Day 4 - Tuesday

Day 4 - Tuesday

I. Housekeeping

  • sign-in
  • return skeletal arguments

II. Claims

  • What is a claim?
    A statement that is provable, significant (debatable), and thoughtful (appropriately qualified). It answers the question, "What do you think?"
  • Claims in silver cup
    Is it an appropriate claim? Why or why not? What could you change to make it an appropriate claim?
  • Claim brainstorming from reading
    Is artistic creation like the process described by a cosmogony?
    Is an artist like a creator in a cosmogony?

III. Reasons

  • What is a reason?
    A sub-claim &endash; same criteria as above, tho' less general, more specific. It answers the question, "Why do you believe that claim?" They start with "because" &endash; they're grammatically subordinate, too.
  • Claims in silver cup: generating reasons for the appropriate ones
  • Reason brainstorming based on an interesting claim from above
    How is this process different?
    Sharing reasons only; we "guess" claim from its subclaims

IV. Warrants

  • What is a warrant?
    It shows relevance. It answers the question, "What does that have to do with that?" e.g. Walmart commercial: "And three of them are triplets!"
    Usually we know when something is relevant or not, usually without its being stated.
  • Sometimes relevance is hard to see
    e.g. Claim: You shouldn't buy clothes made in that country.
    Reason: Because they don't protect their environment.
    Relevance in its more obvious cases is usually a matter of definition.
  • Warrants exist (surprise!) at all levels of argument They connect claims to reasons and reasons to evidence.
  • Ways of disputing a warrant concern include arguing that you don't agree with the warrant offered and arguing that a warrant doesn't exist. e.g. cartoons

Homework: Complete reading on syllabus. Another skeletal argument re: parallels between one artist's account and one creation story. Claim: X's account of creativity parallels Y story of creation.


Appropriate and Inappropriate Claims for Day 4 Exercise:


  • God created the world in seven days.
  • Evening is the best time to throw a party.
  • Diamonds are a girl's best friend.
  • The United States government should decrease taxes.
  • Schools should require physical education.
  • Meat eaters can't love their pets as much as vegetarians do.
  • The practice of medicine is similar to the practice of art.
  • Preserving the environment should be a priority.
  • The invention of the automobile changed the way people live and work.
  • The Simpsons is among the twentieth century's most innovative television series.
  • George Washington was our best president.