How do you differentiate co-premises from chains of reasoning in an argument map? For example, consider the following argument from our studying materials:

"Just after the Second World War, Germans adopted cigarettes as a form of currency. This is an excellent form of money; it is almost impossible to forge. It is also very convenient, as it comes in clear denominations of a cigarette, a packet, and a carton. Money that comes in such denominations is easy to count. (...)"

My confusion is related to the statement "cigarettes are convenient", which supports the conclusion that cigarettes are an excellent form of money. How is the support structure for "cigarettes are convenient"? Would you put "it comes in clear denominations (...)" and "money coming in denominations is easy to count" as co-premises supporting "cigarettes are convenient"? Or would you put "money coming in denominations is easy to count" as a premise of cigarettes are convenient and as a conclusion of "cigarettes come in clear denominations"?

Thank you for your replies in advance!

1 Answer 1


I would prefer to say that "comes in clear denominations" supports "is easier to count" which in turn supports "is convenient as a form of money". You might like to start from the conclusion and work backwards by asking, what reason is there to accept this? Why are cigarettes used as money? They are convenient for this purpose. Why? They are easy to count. Why? They come in clear denominations.

As Aristotle observed, what we desire in a form of money is that it should serve as a medium of exchange, a unit of account, and a store of value. To this end, it needs to be portable, durable, divisible, fungible and have some intrinsic value. Cigarettes do a fairly good job of meeting these requirements.

  • Money does not need intrinsic value. The modern US dollar does very well as money, and has no intrinsic value. Dec 13, 2018 at 21:58
  • Granted, modern fiat currencies are a credible attempt at getting away from the traditional Aristotelean view. But arguably they have only existed since 1971 when the Bretton-Woods agreement ended, so maybe it is just too early to say how well they do as money. There are plenty who take the position that any currency that can just be printed into existence or borrowed into existence without any constraints of intrinsic value is highly likely to fail sooner or later.
    – Bumble
    Dec 15, 2018 at 8:45

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