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A TRIBUTE TO VICTOR FRANKL: A GUIDE TO REASONING
INSTITUTE FOR EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH AFRICA
To act in a scientifically accountable way, an author should
discuss the relevant data and information that have been
collected during his implementation of the research process. In
such a discussion reasons are put forward in support of or
against opinions, procedures, proposals, problemidentification,
hypotheses formulation, ways of data-collection, recommendations
etc. Reasoning is aimed at demonstrating the truth and validity
of statements addressed in support or against a plan of action,
a proposal, an interpretation (i.e. for or against a search for
An argument is a form (type) of reasoning in which a point of
view, claim, deduction, opinion or interpretation is stated and
then reasons are given to confirm it. Reasons are given
(supplied) to "prove" the validity of a claim, deduction, opinion
or interpretation and to persuade other persons (researchers) to
accept it as valid (true). Reasons are evaluated by the
discussion of objections (opposition, disagreement). Objections
should be based on information (knowledge data) that is suitable
for evaluating the validity (soundness) of the reasons given.
Objections are actually reasons why a particular point of view,
claim, deduction, opinion of interpretation is not acceptable
(satiscactory, adequate) (i.e. reasons for accepting the search
for meaning as a way of living).
Valid reasons are based on (are supported by) reliable relevant
information (knowledge) and data (facts, essences) derived from
research and/or experience. Therefore, it can be stated that an
argument is a reasoned justification of a point of view, claim,
deduction, opinion or interpretation that leads to a conclusion.
Reasoning is to state (formulate) and to consider seriously (or
reflection) supporting and also contradictory reasons (for a
conclusion). The implication is an appeal to the researcher to
obtain (acquire) up-to-date (recent) information (i.e. Frankl
from his practice as a psychiatrist).
A reason in logic is called a premise (or premiss). That is done
to emphasize that in an argument a succession of sentences is
divided in such a way that some of the sentences are supposed to
be the reason (justification, guarantee, warrant, support) for
some other sentences. The sentences that provide the reason or
warrant are called premisses. The sentence that is supposed to
be warranted by the premisses is called the conclusion
(Michalos). Specific tasks of the researcher is to
* ascertain the validity (truth) of each premiss (i.e.
Frankl - his description and evaluation of his
* make certain that a specific conclusion is
sufficiently supported by the premisses. Premisses
are supposed to supply (be) reasons for believing or
accepting the conclusion(s). Premisses are
motivations for conclusions that emanate from them
(i.e. Frankl's motivation of a search for meaning as
an existential possibility).
Blair, IA & Johnson, RH 1987. The current state of informal
logic. Informal Logic (ix) (2,3).
Bowles, G 1989. Favorable relevance and arguments. Informal
Frankl, VE : Public Works.
Walton, PN 1989. Informal Logic. A handbook for critical
argumentation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Woods, J & Walton, D 1982. Argument: The Logic of the
Fallacies. Toronto: McGraw-Hill.
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