The word argument can be used in many different ways within the English language from disagreement, reason, point of view, discussion, too noun element in clause or a feature controlling a computer program, but here I will be focusing on two of these definitions.
I am focusing on two of these definitions not because the other four definitions are irrelevant, as some are, or because they can be seen as a part, or aspect, of the meanings I have chosen to focus on. This isn’t to say that the other definitions are wrong or that they do not capture aspects of the meaning, but only that they can also be seen as aspects of the meanings I have chosen. The fact that Argument has more than one meaning can mean that philosophically, at the very least, the meaning would and should mean more than the component meanings some aspects of this should be navigated away from or tread carefully around and other aspects should be reconciled.
Here I will attempt to show the true meaning and function of an argument to be no more or less than the function of removing the doubt and uncertainty of an area of knowledge or practice which can lead to a fine tuning to the correct place where knowledge and truth can be found, by arguing both internally with ourselves and externally with others in the true sense of the word.
II. Argument as disagreement
Meaning - A disagreement in which different views are expressed, often angrily.
This form of argument is the most commonly thought of when we think of an argument, it is embedded to our thoughts of what an argument is, in the mainstream psyche, however an argument naturally has two or more opposing views but these views, or those supporting these views, need to find common ground, or to know the field they are addressing the subject from (deconstructing the area being used to reference).
We need to separate the subject and objects of the subject from ourselves, when we address a subject or the individual objects of it as they are in reality without identifying with them personally, if we come at an area through personal goals instead of the issues of the subject or objects, which may have personal relevance, we are not actually addressing the issues fully or with the needed delicacy required in these areas and may bring the argument into the extremes of disagreement, or progressing no further because the others involved have been brought into an angry argument, or stop dialogue because they see no point in continuing with the subject.
Arguments should be conducted calmly taking all into account in the appropriate time, not jumping from one object to another to early due to eagerness, or derailing the dialogue because of personal agendas, but this also means not to deny any personal issues which may arise within the context of the subject i.e. abortion has several personal issues which may need to be dealt with before, during and after in any individual case , but these issues are not the same as the issues which need to be left aside in order for the argument to be continued.
III. Argument as discussion
Meaning - Debate or discussion about whether something is correct.
The underpinning element of an argument is the discussion or more precisely debate, which is talk between two or more people about a subject, an argument is as such a pseudonym for a discussion, which hasn’t gained the association or degree of association with anger the word argument has.
A discussion and debate is what is referred to by argument, so an argument within the context I give it is a conversation between two or more people looking at each [and every] aspect, angle, and opposite manifestation of the objects and subject in order to find the essential elements of the issue and develop a framework for finding the truth of the matter.
It should be recognized that the expression of the discovered truth could distract from realizing the truth in others as each of us express truth differently so arguments can only be taken so far before the logical end is passed and truth is hidden by the very thing we hope to use to find it, although not taking the argument far enough would be detrimental to finding the truth although neither problems of taking an argument too far or not far enough would completely negate finding truth at all.
IV. The argument
Meaning - Grammar - a noun element in a clause that relates directly to the verb, e.g. the subject or object.
The essential nature of any argument has a subject or object which focuses the attention, this subject or object may not be the area the argument is taking place though, it is solely the focal point which the argument uses as the means to get to the main area, or the field in which the subject or object is being looked at, i.e. ethics looks at the topic of abortion, not abortion looks at ethics.
The second example (abortion looks at ethics) brings up an important feature of the initial stages of arguments, that being the subject needs to be broken down into its individual objects to see which objects of the subject can or should be tackled by the field which will be looked at, i.e. what parts of the abortion process should be ethically argued for or against, in this example it may seem weird not to consider each area individually under the microscope of ethics but some objects can inform us about the subject without needing to be addressed by the ethical lens, this may be because the object may have other applications where by a blanket ethical or moral ruling may not be appropriate, desirable, or it would be nothing other than a circular debate, not finding anything other than the original issue, or it will be affected by the other objects of the subject, so in essence is the subject as a whole.
The Argument is in essence the deconstruction and reconstruction of the subject into its various objects, not all of them need to be addressed to reconstruct the issue in a manner which can address the whole subject, but the subject needs to be broken down and looked at in and of itself without the framework of the field being used to study the subject to see what needs to be looked at and what will be affected by this re-evaluation so does not need looked at by itself but as the whole subject.
In many respects this is a meta essay, or in another manner and argument about arguments, which both supports and undermines aspects of arguments by attempting to show what the true nature of an argument is, a true argument being the removal of untrue and unsound aspects of the logical premises to find the true nature of the area the topic is addressing.
The main points that I hope readers see underlining an argument are that an argument is essentially finding a common ground of a subject which can be mutually agreed, then upon this agreement rebuilding the framework so that the truth - the underlying essential part of the area/s - aren’t distorted by the rebuilding of the framework which we work with in that area, or by other related areas, in other words, the essence of ethics, as an example, isn’t hidden by work in certain areas of science, or by group thinking.
Arguing cannot bring us closer to the truth or knowledge of the truth, but it can inform us as to where and how to look for the truth so that we can realize the truth. Truth is a private experience which by its nature can only be seen by the eye of the beholder and not expressed satisfactorily for others to realize without doing the work themselves.
At the end of the day I may be right, I may be wrong, but I share this hoping I am one, the other, both, or neither.
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