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author of the claim is convinced that it is well founded, if the author were to propose that 'citizens of Singapore enjoy considerable freedom' without carefully arguing or explaining what was meant, the audience might well refuse to accept the claim. Equally, people often believe claims about which there is considerable doubt. For example, most Australians would not think twice before accepting that 'citizens of Australia enjoy considerable freedom' was a true claim. In doing so, they would draw on existing knowledge (as in the first example). But, obviously, when we consider the 'negative freedom' definition, we might think that the claim was more doubtful. Such doubts might readily spring to mind for indigenous Australian people, whose capacity to enjoy the positive freedoms of Australian citizenship is seriously constrained by inequities in, for example, housing, health, and employment.

At some point, of course, we have to use claims that, since we are giving no argument or other support for them, are presented as self-evidently true, or that are so widely accepted to be true (by our audience) that they do not require further justification. We must also rely on the fact that, as authors, we are presumed by our audience to have some knowledge about our subject and can thus be 'trusted' to make acceptable claims. (Obviously certain authors—experts, renowned scholars, and so on—can rely on this trust a good deal more than others; such trust is clearly a contextual component of the overall text.) In this way, we are ourselves involved in creating the context in which our reasoning exists.

But we need to consider many other contextual factors so that, in the end result, our self-evident claims do indeed turn out to be acceptable to our audience. We must, in effect, judge in advance the likelihood that someone reading or hearing our reasoning will 'doubt' that a claim is true. If it is possible that this situation will occur, then we must counter this 'doubt' in advance. While the basis for our judgment must include attention to the claim itself, we can only argue and explain the claim effectively if we also judge its acceptability in relation to our audience. Finally, more pragmatic issues emerge from a consideration of context: what is expected of your particular argument in terms of length and scope. For example, it is unreasonable (according to most social conventions) to expect most arguments and explanations to contain the level of detail that, for example, we find in lengthy scholarly work. We can adjust our reasoning accordingly by thinking about its context as well as what it actually contains (the text).

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