Comparative Analysis Essay

857 Words Aug 9th, 2013 4 Pages
Joel Spencer 3779350

Knowing and Knowledge Assessment 1 Comparative Analysis

This essay will be comparing and analysing the techniques used by two Melbourne based university lectures, Robert Manne and Patrick Stokes. Both dealing with the thematic subject of opinion.

Concerning Climate Change “Clear, Catastrophic threats, Manne opens the article with an anecdote, that a “part of the english syllabus [as a schoolboy] was “clear thinking”” (Manne 2011). This anecdote should set up a relevance and an accessibility to the reader drawing them in and sympathising with the argument that will be put forward. Almost a third of the article is dense with data. “1500 or so leading climate scientists” (Manne 2011), “928 scientific papers”
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Without reading any content the article looks to follow a linear progression. The content argues that there is a distinction between opinion and certain knowledge (Stokes 2012),and must be earned through argument. Interestingly, Stokes initiates an argument with Meryl Dorey during the article. Stokes’ piece opens similar to Manne’s in the use of anecdote about how he addresses his students philosophers. Anecdote should be used to give relevance to the reader, as aforementioned, though not many reading his article sit in Stokes’ philosophy lectures. It’s interesting he uses this technique. Though, as Stokes goes on, he uses three paragraphs on just this anecdote, telling the reader that how he teaches a class, but also setting the main contention of his piece. The formatting makes everything clear. Appeals to authority is a main use of persuasive technique used in the article. Stokes references Plato and his distinction between opinion or common belief and certain knowledge. With that appeal Stokes states that “opinion has a degree of subjectivity and uncertainty to it” (Stokes 2012). Stokes also uses distinction as a persuasive technique. He separates the degree of opinion that it’s “...silly to insist that strawberry ice cream is better than chocolate” (Stokes 2012) but arguing an opinion without the relevant qualifications is also just as silly. Again, that clarity in distinction has an effect on the comprehension of Stokes’ argument. Coherence in