YOUR AND ALIEN. ARGUMENTATION AND USE OF SOURCES
Its and others': knowledge and information
The difference between the topic and the procedure we conducted along the line "what is being researched" and & quot; how and why is explored & quot; (where it is possible, by the way, to add and "who is being researched"). The difference between the fact and the opinion we conducted along the same line, clarifying it as "objective" and & quot; subjective & quot ;, i.e. public and own. The distinction between information and knowledge can be drawn along the line & quot; foreign & quot; and & quot; its & quot;.
Its and others' are not so easily separated from each other as it seems. If it was easy, we would not have not only plagiarism, but in general there are no violations of the law. Suppose you express an opinion. How firmly are you sure that it is yours, and not heard at a lecture or in a TV show, not read somewhere once and not perceived by someone from the people you respect? If you know something, then where? If your knowledge had a source, is this your knowledge? And from which point did it become your own knowledge?
How to ...
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The fact that you can acquire knowledge, but you can not assign it, there is no paradox. Indeed, knowledge is acquired by us from external sources of information (events, discussions, texts, the Internet, etc.), but it becomes ours only when we can use it ourselves. For example, when we study mathematics, we first get acquainted with the formula (we obtain information from a textbook or from a teacher), then we train to use it (the process of transition to one's own knowledge through practice) and, finally, freely apply this formula where necessary, when solving complex problems tasks (we apply it as our own knowledge). Slightly paraphrasing the wise cat Matroskina, we can say that the foreign property taken for rent remains an alien, but the ways and results of its use are already ours.
In our case, what we take for rent is information, the method of use is our own knowledge, and the result of this action is our public product, which we have the right to give to others as already new, our own information./p>
It turns out that it's all about the difference between knowledge and information, which many people do not think about. And in vain, because understanding this difference avoids a number of serious errors in writing, such as plagiarism, unnecessary quoting, misuse of sources, etc., so it is worthwhile to understand.
To understand the difference between knowledge and information we will be helped by a book written by an expert not on academic writing but on public policy - a relatively new discipline whose goal is to achieve the maximum objectivity of decision-making and their optimal implementation. Being one of the founders of this discipline, William Dann  addressed it to analysts and political scientists, but his mathematically exact approach to argumentation and the construction of evidence proved so brilliant that he fits perfectly into the system of academic writing. This is further evidence that brilliant ideas (and Dunn's book became a textbook one) have a much wider audience than the author's colleagues in the shop. It's a pity that many specialists prefer to stay in the walls of their shop and rarely look into other shops.
Dunn not only clearly delineated the concepts of & quot; information & quot; and "knowledge", but also systematized the methods of argumentation, derived three types of conclusion-assertions and constructed a structural model of evidence, giving this in his book a whole chapter. This approach to the means and methods of argumentation is due to the fact that openness, transparency and logic are particularly important in making political decisions, since the fate of people depends on what decision is taken, on what it is based and how feasible it is.
On the other hand, political decisions are too often taken under the influence of someone's personal political or religious beliefs, ideological or financial interests, corruption, etc. These beliefs are not necessarily bad, and their carriers can be honest, intelligent and knowledgeable people.
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Nevertheless, there is no such socially significant issue, in which different people would not disagree, therefore the key factor in making a decision is a collective agreement. There are no ways of 100% proof, as in the exact sciences, so the debate sometimes reaches high incandescence. The Dunn system allows to remove the heat and make debates understandable and as objective as possible. Since it sometimes happens in science, it is worth listening to Dunn.
The difference between the concepts & quot; knowledge & quot; and & quot; information & quot; most graphically demonstrates the metaphor for bread baking, which Dunn borrowed from IT specialists, and I, in turn, borrowed it from Dunne and turned it into an assignment.
Argumentation: the model that Dunn built
In order to understand how different people draw different conclusions on the basis of the same information, let us turn to the structural model of Dunn's proof, which can be represented in the generalized form in the form of Fig. 2.3.
It is interesting that each element is introduced by a special word or phrase that characterizes it. First we get and think about information , then we formulate the thesis , adding modality to what we are going to assert, then we give argument in favor of our position and use a certain fact as its support , then before -
we see possible constraints and objections to our position and, finally, we come to conclusion. The conclusion belongs to the category of opinions, but is inextricably linked with the proof and is its product. We can say that the output is an opinion that has public value and requires proof based on the procedure. In other words, output 3 is a valid and proven view.
Fig. 23. Structural model of Dunn's proof
As an example, Dunn gives a historical discussion in the US Congress in 1966 of a major sociological study "Equality of educational opportunities", known as the Coleman Report. The report contains the following information : "Black students in predominantly black schools showed lower results than black students in predominantly white schools." Let's try to be in the position of congressmen, who were supposed to form a position in relation to this information and to formulate an output , i.e. something to offer, evaluate or predict.
Basic principles of using sources
Understanding the essence of the differences we have given is sufficient to avoid deliberate and inadvertently unintentional plagiarism, but not enough to properly use the sources of information. This knowledge has not yet become yours, until you have gone through practice.
To begin with, consider an academicly literate scientific text to see how wise scientists do it. Before reading it, let's try to predict the author's logic.
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