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Explore with solutions

Explore the implications of each solution



Explore solutions further.


Before you can judge a solution you need to understand the implications of that solution.


In this technique you will look at the problem cases resolved by a solution, the assumptions and principles of the solution, and possible counterexamples.



Line of argument

When you place a solution on the line of argument it looks something like the following:

You can then explore this solution by seeing which problem cases it resolves (under seeing the issue).


Implications are the extreme endpoints of a line of argument and consist of assumptions and principles.

Assumptions are fundamental claims necessary to see the tension in an issue consistent with the author's position.

Principles are patterns of reasoning or behavior that follow from the solution endorsed by an author's position.

Counterexamples - are concrete things or situations that do not fit an assumption or principle.







To develop lines of argument, for each solution:

1. explore for problem cases -- look through your list of problem cases and pick problem cases that seem to be resolved by this solution.

2. Explore for implications -- look at the solution and explore possible assumptions and principles for that position.

3. Refine implications with counterexamples -- refine the assumptions and principles to make them as specific and plausible as possible. Do this by searching for counterexamples.  If the counterexample shows that the principle or assumption is too broad, quality the assumption or principle.  If the counterexample isn't covered by the assumption or principle, make the assumption or principle stronger and more general.

For each of the possible solutions in your list, write down the problem cases it resolves, its implications and potential counterexamples.


Kaufer, D. S., Geisler, C., & Neuwirth, C. M. (1989). Arguing from sources: Exploring issues through reading and writing. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (p.188-195).