# Dictionary Definition

argument

### Noun

1 a fact or assertion offered as evidence that
something is true; "it was a strong argument that his hypothesis
was true" [syn: statement]

2 a contentious speech act; a dispute where there
is strong disagreement; "they were involved in a violent argument"
[syn: controversy,
contention, contestation, disputation, disceptation, tilt, arguing]

3 a discussion in which reasons are advanced for
and against some proposition or proposal; "the argument over
foreign aid goes on and on" [syn: argumentation, debate]

4 a summary of the subject or plot of a literary
work or play or movie; "the editor added the argument to the poem"
[syn: literary
argument]

5 a variable in a logical or mathematical
expression whose value determines the dependent variable; if
f(x)=y, x is the independent variable

# User Contributed Dictionary

## English

### Noun

- A fact or statement used to support a proposition; a reason:
- A verbal dispute; a quarrel.
- A process of reasoning.
- In the context of "philosophy|logic": A series of statements organized so that the final statement is a conclusion which is intended to follow logically from the preceding statements, which function as premises.
- The independent variable of a function.
- A value, or reference to a value, passed to a function.
- A parameter in a function definition; a formal argument.
- A summary or short statement of the plot or chief points of a book.

#### Usage notes

- ( formal argument) The use of the word argument without formal as a qualifier is common, but is a loose usage. Parameter is more correct.

#### Synonyms

- (value) actual argument
- parameter

#### Related terms

#### Translations

fact or statement used to support a proposition;
a reason

- Albanian: argument
- Breton: arguz , arguzoù p
- Catalan: argument
- Czech: argument
- Finnish: argumentti
- French: argument
- German: Argument
- Hebrew: טענה (t'a'ana) ; טיעון (t'i'un)
- Italian: argomento
- Latin: argumentum
- Portuguese: argumento
- Russian: обоснование
- Slovene: prepir, spor
- Spanish: argumento
- Swedish: argument
- Turkish: sav

verbal dispute; a quarrel

- Breton: tabut , tabutoù p
- Catalan: disputa
- Dutch: ruzie
- Finnish: riita, väittely
- French: querelle
- German: Streit
- Hebrew: ויכוח (vikuakh)
- Italian: discussione
- Japanese: 論争 (ronsō)
- Kurdish:
- Sorani: شهڕهقسه, قڕهبڕ

- Portuguese: discussão
- Russian: спор
- Slovene: prepir , spor
- Swedish: argumentation, diskussion
- Turkish: tartışma

process of reasoning

- Breton: arguzenn , arguzennoù p
- Catalan: argumentació
- Finnish: väittely, perustelu
- French: argumentation
- German: Argumentation
- Latin: argumentatio
- Portuguese: argumentação
- Russian: аргумент
- Swedish: argumentation

independent variable

- Swedish: argument

variable that is being passed to a function

- Catalan: argument
- Dutch: argument
- Finnish: argumentti
- French: argument
- German: Argument
- Japanese: (hikisū)
- Russian: аргумент
- Swedish: argument

- ttbc Interlingua: argumento
- ttbc Latin: argumentum
- ttbc Telugu: వాదము
- Volapük: vödafeit

## Czech

### Pronunciation

### Noun

#### Derived terms

#### Related terms

## French

### Pronunciation

### Noun

fr-noun m## Swedish

### Pronunciation

### Noun

argument- argument; a reason
- argument; an independent variable passed to a function
- argument; variable passed to a function

# Extensive Definition

In logic, an argument is a set of one or more declarative
sentences (or "propositions")
known as the premises
along with another declarative sentence (or "proposition") known as
the conclusion. A deductive argument asserts that the truth of the
conclusion is a
logical
consequence of the premises; an inductive
argument asserts that the truth of the conclusion is
supported by the premises.

