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way for reasoning to proceed if we did not make these assumptions of self-evidence.

Arguments begin with claims that are more acceptable (that is, well founded without the need for argument) and move onwards to claims that are less acceptable (that is, most in need of an argument to justify them). An explanation may end with a well-known claim as its conclusion but should begin with the more readily accepted explanatory premises. Not only must the starting claims be well founded as far as we are concerned, but we also need to be reasonably sure our audience will concur with us. Some claims, perhaps even just one, will need to be presented as self-evidently well founded. But many other claims will only become effective when properly founded by something we do to support them, showing our audience why and how they are well founded. Let us then look at the ways in which we might do this. First of all we will consider why it is that some claims can appear, on their own, as well founded, and then examine two ways in which we can present extra information to our audience to support those claims that cannot stand on their own.

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