The Aims of Argument: A Brief Guide
The Aims of Argument, a comprehensive text for teaching argument, recognizes that people argue with a range of purposes in mind: to inquire, to convince, to persuade, and to negotiate. It offers a clear, logical learning sequence rather than merely a collection of assignments: inquiry is the search for truth, what we call an earned opinion, which then becomes the basis of efforts to convince others to accept our earned opinions. Case-making, the essence of convincing, is then carried over into learning how to persuade, which, requires explicit attention to appeals to character, emotion, and style. Finally, the previous three aims all play roles in negotiation, which amounts to finding and defending positions capable of appealing to all sides in a dispute or controversy.