Argument appraisal strategy: A comprehensive approach

Robert H. Ennis


A popular three-stage argument appraisal strategy calls for (1) identifying the parts of the argument, (2) classifYing the argument as deductive, inductive, or some other type, and (3) appraising the argument using the standards appropriate for the type. This strategy fails for a number of reasons. I
propose a comprehensive alternative approach that distinguishes between inductive, deductive, and other standards; calls for the successive application of standards combined with assumption-ascription, according to policies that depend for their selection on the goals of the appraiser; and provides for qualified reasoning.


critical thinking, argument, argument appraisal, induction, deduction, qualified reasoning, value judging, assumptions, ceteris paribus, prima facie, probably

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ISSN: 0824-2577