An argument supports a sentence if the conclusion of the argument is equivalent to the sentence, or if they are identical. An argument attacks a sentence if the conclusion of the argument is contradictory to the sentence. (Thus, they cannot both be true at the same time.)
In a similar manner, an argument can also attack or support another argument. An argument supports another argument if the conclusion of the supporting argument is equivalent to one of the supported argument's premisses. An argument attacks another argument if the conclusion of the attacking argument is contradictory to one of the attacked argument's premisses.
Assumptions, preliminary conclusions or conclusions of an argument cannot be attacked or supported.
In contrast to the sketching of arguments, where the relations between arguments are represented by dashed arrows ( Chapter 2, Sketching a debate ), the relations between reconstructed arguments are represented by solid lines.
The argument you have just reconstructed has the conclusion "Software should be patentable", which is the central thesis of the debate about software patents. So the "Intellectual property" argument supports the central thesis. This relation was already sketched in the previous tutorial. Before stating this relation more precisely using the reconstruction wizard, the sketched relation has to be deleted.
You will now reconstruct the support relation between the argument and the sentence.
A green solid arrow appears. Unlike the dashed arrow representing sketched support, the solid arrow represents the logical relation between the conclusion of the argument and the supported sentence.
The "Intellectual Property" argument can also be attacked or supported. You will now reconstruct an attack on the second premiss ("Software is intellectual property") and also a support relation for this premiss. We will begin with the attack. Please create an argument on your argument map that corresponds to the following illustration.
The argument's conclusion is contradictory to the first premiss of the "Intellectual Property" argument and therefore attacks this argument. The next step is to reconstruct this attack using the reconstruction wizard.
A solid red arrow appears between the two arguments on the argument map, which represents the reconstructed attack..
We will now reconstruct an argument that supports the very same premiss that has just been attacked. Instead of beginning with the reconstruction of the argument and then defining the support relation, we will now proceed the other way round and begin by defining the supporting relation. (However, a supporting relation can also be added in exactly the same way as described above.)
Argunet automatically inserts the sentence of the premiss as the conclusion of the new argument.
The reconstruction of the argument can now be completed by adding premisses, inference patterns, etc.
In this section, you have learnt how to reconstruct attack and support relations logically. To learn more about dialectical relations, see Section 2.3, “ Map-independent definition of sentence relations ” .