Reasonableness in an Argument

Reasonableness is the English representation for needing sufficient evidence to support a conclusion. In other words, the argument needs to be reasonable. When listening to an argument, it is important to remember who the argument is coming from. The speaker or writer may have a bias or misconception that is shaping their argument that may hurt their credibility, thus reducing their reasonableness.



In many cases, it is important to be able to evaluate an argument on the basis of how reasonable it is. There needs to be sufficient evidence provided to support a conclusion.

We have an example right here: “I do not think your car is running correctly. You need to take it to a mechanic.” Here, there is a conclusion. The conclusion is the whole second sentence.

Now, how did we arrive at this conclusion? From the first sentence. “I do not think your car is running correctly.” This is evidence. We need to investigate whether or not we can say that this argument is reasonable. There are lots of factors we need to take into consideration.

Starting off, many people would not even think of this as an argument, but it actually is. Your friend has reached a conclusion and is trying to convince you that his conclusion is correct by presenting the evidence he based it on. He’s telling you that you need to take it to a mechanic and the reason why he doesn’t think it’s running correctly. It’s your job to determine if this is sufficient evidence to prove this conclusion. It depends on some different factors. How long have you known your friend? How much does he know about cars? Does he own an auto repair shop? Is there some kind of conflict of interest here? If you trust the person who told you this, and you think your friend has a good track record when it comes to cars, then this argument would probably strike you as quite reasonable.

In that case, the fact that your friend says that the car needs to be taken to a mechanic would be enough evidence for you to agree with your friend’s conclusion. Once you take the factors into consideration, you can then decide whether the evidence is sufficient.

Provided by: Mometrix Test Preparation

Last updated: 04/06/2018


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