Each premise and the conclusion are only either
true or false, not ambiguous. The sentences
comprising an argument are referred to as being either true or
false, not as being valid or invalid; arguments are referred to as
being valid or invalid, not as being true or false. Some authors
refer to the premises and conclusion using the terms declarative
sentence, statement, proposition, sentence, or even indicative
utterance. The reason for the variety is concern about the
ontological significance of the terms, proposition in
particular. Whichever term is used, each premise and the conclusion
must be capable of being true or false and nothing else: they are
truthbearers.

## Formal and informal arguments

Informal arguments are studied in informal logic,
are presented in ordinary
language and are intended for everyday discourse. Formal arguments
are studied in formal logic (historically called symbolic logic,
more commonly referred to as mathematical logic today) are
expressed in a formal
language. Informal logic may be said to emphasize the study of
argumentation,
whereas formal logic emphasizes implication and inference.

## Deductive arguments

A deductive argument is one which, if valid, has
a conclusion which is entailed by its premises. In other words the
truth of the conclusion is a logical consequence of the premises,
if the premises are true then the conclusion must be true. It would
be self contradictory to assert the premises and deny the
conclusion because the negation of the conclusion is contradictory
to the truth of the premises.

A deductive argument is often described as the
type of argument that proceeds from general principles to derive
particular claims. However, Some Greeks are men therefore some men
are Greeks and The Morning Star is the Evening Star , The Evening
Star is Venus therefore The Morning Star is Venus are valid
deductive arguments which do not fit this description.

### Validity

Arguments may be either valid or invalid. If an
argument is valid, and its premises are true, the conclusion must
be true: a valid argument cannot have true premises and a false
conclusion.

The validity of an argument depends, however, not
on the actual truth or falsity of its premises and conclusions, but
solely on whether or not the argument has a valid logical
form. The validity of an argument is not a guarantee of the
truth of its conclusion. A valid argument may have false premises
and a false conclusion.

Logic seeks to discover the valid forms, the
forms that make arguments valid arguments. An argument form is
valid if and
only if all arguments of that form are valid. Since the
validity of an argument depends on its form, an argument can be
shown to be invalid by showing that its form is invalid, and this
can be done by giving another argument of the same form that has
true premises but a false conclusion. In informal logic this is
called a counter argument.

The form of argument can be shown by the use of
symbols. For each argument form, there is a corresponding statement
form, called a
corresponding conditional, and an argument form is valid if and
only its corresponding conditional is a logical
truth. A statement form which is logically true is also said to
be a valid statement form. A statement form is a logical truth if
it is true under all interpretations.
A statement form can be shown to be a logical truth by either (a)
showing that it is a tautology or (b) by means of a
proof
procedure.

The corresponding conditional, of a valid
argument is a necessary truth (true in all possible worlds) and so
we might say that the conclusion necessarily follows from the
premises, or follows of logical necessity. The conclusion of a
valid argument is not necessarily true, it depends on whether the
premises are true. The conclusion of a valid argument need not be a
necessary truth: if it were so, it would be so independently of the
premises.

For example: Some Greeks are logicians, therefore
some logicians are Greeks: Valid argument; it would be
self-contradictory to admit that some Greeks are logicians but deny
that some (any) logicans are Greeks.

All Greeks are human and All humans are mortal
therefore All Greeks are mortal. : Valid argument; if the premises
are true the conclusion must be true.

Some Greeks are logicians and some logician are
tiresome therefore some Greeks are tiresome. Invalid argument: the
tiresome logicians might all be Romans!

Either we are all doomed or we are all saved; we
are not all saved therefore we are all doomed. Valid argument; the
premises entail the conclusion. (Remember that does not mean the
conclusion has to be true, only if the premisses are true, and
perhaps they are not, perhaps some people are saved and some people
are doomed, and perhaps some neither saved nor doomed!)

Arguments can be invalid for a variety of
reasons. There are well-established patterns of reasoning that
render arguments that follow them invalid; these patterns are known
as logical
fallacies.

