Argument Pyramid


I’m afraid I’ve corresponded with quite a few people who constantly make their arguments on the bottom four rungs of the pyramid. It’s a waste of time to communicate with them.


One thought on “Argument Pyramid

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  1. Discussion moved from my old blog: MattK said…
    Like it. Would probably add that Contradiction can take many forms- e.g. downright misrepresentation and straw man diversions e.g. every other press release from Government departments over here in the UK when they get criticised. Also file under name-calling and ad hominem, but with an air of misplaced public schoolboy superiority.

    Reply 01/07/2014 at 08:24 AM

    John said…
    Thank you. I very much like the idea of making explicit in a graphic form the progression in validity of argument. However I don’t think that a pyramid is the most appropriate expression of this. Other hierarchies that are presented in this way, such as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (see Wikipedia), present the most basic elements as the necessary base of the pyramid. In your model, this would imply that ‘name-calling’ and ‘ad hom’ were a necessary basis to ‘refutation’, which is I suspect the opposite of what you intend. ‘Uses quotes’ is not a particularly powerful form of evidence compared with, say, citing scientific experimental results, strong statistical evidence or mathematical proof; consider instead ‘provides compelling evidence’. I’d also concur with other comments that there are other steps, such as ‘debate over the relevance and validity of supporting evidence presented’, which might usefully be included.

    Reply 01/11/2014 at 07:13 AM


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