Framing the Argument

I read a lot about ‘framing the argument’ in the blogosphere, but have never been quite able to put a precise handle on same. So I decided it was time to learn from some experts what FtA actually means. I want to learn in simple terms what framing the argument means, so that into the future I will be cognisant of same.

I know people oftentimes like to put their own stamps on arguments made by others, which appear to all intents and purposes to suit their own agendas? I note too that when they do so, they can invariably garner support from ‘minions’ who appear to act out of blind loyalty. Or perhaps too the latter have hidden agendas in supporting those who already have agendas in ‘framing’ arguments? A ruse begets a ruse perhaps? I don’t know for sure and can only make hunches, as I’m not in receipt of actual evidence. Summations made are drawn from observations. As a consequence, I’ve found myself occasionally scratching the head and thinking, ”how can those ‘minions’ support ‘framed’ arguments, when it is obvious from my perspective that they don’t even have genuine background knowledge, then I think again. ‘Ah, maybe it has also got to do with confirmation bias? Or maybe they’re opportunistically turning a blind eye to the reality of the framed arguments, because, like those who originally have their own agendas, the ‘minions’ don’t want to be seen to rock the boats of their loyal admirers’? All are feeding off each other? Think power! Think – drinking out of the one bowl.

Framing the argument can be a manipulative tool used by some to hoodwink others into supporting their arguments for whatever reasons. I’ve discovered that it not only goes on in every day life with ordinary folk, but is trenchantly employed in business and in the upper echelons of political spheres.

According to Will Straw on April 3rd 2012 in a post on Framing the argument is key to maintaining support – The Samosa he states:

“I am not a crook,” said Richard Nixon in 1973. With the word planted firmly in their heads, millions of Americans subconsciously concluded that he was, in fact, a crook. As George Lakoff and many others have shown, the framing of any argument is critical to how it is received by the audience.

Yeah, that reminds me of the time Bertie Ahern, ex- Fianna Fail taoiseach, who, suddenly out of nowhere told the Dail that he was a Socialist, there was ructions with shocked Joe Higgins. The one and only Socialist in the Dail.

Joe Higgins, socialist MP, denounces Bertie Ahern’s conversion to socialism…

Bertie Ahern, the Irish Prime Minister (or Taoiseach) shocked the Irish nation last November by declaring in the media he was, in fact, a socialist. This comment from the leader of the right-wing Fianna Fail coalition government which has launched neo-liberal attacks on the working class in Ireland, reflects the pressure the government has been under since the local and European elections where they did very badly.

Joe Higgins, a TD (member of the Irish Parliament) for the Socialist Party in Southern Ireland, reacted to this sudden and surprising conversion in the Irish Parliament during Leaders’ Questions (17 November) when TD’s get the chance to confront the Taoiseach directly.

…[J]oe Higgins, like all the public representatives of the cwi, stood for the general election defending a socialist programme and the principle of a workers’ MP living on a workers’ wage.

At the time, Joe Higgins was the one and only Socialist TD in the Dail. Joe lived up his socialist ideals to the very last. He would go into the Dail hand-laden with paper tea-cups from the local cafe, refusing to waste tax-payers money. He handed back a part of his wages. Did JH. nip the framing argument in the bud before it had time to sprout. Methinks he did indeed. No drinking to be had for Bertie in Joe’s Socialist “bowl”.

Read the rest at 09/12/2004 where Joe Higgins, socialist MP, denounces Bertie Ahern.

Upon googling I also discovered….Re: Using Framing to Win Arguments Before They Begin

Jeffrey Dean

Jeffrey Dean [Dec 14, 2007] said:

Most of us have, at one point or another, found ourselves losing an argument. When we do, the reason is not necessarily that we are wrong. In fact, most arguments come down to one deceptively simple point: which person is setting the terms of the argument. By defining key terms, determining and declaring what is and is not at issue, and pulling all peripheral issues back to your main point, you can win most arguments.
Essays as Written Arguments

In an essay, framing most obviously occurs in the introduction. This is where the author lays out the scope of the essay, defining terms and ideas in a way that leads to the thesis. A good essay writer, by the time s/he delivers the thesis, makes the thesis so logical as to seem almost obvious based on the way the introduction has flowed into it.

Read the rest here

I haven’t read all of the following link so hopefully there’ll be something there for me to grasp later on.

Everyone has an opinion about a particular concept, belief or issue. While you may feel compelled to get right to the point during a debate, the way you frame it can greatly affect the strength of your argument. Framing lends extra context to your core point, so that people understand the logic behind your opinion. Whether you are a student preparing for a classroom debate, or a person who likes intellectual discussion with your peers, learning to frame the argument increases the chances of succes

Read more: How to Frame an Argument for a Debate |

It’s frightening to know that framing the argument is used in schools where creationism is concerned. I’ve learned about the latter over the years from having read extensively about same at atheist blogs. Before that, I knew nothing about the harm element it does to children. Isn’t it just as well to be mindful of such things. Sheer corruption of young minds. Rather reminds me of the RC.

I do read about the following issues, so here is a good example of framing from the perspective of bfrederk at the daily koz.

There are many other examples. Conservatives advocate teaching “intelligent design” in addition to evolution in high school biology classes. They frame their argument by referring to values like open-mindedness, critical thinking, fairness and academic freedom. But how often do those values support their other positions? Not very often. Their real goal is to teach religion in public schools. Since that is not a winning argument, they ‘frame’ their position by invoking values they do not generally invoke. …


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