Approach to Argument

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Approach to Argument Stephen Toulmin, author of The Uses of Argument, is a modern English philosopher that developed a six-part model which helps to explain the essential parts of an argument (Wood, 128). In Toulmin’s model, the first of three of the six-part model are crucial to argument and they are: claim, support and warrant. What I feel has been a great help in understanding Toulmin’s model is that the way he has broken it down is very similar in the way that I naturally think through an argument. He has simplified it with the six terms; claim, support, warrant, backing, rebuttal, and qualifier. The last three terms are also important but not always necessary. In the article “American Value Systems” by Richard D. Rieke and Malcolm O. Sillars, I found great use of the Toulmin model when understanding their argument with each individual value system. In their article they did a great job by not generalizing the American population by using the term ‘everyone’ which could possibly offend readers and having them judge from the beginning. The article speaks of six value systems but clearly states in the opening paragraphs that “broad social categories” are defined, also, both groups and individuals will be found outside of these systems or may use certain qualities of one or more value systems and combine them to create their own. The value systems defined are The Puritan-Pioneer-Peasant Value System, The Enlightenment Value System, The Progressive Value System, The Transcendental Value System, The Personal Success Value System and The Collectivist Value System. It is clear, especially when reading the positive and negative highlighted words for each system, that the beliefs can be similar or seen in more than one system. I found this article quite helpful when it comes to discovering a strong baseline for different value systems. It can be easy for me to be
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