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necessary claims in the chain. Equally, we must not confuse claims that support another claim (diagrammed above the claim being supported) with claims that are dependent (diagrammed alongside one another).

The relationships of premises above with conclusion below are only strong if the premises are relevant and provide strong support. We judge relevance by looking at whether or not the premise is connected in some way to the conclusion (through the form of words or the issues involved or via some background knowledge). To establish relevance, we can include a framing premise if necessary or write our claims more carefully. Premises provide sufficient support for a conclusion if, in context, other people will judge the degree of support to be sufficient. We can ensure effective reasoning only by making sure that we satisfy any burden of proof we have, attending to the detail of our conclusion (justifying all aspects of it), making sure there is coherence between scope and certainty, and reasoning broadly where necessary.


The following terms and concepts are introduced in this chapter. Before checking in the Glossary, write a short definition of each term:

breadth of reasoning burden of proof depth of reasoning relevance strength of support

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