Mapping the world's opinions

Arguments, Premises, Proponents

Identifying Arguments

Arguments are (set) of reasons in support of a Position. If the Position is the “what”, the Argument is the “why”. “[Position] is correct because [Argument]” Eg: Position: “Yes, Pele is the greatest footballer of all time” (because) Argument: “Pele won two World Cups and he never failed a score in the last two years”. The Argument is a summary of the reasoning from which the conclusion identified in the Position follows. The Argument title should include the subject of the question and avoid pronouns (she, he, they, them, it, this, etc.).

Identifying Premises

Premises are the back bones of arguments. They express the single reasons which make up the argument. They can take various forms from evaluations (“a child’s life is more valuable than anything else”) to the expression of facts (“During the war, 1000 thousands people die”). The sentences which make up premises can provide support for the Position in different ways: -can directly support the position —SIMPLE PREMISE: [Pele won two world cups]premise. [He is the best footballer of all times]position.
-can support the position ONLY if considered together with another premise —LINKED PREMISES : [The two major alternatives to oil are solar or wind energy ]premise1. [There is no infrastructure for wind energy in UK]premise2. [The best form of alternative energy for UK is solar]position -one premise supports another another one in a chain —SERIAL PREMISES:[Today all the store are closed]premise1. [We cannot buy chocolate]premise2. [We cannot bake brownies] position

Premises should be numbered [P1] , [P2], [P3], … etc. This allows for easy reference in the counter section.

Proponents are public individuals, institutions or bodies that have articulated their support for a given Argument and Position.

Proponents are the starting point of all Questions. Proponents’ views must be clearly articulated in a quotable context - audio, text or video - with a reference to that quotation. Proponents need not be internally consistent (Rene Descartes may declare Orange the most beautiful colour on Wednesday, and declare Blue the best on Thursday), but they must have made the Argument or taken the Position they are being shown to support explicitly and consciously. The context of their words should always be taken into account.

In some Maps, Proponents are people or bodies that have made the strongest case for the importance of a particular argument, but not necessarily made it to the exclusion of all other arguments. In the example, “Map: the causes of the First World War”, few people would argue for a single cause. Proponents in this instance should simply be those who have most forcefully and convincingly made the argument about a particular cause.

This page was last edited on Thursday, 28 Nov 2019 at 00:13 UTC