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other premise(s) supports the conclusion. A framing premise must be used in a chain with other premises. Compare with dependent premise. (See chapter 4.)

generalisation, reasoning from

The conclusion is about a specific case; the premises show that the case fits some general category, and they state the particular property or consequence that pertains to all members of the general category. The key questions to ask about a particular case are: Does it fit this generalisation? And, if so, what general knowledge thereby applies to this case? (See chapter 7.)

implied premise

A premise not explicitly stated in an argument or explanation that, nevertheless, can be inferred by a reader as being necessary to make sense of the reasoning. Implied premises are often associated with the use of apparently independent premises. Compare with assumption. (See chapter 5.)

independent premise

A single premise that expresses a reason for a conclusion on its own. An independent premise is likely to be a sign that there are implied dependent premises. (See chapter 4.)

Reasoning in which the conclusion may be more or less likely if the premises are true but which is not conclusively guaranteed even if all the premises are true. We see induction in arguments that depend on the observation and reporting of real-world events which, by their nature, can never be certain. The opposite of deduction. (See chapter 7.)


Information is often thought to be a more disorganised, unprocessed version of knowledge. Information is a collection of claims; knowledge is that information processed and interrelated. In this book, knowledge and information are used interchangeably, but the basic idea that reasoning enables us to organise what we know is still important. Compare with knowledge. (See chapters 8 and internal connection (within a claim)

The key property of claims that allows them to be used in reasoning to express complex ideas. Internal connections provide the basis for the external links between claims. Compare with dependent premise. (See chapter 2.)


Knowledge is said to be intersubjective when the decisions about the 'truth' of claims and claim relationships are made by 'subjects' (that is, people)—in this case induction the authors and audiences of reasoning. Compare with objective and subject. (See chapter 9.)


Knowledge (which we might also call information) is the 'stuff' of reasoning. Knowledge is always relational. First, knowledge is about claims and the links between them. Second, knowledge is created and maintained intersubjectively, that is, between audiences and authors. Classes of knowledge and types of information (see chapter 8) are ways of thinking about the generic relations of knowledge to our particular topic when researching. Compare with objective. (See chapters 8 and 9.)

link words

The traces to be found in natural language of the mental processes of reasoning; a useful but unreliable guide to the exact connections between claims. (See chapter 3.)

list of claims

One half of the analytical structure format. A list of claims shows clearly the claims to which the diagram of interrelationships refers. Compare with structure diagram. (See chapter 3.)


A tool that assists in analysing connections, concepts, and so on. A mind-map is not an analytical structure format because the ideas and links are written down in a tentative way, simply as a way of 'externalising' unprocessed information. (See chapter 9.)

modes of analysis

Direct analysis concerns, as much as possible, the particular topic of an argument or explanation. Indirect analysis concerns what others think and write about that topic. Hypothetical analysis involves the explicit consideration of possible (rather than actual) situations and the open discussion of assumptions. All three modes are interrelated and are usually used in concert. For example, if I were to discuss the way people write about reasoning, that would be direct; if I then considered philosophical arguments about the way people write about reasoning, that would be indirect. Compare with source. (See chapter 5.)

narrative flow

The written or spoken expression of reasoning in which the analytical structure is turned into natural language. In narrative flow, we find traces of the linking process, as well as claims that have been reorganised to meet the requirements of good expression. As a result, it can be hard to see what is going on in reasoning unless we also think about the analytical structure that lies behind the narrative. Compare with analytical structure. (See chapter 3.)

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