### Soundness

A sound argument is a valid argument with true
premises. A sound argument being both valid and having true
premises must have a true conclusion. Some authors (especially in
earlier literature) use the term sound as synonymous with
valid.

## Inductive arguments

Inductive logic is the process of reasoning in
which the premises of an argument are believed to support the
conclusion but do not entail it. Induction is a form of reasoning
that makes generalizations based on individual instances.

Mathematical
induction should not be misconstrued as a form of inductive
reasoning, which is considered non-rigorous in mathematics. (See
Problem
of induction.) In spite of the name, mathematical induction is
a form of deductive reasoning and is fully rigorous.

### Cogent arguments

An argument is cogent if and
only if the truth of the argument's premises would render the
truth of the conclusion probable (i.e., the argument is strong),
and the argument's premises are, in fact, true. Cogency can be
considered inductive
logic's analogue to deductive
logic's "soundness."

## Fallacies and non arguments

A fallacy is an invalid argument that appears
valid, or a valid argument with disguised assumptions. First the
premises and the conclusion must be statements, capable of being
true and false. Secondly it must be asserted that the conclusion
follows from the premises. In English the words therefore, so,
because and hence typically separate the premises from the
conclusion of an argument, but this is not necessarily so. Thus:
Socrates is a man, all men are mortal therefore Socrates is mortal
is clearly an argument (a valid one at that), because it is clear
it is asserted that that Socrates is mortal follows from the
preceding statements. However I was thirsty and therefore I drank
is NOT an argument, despite its appearance. It is not being claimed
that I drank is logically entailed by I was thirsty. The therefore
in this sentence indicates for that reason not it follows
that.

- Elliptical arguments

Often an argument is invalid because there is a
missing premise the supply of which would make it valid. Speakers
and writers will often leave out a strictly necessary premise in
their reasonings if it is widely accepted and the writer does not
wish to state the blindingly obvious. Example: Iron is a metal
therefore it will expand when heated. (Missing premise: all metals
expand when heated). On the other hand a seemingly valid argument
may be found to lack a premise – a ‘hidden assumption’ – which if
highlighted can show a fault in reasoning. Example: A witness
reasoned: Nobody came out the front door except the milkman
therefore the murderer must have left by the back door. (Hidden
assumption- the milkman was not the murderer).

## Rhetoric, dialectic, and argumentative dialogue

Whereas formal arguments are static, such as one
might find in a textbook or research article, argumentative
dialogue is dynamic. It serves as a published record of
justification for an assertion. Arguments can also be interactive,
with the proposer and the interlocutor having a symmetrical
relationship. The premises are discussed, as well the validity of
the intermediate inferences.

Dialectic is controversy, that is, the exchange
of arguments and counter-arguments respectively advocating
propositions. The outcome of the exercise might not simply be the
refutation of one of the relevant points of view, but a synthesis
or combination of the opposing assertions, or at least a
qualitative transformation in the direction of the dialogue.

## Argumentation theory

Argumentation theory, (or argumentation) embraces
the arts and sciences of civil debate, dialogue, conversation, and
persuasion. It studies rules of inference, logic, and procedural rules in
both artificial and real world settings. Argumentation is concerned
primarily with reaching conclusions through logical reasoning, that is, claims
based on premises.

## Arguments in various disciplines

Statements are put forward as arguments in all
disciplines and all walks of life. Logic is concerned with what
consititutes an argument and what are the forms of valid arguments
in all interpretations and hence in all disciplines, the subject
matter being irrelevant. There are not different valid forms of
argument in different subjects.

Arguments as they appear in science and
mathematics (and other subjects) do not usually follow strict proof
precedures; typically they are elliptical arguments (q.v.) and the
rules of inference are implicit rather than explicit. An argument
can be loosely said to be valid if it can be shown that, with the
supply of the missing premises it has a valid argument form and
demonstrateable by an accepted proof procedure.

