The author of the response pictured above states that Unauthorized downloading is not theft and supports this statement with the remarks that Theft deprives the original owner of the use of an object and that This is not the case in unauthorized downloading. In order to identify the type of argument, we follow the so-called Argument Type Identification Procedure (ATIP). The procedure starts with recognizing the conclusion and the premise of the argument, reconstructing the statements, and representing them in the form ‘conclusion, because premise’. After applying some transformations to the original text, the argument can be represented as follows:
Unauthorized downloading is not theft, because unauthorized downloading does not deprive the original owner of the use of an object
The next step in the procedure requires the analyst to identify the subjects and predicates of the two statements in order to determine the argument form. In this case, the argument fits the form ‘a is X, because a is Y‘, which means it should be characterized as a first-order predicate argument (abbreviated as ‘1 pre’).
Unauthorized downloading (a) is not theft (X), because unauthorized downloading (a) does not deprive the original owner of the use of an object (Y)
The next step in the procedure is to determine the argument substance, a notion defined as the specific combination of the types of statements. In this case, the conclusion is a legal qualification, which counts as a statement of value (V), and the premise is a statement of fact (F). The argument thus combines a statement of value with a statement of fact (abbreviated as ‘VF’).
The systematic name of an argument summarizes its basic characteristics in that it indicates both the argument form and the argument substance. In this case, we are dealing with a first-order predicate argument that combines a statement of value with a statement of fact. The systematic name, in abbreviated form, of this example is thus ‘1 pre VF’. In the visualization of the Periodic Table of Arguments, such arguments are situated in the VF colon of the Alpha Quadrant.
The systematic name provides the analyst with important information about the so-called ‘lever’ of the argument, which is a formulation of its underlying mechanism (see Wagemans 2019). In this case, the systematic name tells us that the argument is based on the relationship between the predicates X and Y. A fitting keyword for describing this relationship is ‘criterion’, for the fact that something does not deprive the original owner of the use of an object (Y) functions as a criterion for legally qualifying it as not being theft (X).
The keyword connects the systematic framework of the Periodic Table of Arguments to the names of argument types as they can be found in the traditional dialectical and rhetorical categorizations of arguments. To reflect this tradition, every systematic argument type that is distinguished in the table hosts an arbitrary number of so-called ‘isotopes’, which are named after the keyword that describes the underlying mechanism of the argument. In this case, the isotope name is ‘argument from criterion’ (represented in the table by the symbol ‘Cr’).
The example is taken from a comment on an article published on techdirt.com on 05.04.2010.