of M.Hoffman ( p. 10-15).

On the subject of using Toulmin’s model Hoffman writes: ‘The failure to provide such a clear standard of argument evaluation seems to be the biggest problem of Toulmin’s famous model of argument’.

For a critical evaluation of Toulmin’s model see for example: D. Gasper and V. George, Analysing argumentation in planning and public policy, improving and transcending the Toulmin model, 1997.

by timo
3 years ago

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