Claim, warrant, evidence

October 04, 2018

That's wrong.

What's wrong? Can you point to anything and explain why?

They're spreading lies.

Who is spreading lies? What are they saying?

The "fake news" is spreading rumors and gossip.

Who is spreading what rumors and gossip? Why is it "rumors and gossip"?

All of the above are examples of unwarranted claims: an assertion (claim) is made, but there's no evidence, and no warrant explaining how the evidence supports the claim.

I presented a budget last night. The presentation was about 45 minutes. The next hour and a half was one unwarranted claim after another—low-quality, emotion-laden criticism with minimal substantive content.

Perhaps politics will always involve some amount of low-quality argumentation. But seeing it for what it is makes us better decision-makers and consumers of the media.

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