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Title: Practical Argumentation
Author: George K. Pattee
Release Date: September, 2004 [EBook #6473]
[This file was first posted on December 18, 2002]
Character set encoding: ASCII
*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK PRACTICAL ARGUMENTATION ***
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.
in The Pennsylvania State College
TO FRED LEWIS PATTEE
The author's aim has been to produce a book that is practical,--
practical from the student's standpoint, and practical from the
teacher's standpoint. The study of Argumentation has often been
criticized for being purely academic, or for being a mere stepping-
stone to the study of law. It has even been said that courses in
Argumentation and Debate have been introduced into American colleges
and universities for no other purpose than to give the intellectual
student the opportunity, so long monopolized by his athletic
classmate, to take part in intercollegiate contests. The purpose of
this book is to teach Argumentation, which is not a science by itself
but one of the four branches of Rhetoric, in such a way as to remove
Largely by his choice of illustrative material the author has
endeavored to show that this subject is confined neither to the class
room nor to any one profession. He has drawn his illustrations, for
the most part, from contemporary and popular sources; he has had
recourse to many current magazines, newspapers, books, and recent
speeches, hoping to show thereby that Argumentation is a practical
subject. On the other hand, he has carefully avoided taking a majority
of his illustrations either from students' work or from legal
practice, criminal cases especially being seldom used on the ground
that although they afford the easiest examples a writer can give, they
furnish the least help to the average student, who, unless he studies
law, will rarely, perhaps never, have occasion to argue upon such
This book cannot justly be called the effort of a single author. It is
rather an outgrowth of the work that for many years has been carried
on by the English department at The Pennsylvania State College. The
book has, in fact, gradually developed in the class room. Every rule
that is given has been tested time and again; every step has been
carefully thought out and taught for several years.
The author wishes to acknowledge especial indebtedness to Professor
Fred Lewis Pattee, who both inspired the writing of the book and
assisted in the work. To Professor A. Howry Espenshade are due many
thanks for invaluable suggestions and advice, and for a careful
reading of the greater part of the manuscript. Mr. William S. Dye is
also to be thanked for valuable assistance. As a student the author
studied Baker's _Principles of Argumentation_; as a teacher he
has taught Laycock and Scales' _Argumentation and Debate_,
Alden's _The Art of Debate_, and Foster's _Argumentation and
Debating_. The debt he owes to these is beyond estimate.
B. A List of Propositions
Argumentation is the art of presenting truth so that others will
accept it and act in accordance with it. Debate is a special form of
argumentation: it is oral argumentation carried on by opposing sides.
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