Basic Tools and Concepts
The following five questions, developed by logician Stephen Toulmin, are useful when critically examining your or your opponent’s arguments:
- Are grounds really advanced in support of the claim?
- Are the grounds advanced in support of the claim directly relevant to the substance of the claim?
- Do the grounds advanced present enough evidence to justify the assertion in question or do you need more?
- Are the presumptions upon which the argument rests justifiable?
- Are there any ambiguous elements in the argument?