Explanation of Logical Propositions The following notes on logical propositions come from a little book by A bne Eisenberg and Joseph Ila rdo called Argument: An Alternative to Violence, first published in 1972 by Prentice-Hall. Definition of a proposition: "a proposition is a statement growing out of and providing focus for a controversy; properly worded, a proposition calls for some change in belief, action, or both, thereby placing the burden of proof on its supporters and giving the presumption to its opponents" (p. 26). Definition of issues: the "inherent" and "crucial" questions that must be answered in presenting your argument (p. 31). Definition of stock issues: "generalized formulations, abstractions that must be applied in every specific instance" (p.
33). Propositions come in three flavors: fact, value, and policy. A proposition of fact asks the audience to change belief about something that can be objectively verified. A proposition of value asks the audience to accept the belief that one thing is better than another.
A proposition of policy asks the audience to take some action. In supporting your argument for a proposition of policy, you must address four stock issues: 1. Is there a need for the proposed change? 2. Will the proposed change bring about a substantial improvement in the present situation? 3. Will the proposed change bring about these improvements without creating new and more serious problems? 4. Is the proposed change workable and practical? (P.
33) Please remember that, while the four stock issues must be addressed and do provide you a kind of working outline, you will deal with the specific answers to these generalized questions in the way most appropriate for your audience. In other words, pay attention to your POWER SPACE!