Periodic Table of Arguments

The building blocks of persuasive discourse

Argument from criterion (Cr)

Schermafdruk 2018-03-17 20.35.43

The arguer states that Unauthorized downloading is not theft and supports this conclusion with the premise that Unauthorized downloading does not deprive the original owner of the use of an object.

Following the Argument Type Identification Procedure (ATIP), this argument fits the basic form ‘a is X, because a is Y‘ and can thus be characterised as a first-order predicate argument situated in the Alpha Quadrant of the table.

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, which is the specific combination of the types of statement. In this case, the conclusion is a legal qualification that counts as a statement of value (V) and the premise is a statement of fact (F). This means that we are dealing with a first-order predicate argument supporting a value with a fact, indicated by the systematic name ‘1 pre VF’.

The traditional name of first-order predicate arguments is derived from the so-called ‘lever’ of the argument, the linguistic formulation of the specific relationship between the predicates X and Y (see Wagemans, 2019). In this example, the fact that it 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). We can thus label the argument as an ‘argument from criterion’, which is represented in the Periodic Table of Arguments by the symbol Cr.

SOURCE

The example is taken from a comment on an article published on techdirt.com on 05.04.2010.