Home / Tutorial 1

Previous | Up | Next

1.6 No Reasoning in Boxes

You should avoid putting reasoning in boxes. In an argument map, boxes contain claims, not whole arguments.

The Apollo astronauts could not have survived the journey through the Van Allen Belt, so they cannot have been to the Moon. (6.4)
This box contains a simple piece of reasoning.

The correct way to map the argument is to display the reasoning.
     
The shadows in the Apollo images seem to point in different directions, suggesting that artificial lighting was used when they were taken.  Therefore they were taken in a studio on Earth. [Based on 5.1]
The reason here contains a simple argument. This means that there are two separate arguments being made.


Map each argument separately.

 
Discussion

The whole point of argument mapping is to make the structure of reasoning completely explicit using graphical techniques such as boxes and arrows.  If reasoning is inside a box, it is to some extent hidden away. 

This is not just being pedantic.  In following tutorials you'll see that many critical argument mapping techniques cannot be used unless and until we have fully revealed the structure of the reasoning.

 Glossary | Contents

Previous | Up | Next

Copyright Austhink 2003-2006

 Last updated 28-Nov-2006