Structuring Arguments: The Classical, Toulmin, and Rogerian ...

Structuring Arguments: The Classical, Toulmin, and Rogerian ...

Structuring and Analyzing Arguments: The Rogerian Model Rogerian Model Developed by psychologist Carl Rogers (also in the 50s) Emphasizes problem-solving and/or coming to consensus

Unlike in Classical argument, is not an argument to win; instead, emphasizes a win-win solution benefiting both parties Useful in psychological and emotional arguments, where pathos and ethos dominate. Benefits of Rogerian Argument

Allows the author to appear openminded or even objective Appropriate in contexts where you need to convince a resistant opponent to at least respect your views Rogerian Arguments:Structure

Introduction: statement of problem to be solved or question to be answered Summary of Opposing Views: described using a seemingly objective persona Statement of Understanding: concedes circumstances under which opposing views might be valid Statement of Your Position

Statement of Contexts: describes contexts in which your position applies/works well Statement of Benefits: appeals to self-interest of readers who may not yet agree with you; demonstrates how your position benefits them The Rogerian Approach to Argument The Rogerian approach tries to find mutually acceptable solutions to problems using the following techniques: Seeking common ground Building trust

Reducing threat The writer makes every effort to avoid confrontation. The writer does this by giving as much credit as possible to the opponents counter-arguments, rather than simply dismissing these counter-arguments outright. If opponents believe that their arguments are being understood and taken seriously, they will be more open to listening to the writers position. How does King use the Rogerian approach in his letter? My Dear Fellow Clergymen:

While confined here in Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities "unwise and untimely."...Since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable in terms. I think I should indicate why I am here in Birmingham, since you have been influenced by the view which argues against "outsiders coming in."...I, along with several members of my staff, am here because I was invited here. I am here because I have organizational ties here.

But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their "thus saith the Lord" far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco-Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid. Martin Luther King, Jr. "Letter from Birmingham Jail" How does King use the Rogerian

approach in his letter? Builds trust: Dear Fellow Clergymen King credits the men with being men of genuine good will whose arguments are sincerely set forth King references biblical figures who would be familiar to the clergyman

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