Trudy Govier, University of Lethbridge
Arguments are often with sequential reasons, each not individually sufficient for the conclusion. They often include counter-considerations. These are balance of consideration arguments.
The conclusion is supposed to be supported in an inductive form. The commitment is supposed to be that the supporting considerations outweigh the counter-considerations. Counter-considerations are part of an arguer's case, but objections are not. Often overtly considering the counter-considerations signals that the reasoner is not rigid or dogmatic.
Pro-con argumentaton is usually dialectical, the model is often a stand in for adversarial argumentation.
Some pragmatics of how counter-considerations are introduced and aknowledged:
"Even though" introduces a less emphasized clause. E.g., He is a good teacher even though he has a speech impediment. The first one gets the emphasis. Others: "although" "despite"
"But" introduces a more emphasized clause. E.g., She is a good teacher but she has a speech impediment. The second one gets the emphasis. Others: "However" "Nevertheless"
Model 1 (from Hansen):
P1, P2, P3…Pn.(with addition of on-balance-premise OBP)
K even though CC1, CC2. . . CCn
The trouble is that the OBP is effectively the model used as a premise
Model 3 (Hansen, breaking the stages)
Even though CC1, CC2, …. CCn, K
Figure 4 (From Govier's Practical Study of Argument)
P1 P2 P3 P4 CC1 CC2
supports (line) does not support (squiggle line)
Figure 5 (with shunting form)
Figure 6 (Govier's 2011 model)
Q1: Do we need to revise our notion of arguments constituting the collection of two sets of claims – premises and conclusions? Including counter-considerations seems to be a third set. Perhaps one set can be put forward as the supporting set, but individual members of the set may themselves not be supporting the conclusion.
Q2: Do on-balance arguments need to use a suppressed on-balance premise? Ceteris paribus arguments work like this.
Q3: How does one weigh these reasons?
Q4: Don't we often give reasons for why we don't get the counter-considerations to move us?