Stephen Toulmin's Argument

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Stephen Toulmin was an English philosopher and logician, who identified a set of elements for persuasive argument. Toulmin’s argument model outline six set of principles on which a sound argument is based. These principles include: claim, ground, warrant, backing, qualifier and rebuttal/reservation. Wood (2001), defined claim as a statement that you are asking the other person to accept. Toulmin (1969) added that this also includes actions you want them to accept and endorse. According to Toulmin’s model every argument has a grounds. This is the reasons or supporting evidence that strengthen the claim. In other words, the grounds or data is the basis of real persuasion and is made up of hard facts, plus the reasoning behind the claim. According to Toulmin (1969) ground is the “truth” on which the claim is based, this may also include proof of expertise and the basic evidences on which the rest of the argument is built. The third principles listed in Toulmin’s model is Warrant. This is noted as the principle, provision or chain of reasoning that links data and other grounds to a claim. A warrant legitimize the claim by showing the grounds to be relevant. Toulmin (1969) also expressed that “the warrant may be explicit or unspoken and implicit; it…show more content…
The qualifier include words such as “most”, “usually”, “always” or “sometimes”. Arguments therefore may range from strong assertions to generally quite “floppy” with elusive and often rather uncertain kinds of statement. Another variant according to Toulmin (1969) is the reservation, “which may give the possibility of the claim being incorrect”. Wood (2001) postulated that the qualifiers and reservations are considerably used by publicists who are constrained not to lie. As a result, they slip “usually”, “virtually”, “unless…” into their

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