### Mathematical arguments

The basis of mathematical truth has been the
subject of long debate. Frege in particular
sought to demonstrate (see Gottlob Frege, The Foundations of
Arithemetic, 1884, and Logicism in Philosophy
of mathematics) that that arithmetical truths can be derived
from purely logical axioms and therefore are, in the end, logical
truths. The project was developed by Russell and Whitehead in their
Principia Mathematica. If an argument can be cast in the form of
sentences in Symbolic Logic, then it can be tested by the
application of accepted proof procedures. This has been carried out
for Arithemetic using Peano
axioms. Be that as it may, an argument in Mathematics, as in
any other discipline, can be considered valid just in case it can
be shown to be of a form such that it cannot have true premises and
a false conclusion.

### Scientific arguments

### Legal arguments

Legal arguments (or oral arguments) are spoken
presentations to a judge
or appellate
court by a lawyer (or
parties when representing themselves) of the legal reasons why they should
prevail. Oral argument at the appellate level accompanies written
briefs, which
also advance the argument of each party in the legal dispute. A
closing argument (or summation) is the concluding statement of each
party's counsel (often
called an attorney in the United States) reiterating the important
arguments for the trier of
fact, often the jury, in a court case. A
closing argument occurs after the presentation of evidence.

### Political arguments

A political argument is an instance of a logical
argument applied to politics. Political arguments
are used by academics,
media pundits,
candidates for political office and government officials. Political
arguments are also used by citizens in ordinary interactions to
comment about and understand political events.

## References

- Robert Audi, Epistemology, Routledge, 1998. Particularly relevant is Chapter 6, which explores the relationship between knowledge, inference and argument.
- J. L. Austin How to Do Things With Words, Oxford University Press, 1976.
- H. P. Grice, Logic and Conversation in The Logic of Grammar, Dickenson, 1975.
- Vincent F. Hendricks, Thought 2 Talk: A Crash Course in Reflection and Expression, New York: Automatic Press / VIP, 2005, ISBN 87-991013-7-8
- R. A. DeMillo, R. J. Lipton and A. J. Perlis, Social Processes and Proofs of Theorems and Programs, Communications of the ACM, Vol. 22, No. 5, 1979. A classic article on the social process of acceptance of proofs in mathematics.
- Yu. Manin, A Course in Mathematical Logic, Springer Verlag, 1977. A mathematical view of logic. This book is different from most books on mathematical logic in that it emphasizes the mathematics of logic, as opposed to the formal structure of logic.
- Ch. Perelman and L. Olbrechts-Tyteca, The New Rhetoric, Notre Dame, 1970. This classic was originally published in French in 1958.
- Henri Poincaré, Science and Hypothesis, Dover Publications, 1952
- Frans van Eemeren and Rob Grootendorst, Speech Acts in Argumentative Discussions, Foris Publications, 1984.
- K. R. Popper Objective Knowledge; An Evolutionary Approach, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972.
- L. S. Stebbing, A Modern Introduction to Logic, Methuen and Co., 1948. An account of logic that covers the classic topics of logic and argument while carefully considering modern developments in logic.
- Douglas Walton, Informal Logic: A Handbook for Critical Argumentation, Cambridge, 1998
- Carlos Chesñevar, Ana Maguitman and Ronald Loui, Logical Models of Argument, ACM Computing Surveys, vol. 32, num. 4, pp.337-383, 2000.
- T. Edward Damer. Attacking Faulty Reasoning, 5th Edition, Wadsworth, 2005. ISBN 0-534-60516-8

