We heard last lesson about the three spheres of argumentation.
The personal sphere, the technical sphere, and the public sphere.
We know that at university,
the technical sphere is where most argumentation will take place.
With its rules on data collection, analysis, and interpretation.
However, these rules for analysis and
interpretation can vary quite significantly between different fields.
The usual forms that critical thinking and argumentation will take in the study of
law, for example, can be quite different from those in the hard sciences, and
will be different again in business.
When engaging in argumentation in these different fields,
it's important to respect these differences and
abide by the rules of the game in your discipline so to speak.
It is these differences in argumentation and
how they'll impact your studies that are the topic of this lesson.
We'll look at differences between argument fields using a number of academic fields
We'll also look at how argumentation can vary within academic fields as well.
Depending on different schools of thought and even individual lecturers.
Finally, we'll look at what it all means for your own studies.
And how you may be asked to express different kinds of argumentation
at different times in your course depending on your academic field.
Okay, so in the technical sphere most argumentation takes place
in specialized argument fields.
Often, but not always, these different argument fields at university
correspond to different university fields of study such as law, literature,
the sciences and so forth.
There are a number of things that characterize these argument fields,
such as firstly, there's a common purpose of study or object of study.
Secondly, that this common purpose or
object of study also frequently has shared content of inquiry.
For example in literary studies,
the objects of inquiries are texts such as novels.
While the content of inquiry are the moral, textural, and
aesthetic themes of those books, amongst other things.
As an example of an argument field, let's look at legal argument, both inside and
The common purpose is the application of legal frameworks in society.
The content of inquiry is frequently evidence proffered by claimants,
witnesses and the like, which during court cases is evaluated and
determined to be relevant or not.
Specific rules apply to what knowledge is and how it can be used.
As an example, there are very strict rules about the use of hearsay as evidence.
And no evidence that's been obtained illegally can be used.
A very specialized legal terminology is used throughout.
Finally, in terms of processes of thought, legal argument
frequently follows the decision about what the facts in any case are, and
the application of the relevant rule to the facts.
It's important to note here, however, that our description of this argument field is
a little simplistic, and that it varies in different legal contexts.
So far in this lesson, we've characterized argument fields as being synonymous with
academic disciplines, such as science or law.
But this isn't always strictly true.
Tim John Moore, in his study of what was considered critical thinking in
the disciplines of history, philosophy, and literary studies in one Australian
university, found discipline specific argumentation in each of the disciplines.
At the same time, he also found some differences within disciplines,
such as differences in literary studies, between older, critical approaches and
more recent structural approaches.
In other disciplines, serious differences in what constitutes evidence and processes
of thought exist between different methodologies and schools of thought.
You may also find there are differences in argumentation between lectures in the same
As an overall rule therefore, as a student you should pay particular attention
to your particular context and note typical forms of argument and
frequent topics of argument in that context.
Variations in argument between argument fields will also dictate the timing and
nature of critical thinking and argumentation during your course of study.
Richard Andrews writes of research into differences in argumentation
in three disciplines, history, biology and electrical engineering.
In history, argumentation is seen as central to the discipline and
students are expected to engage in discipline specific forms of
argumentation, such as evaluation of historical source from the first year.
However, in biology and electrical engineering, the expectation is that
students need to acquire subject knowledge before engaging in any real argumentation.
And thus, in these disciplines,
argumentation only really takes place in the final year or years.
Moreover, the forms of argumentation in these fields differ from history.
In biology, argumentation takes the form of appraising different forms of evidence
and courses of action.
In electrical engineering on the other hand,
argumentation takes the form of arguing for solutions.
And will generally take place where the discipline interfaces with real world
concerns, such as designing solutions for particular needs in clients.
We have therefore seen how differences in argumentation between fields
can have a significant effect on the kinds of argumentation
that are expected of us at university.
It can mean that the processes of thought, the content and
objects of study, as well as when and what kind of argumentation,
will vary between your university course of study and others.
It's important for you to be aware of these variations and
to reflect them in your own work.
At the same time, there are certain forms of critical thinking and
argumentation that are broadly shared amongst much of academic culture.
It is these relatively unvarying forms,
which we will be presenting in the coming lessons, but
always with the requirement that they must be adapted to your particular context.
Wempy Dyocta Koto
Wardour and Oxford
AT the age of 40, Wempy Dyocta Koto has notched up more experience and expertise than most executives his age. As the chief executive officer of Wardour and Oxford, a management consultancy helping companies grow their businesses profitably, Wempy personifies the amalgamation of having worked in powerhouse cities such as London, Hong Kong, Sydney, Singapore and San Francisco while heading projects for global brands such as Microsoft, Samsung and American Express.
An international investor, chairman, CEO and speaker, Wempy also holds the distinction of being named, in 2013, by Fortune magazine as one of Indonesia's most powerful people, and a trailblazer in its "Fortune 40 Under 40" list.
Having once served at leading communications agencies such as Ogilvy, Wunderman and Young & Rubicam - rising to become a Global Business Director in San Francisco at one point in his glittering career - Wempy also mentors CEOs at major global incubators and accelerators such as Silicon Valley's Founder Institute. For the Hult Prize, a competition established by former United States of America President Bill Clinton, Wempy serves as the head Indonesian judge.
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A graduate of the University of Technology, Sydney, Wempy holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications as well as a Master's in International Studies from the University of Sydney. He also graduated from the THNK School of Creative Leadership in Amsterdam.
He is a major proponent of academic education, as it elevates critical thinking skills, but also believes that technical knowhow and emotional intelligence are situationally learned on the job. "Learning is not confined to schools," he says, while reiterating the importance of not just acquiring knowledge, but also of applying it and sharing it.
The founder of The Wempy Dyocta Koto Business School, this multi-talented man values his Indonesian roots and honours it through The Wempy Dyocta Koto Award, which rewards twelve outstanding Indonesians with transformational mentorship from prominent Indonesian and international leaders for a year. This is a reflection of his belief in the power of mentorship, and his sense of social responsibility towards his home country and its advancement.
Wardour and Oxford also works with government, state-owned enterprises and ambitious startups, helping them with policy development, strategic advisory, investment support, brand communications, sponsorships and partnerships. The company works intensely with its international network of influencers and decision-makers to secure the ambitions of its clients.
This endeavour is supported by the consultancy's expertise, agility, and entrepreneurial spirit, enhanced by its connections to some of the world's most influential corporations, brands and leaders. Beyond consultancy, the company also channels its profits into the investment of companies and startups that are disrupting the status quo.
The consultancy was established in London in 2009, and in 2012, set up its Jakarta office. In 2013 Wardour and Oxford's investment arm was founded, and now has stakes in over 50 companies.
The road to prominent leadership was never easy. Leaving his high-paying job as a global business director with a communications agency to start out on his own in London taught him priceless lessons. While there were many directional possibilities his company could have taken, the tremendous success he experienced as a corporate leader did not necessarily mean that he would become a successful entrepreneur overnight.
"The first two years were painful," he admits, but with careful planning, constant pivoting and calculated risk-taking, he and the company survived the critical infant years to establish a multi-million enterprise with multi-million dollar investments.
"I learned that the grass is green where you water it, and that we only thrive where we focus," he says.