The Standard Format of an Argument
Read this tutorial, which explains how to put an argument in standard form, and complete the exercise.
§1. Presenting Arguments in the Standard Format
When it comes to the analysis and evaluation of an argument, it is often useful to label the premises and the conclusion, and display them on separate lines with the conclusion at the bottom:
Let us call this style of presenting an argument a presentation in the standard format . Here we rewrite two more arguments using the standard format:
We should not inflict unnecessary pain on cows and pigs. After all, we should not inflict unnecessary pain on any animal with consciousness, and cows and pigs are animals with consciousness.
(Conclusion) We should not inflict unnecessary pain on cows and pigs.
If this liquid is acidic, the litmus paper would have turned red. But it hasn't, so the liquid is not acidic.
When presenting an argument in the standard format the premises and the conclusion are clearly identified. Sometimes we also rewrite some of the sentences to make their meaning clearer, as in the second premise of the second example. Notice also that a conclusion need not always come at the end of a passage containing an argument, as in the first example. In fact, sometimes the conclusion of an argument might not be explicitly written out. For example it might be expressed by a rhetorical question:
How can you believe that corruption is acceptable? It is neither fair nor legal!
When presenting an argument in the standard format, we have to rewrite the argument more explicitly as follows:
Source: Joe Lau and Jonathan Chan, https://philosophy.hku.hk/think/arg/standard.php
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