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warrant

The Uses of Argument, revised edition, by Stephen Toulmin (Cambridge University Press, 2003)

Definition:

In the Toulmin model of argument, a general rule indicating the relevance of a claim.

See also:

Examples and Observations:

  • "[T]he Toulmin warrant usually consists of a specific span of text which relates directly to the argument being made. To use a well-worn example, the datum 'Harry was born in Bermuda' supports the claim 'Harry is a British subject' via the warrant 'Persons born in Bermuda are British subjects.'"
    (Philippe Besnard et al., Computational Models of Argument. IOS Press, 2008)


  • "The connection between the data and the conclusion is created by something called a 'warrant.' One of the important points made by Toulmin is that the warrant is a kind of inference rule, and in particular not a statement of facts."
    (Jaap C. Hage, Reasoning With Rules: An Essay on Legal Reasoning. Springer, 1997)


  • "The warrant can be expressed by a general statement referring to a rule, principle, and so on. In principle, this general statement will have a hypothetical form ('[if data] then [claim]'). The warrant functions as a bridge between the data and the claim. . . .

    "Toulmin expresses the difference between data and warrant as follows:
    [ . . .] data are appealed to explicitly, warrants implicitly. (1988, p. 100)
    According to Toulim (1988), there is a close relationship between the data and warrants used in any particular field of argumentation:
    The data we cite if a claim is challenged depend on the warrants we are prepared to operate within that field, and the warrants to which we commit ourselves are implicit in the particular steps from data to claims we are prepared to take and to admit. (p. 100)
    So, the warrant is implicitly present in the step from data to claim and, conversely, the nature of the data depends on the nature of the warrant."
    (F. H. van Eemeren et al. Fundamentals of Argumentation Theory. Lawrence Erlbaum, 1996)
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