## Further reading

More on Arguments: Wesley C Salmon, Logic,
Prentice-Hall, New Jersey 1963 (Library of Congress Catalog Card
no. 63-10528) More on Logic: Aristotle, Prior and Posterior
Analytics, ed. and trans. John Warrington, Dent: London (everyman
Library) 1964 Benson Mates, Elementary Logic, OUP, New York 1972
(Library of Congress Catalog Card no.74-166004) Elliot Mendelson,
Introduction to Mathematical Logic,, Van Nostran Reinholds Company,
New York 1964 More on Logic and Maths: 1884. Die Grundlagen der
Arithmetik: eine logisch-mathematische Untersuchung über den
Begriff der Zahl. Breslau: W. Koebner. Translation: J. L. Austin,
1974. The Foundations of Arithmetic: A logico-mathematical enquiry
into the concept of number, 2nd ed. Blackwell. Gottlob Frege, The
Foundations of Arithmetic: A logico-mathematical enquiry into the
concept of number, 1884, trans Jacquette, Pearson Longman,
2007

## See also

portalpar Logic

argument in German: Argumentationstheorie

argument in French: Argumentation

argument in Galician: Argumentación

argument in Hebrew: טיעון

argument in Japanese: 論証

argument in Macedonian: Логички аргумент

argument in Dutch: Argument
(argumentatieleer)

argument in Norwegian: Argumentasjon

argument in Romanian: Argument

argument in Russian: Аргумент (логика)

argument in Serbo-Croatian: Dokaz (logika)

argument in Simple English: Argument

argument in Serbian: Доказ

argument in Swedish: Argumentation

argument in Vietnamese: Luận cứ logic

argument in Chinese: 逻辑论证

argument in Contenese: 論證

# Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Kilkenny cats, action, addend, affray, altercation, anagnorisis, angle, answer, antilogarithm, apologetics, apologia, apology, architectonics, architecture, argumentation, argumentum, assertion, atmosphere, background, barney, base, basis, bicker, bickering, binomial, blood feud, brawl, broil, case, casuistry, cat-and-dog life,
catastrophe,
characteristic,
characterization,
claim, coefficient, color, combat, combination, complement, complication, conflict, congruence, cons, consideration, constant, contention, contentiousness,
contest, contestation, continuity, contrivance, controversy, cosine, cotangent, counterstatement,
cube, cut and thrust,
debate, decimal, defence, defense, demurrer, denial, denominator, denouement, derivative, design, determinant, development, device, difference, differential, disagreement, discriminate, disputation, dispute, dissension, dividend, divisor, donnybrook, donnybrook fair,
e, elenchus, embroilment, enmity, episode, equation, evidence, exception, exponent, exponential, fable, factor, falling action,
falling-out, feud, fight, fighting, fliting, flyting, formula, foundation, fracas, fray, function, fuss, gimmick, ground, hassle, head, hostility, hubbub, hurrah, i, ignoratio elenchi, imbroglio, incident, increment, index, integral, line, litigation, local color,
logic, logomachy, matrix, matter, minuend, mood, motif, motive, movement, multiple, multiplier, mythos, norm, numerator, objection, open quarrel, paper
war, parameter,
passage of arms, peripeteia, permutation, pi, plaidoyer, plan, plea, pleading, pleadings, plot, point, polemic, polemics, polynomial, position, posture, power, proof, proposition, pros, pros and cons, quarrel, quarreling, quarrelsomeness,
quaternion, quotient, radical, radix, reason, rebuttal, reciprocal, recognition, refutation, remainder, reply, response, rhubarb, riposte, rising action, root, row, rumpus, scheme, scrap, scrapping, secant, secondary plot, set-to,
sharp words, sine, slanging
match, slant, snarl, spat, special demurrer, special
pleading, squabble,
squabbling, stance, standpoint, statement, statement of
defense, story, strife, structure, struggle, subject, subject matter,
submultiple,
subplot, subtrahend, summation, summing up,
switch, talking point,
tangent, tensor, testimony, text, thematic development,
theme, thesis, tiff, tone, topic, tussle, twist, variable, vector, vendetta, verbal engagement,
versine, war, war of words, warfare, wherefore, why, whyfor, words, wrangle, wrangling