Stephen Toulmin is mostly known as a philosopher who dissected and explored the concept of moral reasoning. Toulmin published many works that articulated his theories in philosophy, and he became a prolific author of books and essays. Due to his background in philosophy, Toulmin's style of writing can be wordy...
Stephen Toulmin is mostly known as a philosopher who dissected and explored the concept of moral reasoning. Toulmin published many works that articulated his theories in philosophy, and he became a prolific author of books and essays. Due to his background in philosophy, Toulmin's style of writing can be wordy at times, since many of the concepts he is trying to express are original thoughts that could not be expressed succinctly.
However, Toulmin developed greatly his writer's voice as his career progressed, and his earlier theories became more polished. Like another famous intellectual-writer, Carl Sagan, Toulmin evolved into a brilliant communicator of philosophy. Toulmin understood that his publications were marketed towards the general public as much as towards scholars.
Therefore, Toulmin articulated complex philosophical concepts and theories into books that are easy to understand. His most famous work, The Uses of Argument, would become a required reading material for students of rhetoric. The book is considered an influential work in the field. The work is also an example of Toulmin's gift as a communicator. For instance, he understood that many people are visual learners, so Toulmin framed his methodology as a sort of diagram. This allowed the readers and scholars of the method to visualize the compartmentalization he discusses in his theory.
Toulmin also makes sure that he offers both the micro and macro views of his theories, offering real-life examples to help readers understand the complex theories he is articulating. After presenting the details of this theories with examples to back them up, Toulmin will then show the big picture of his methodology or unified theory. This is the same method that many college professors and lecturers use during presentations (i.e. visual cues, expository teaching, et al.).
However, what makes Toulmin a great communicator of philosophy is his ability to apply those same techniques on to prose. Toulmin also uses logic to eliminate counterarguments, especially those that he deems unreasonable or unscientific, which earned him an honor from the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.