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narrative sequence plan

A plan for writing or presenting in which ideas are listed in the same order that they will appear on the written page or in the presentation. The links between the ideas are, thus, indications of the flow (rather than the analytical structure). Such a plan is useful because it externalises' the order in a way that allows you to check it and revise it. (See chapter 9.)


Some philosophers regard knowledge and judgments as objective when they appear to relate solely to the object that they make claims about (which may be a thing, event, circumstance, or whatever). An objective claim is usually considered to be a 'true' claim. Other philosophers argue that no claim can ever be solely about the object since language is an intersubjective medium, full of connotations and hidden implications, which make it impossible to be objective. According to this view, the 'truth' of claims is settled intersubjectively, through a complex process of social interaction that draws in part on objective knowledge but is different from it. Compare with knowledge. (See chapter 9.)


A type of statement that is not a claim but that demands obedience from its audience. (See chapter 2.)


In general terms, a claim that is used to argue for or explain another claim (the conclusion). The term 'premise' is only meaningful in relation to a conclusion. (See chapter 2.)

propositional logic

Occurs when an if/then statement (or its differently worded equivalent) is used to propose, in the premises, a relationship between two states of affairs, or events, or matters; normally the other premise in such arguments is the 'if component of the proposition, permitting the 'then' component to be the conclusion. Often associated with deductive reasoning. (See chapter 7.)

purposes of reasoning

The purposes of reasoning are what arguments and explanations seek to achieve. Arguments predict future events, establish what is or was the case, or show why a certain action should occur. Explanations explain why something happened or is happening, or they justify why someone did something. (See chapter 2.)


A type of statement that is not a claim but that genuinely seeks information. A question can imply some relationship. Compare with analytical questions. (See chapter 2.)

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