The 10 Types Of Arguments To Use In Debates And Discussions

For a long time, mind scientists have believed that humans are fundamentally rational animals, thinking through logic.

However, this idea can be questioned, for example, whenever we start to analyze the types of arguments that we usually use to defend our points of view in debates and discussions. Argumentative fallacies make constant appearances, and many times neither we nor the interlocutor realize it.

However, that does not mean that there are no valid types of arguments through which we can contribute to debates in a solvent manner. This is a selection of the main types of arguments classified according to various criteria

Types of arguments according to their content

First of all, we will see the classes of arguments classified according to the type of content on which they are based. These distinctions allow us to better understand their nature and the way in which they are used.

1. Arguments based on values

They are arguments that are based on highlighting the ethical values ‚Äč‚Äčthat an option has, whether good or bad. This type of argument is useful if the topic you are talking about is fundamentally philosophical and moral, that is, if you are talking about what should be done and what actions should be prioritized.

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However, they do not serve to describe objective reality, and if they are used for this purpose, one can fall into a type of logical fallacy called ad consecuentiam argument.

2. Arguments based on descriptions

An overview is a way of putting together several arguments into one to defend an idea For example, to argue in favor of the position that birds are dinosaurs, one can talk about the feathers found on many fossil theropods, about the anatomical similarities that many of them had with modern birds, etc.

3. Arguments based on data

They are a class of arguments based on very concrete and specific portions of information, usually extracted from scientific research or databases. They serve to reinforce arguments, offering them empirical support.

4. Arguments based on authority

In this type of argument, the position defended by an authority on the subject is indicated, pointing out that it has more value than others In many cases, it can lead to a logical fallacy: after all, the fact that an idea is defended by a specialist does not make it true.

However, it is a consistent argument when it comes to countering a fallacy of authority. For example, if someone defends the idea that the Earth is flat because a neighbor who reads a lot has said so, one can reply that the real specialists on the subject defend that it is rather spherical, implying that it is necessary to provide a lot of evidence to prove it. refute this idea since both positions are not on equal terms.

5. Arguments based on definitions

These types of arguments are not based on how the world works, but in the use made of concepts and definitions However, in many cases these arguments are not effective, because the meaning of the words can change depending on the time and context in which they were used.

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6. Arguments based on experiments

In this case, The argument is based on an experience carried out in the same place where the dialogue takes place and that serves to support the idea defended by oneself. Furthermore, it is very useful to convince, since it includes a “spectacular” part that is expressed beyond words, that is, in actions.

7. Arguments based on thought experiments

This type of argument is a mix between the previous two, since It is based on an experience in which the interlocutor must participate but is not carried out in the real world It is about imagining a situation that progresses to a point where the only reasonable conclusion is that the idea we defend is fulfilled. For example, if someone says that he could never be friends with a foreigner, it is relatively easy to make him see the opposite through this type of argument.

Types of arguments according to the way they are used

If we have previously classified the types of arguments according to their content, now we will see how they can be used to show relationships between ideas.

8. Indication of the fallacy

They are types of arguments in which it is pointed out why The reasoning that someone has used is not valid, as it is based on a fallacy That is, the other’s speech is analyzed and the parts that in themselves are unfounded and misleading are highlighted.

9. Comparison arguments

In this kind of arguments two ideas are compared to each other, to show how one of them is better than the other. They are effective in offering global evaluations of plot lines.

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10. Interpellation arguments

In these arguments a series of questions are asked to the interlocutor to demonstrate in real time to what extent they are wrong on a topic. It is an exercise that is reminiscent of the Socratic dialogue, since it leads the opponent to fall into a trap that is within his own speech, entering into contradictions.