i am confused between those words argument and rational in academic use
The two terms mean different things "tote".
Rational is a synonymous term for reason, which is a synonymous term for Logic.
Logic and Reason employ a special kind of thinking termed a Syllogism.
The classical Greek example of a Syllogism is this:
All men are mortal.
Socrates is mortal.
Therefore, Socrates is a man.
The Greeks studied the inner workings of the human thought, and analysed so much that they
discovered what produces a True statement and what produces a False Statement.
Logic, or Reason follows three rules. These are actually called Laws, and they are attributed to Greek philosopher Aristotle.
The Three Laws.
#1 The Law of Identity (saying that something IS something.)
#2 The Law of Non-Contradiction (the law that tells us that if you say that something IS something,you cannot contradict this Identity Statement by saying that the think is something else).
#3 The Law of the Excluded Middle
(the law that tells us that after we say something about what a thing is, we cannot change the meaning of the thing by saying that something "in-between" is the same as the thing.
Let's look at some examples, that I often use to teach Logic (Reason) and its 3 Laws.
Let's look at the opposite of people following Reason (Logic) in their thinking. What happens.
When people are Unreasonable or offer thinking that is Illogical, which is to say that they
violate the Three Laws of Logic, their thinking is said to be unreasonable or illogical.
Ultimately, this involves statements that become entirely false and people can actually program their mind and thinking just like a computer program, with false and untrue statements. Ultimately, such conclusions show up as thinking that we call Insane.
Irrational and Unreasonable thinking, that is repeated long enough, will show up in strange and erratic behavior. Such persons are the ones that we occasionally see who follow blind hatred
(unreasoning hatred or unreasoning unacceptance ) of other people, other countries, other races, other religions, other sports teams) and so forth.
So, in a general way, an "Argument" is what we say or write about something, when we want to show that it is true and not false.
What would an "undisciplined" way be? Namecalling, or saying bad things about the other person, are examples of "argument" which do not follow Dialectical Method. This would be the kind of "argument" that we see being discussed on Italki now about Facebook discussins of the "best" soccer team. When people start writing unkind things,which are intended to Hurt---The---Feelings of other people, this is not
the exercise of Dialectical Method.
The Greeks discovered also that the Mind (our Mind) has "dialogue" or conversations with its
"self". Self Dialogue is something all people do.
(Many people will tell you that they "do not like to argue" which is somewhat a false claim.
If nothing else, people do argue with their own mind all the time. People think things like;
"Should I do this?" "Should I do that?" "Is that True or False?" "Is that Good or Evil?"
When people arrive at conclusions about their world, their experience and their thoughts,
they are making Identity Statements.
Now let us look beyond Reason (Logic) and see what an Argument is.
An argument is a dialogue (conversation) which is intended to persuade or convince a person of something to be regarded as true. Arguments of course, can be understood in more than one way.
Argument can be understood to be a dialogue (spoken or written) in which people claim
FOR or AGAINST an idea or an "identity". When the dialogue is conducted according to the Aristotelian (academic) Three Laws of Logic, we say that we are using DIALECTICAL METHOD.
That means that we use our mind and speech in a Disciplined way.
Let's begin with an example of an Identity Statement.
This is 3. (That is an identity statement. The subject of our thought, speech, and writing, is going to be the identity, "3". It will be 3, okay?)
Let's look a a violation of the Law of Non-Contradiction, which says that we cannot contradict our
3 is equal to 100. (Obviously, this is a false statement. Why? Because 3 is not 100, nor
is 3 equal to 100. Three is not equal to any other number. 3 = 3 is a True statement, but it is a false statement to say that 3 is equal to 100 or any other number.
To say 3 = 100 is a violation of the Law of Non-Contradiction.
What about numbers there are very close to 3? Let's us postulate (propose something)
that 3 is equal to a decimal. We shall write the statement this way:
3 = 3.5 (Is it a True statement? No. It is false, because it is a violation of the
Law of the Excluded Middle.)
3.5 is halfway between 3 and 4. We cannot, for the purpose of Reason (Logic) say that
3.5 is equal to 3. It is a MIDDLING STATEMENT, also called a MEAN VALUE, that is not exactly the identity of 3.
I like to use Numbers and Color to teach the Three Laws of Logic, because these things become so clear when visual examples are used.