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What is the argument?

Andrey Kim
Andrey Kim
January 25, 2015
What is the argument?

For most of us, the word “argument” refers to a statement that is given to prove a certain judgment. However, this word has less known meanings. In this article we will describe in more detail what the argument is and reveal the set of meanings of this term.

Argument in Math

From school, from the lessons of algebra, most of us remember the phrase "function argument", though not everyone can explain what it means.

The function argument is an independent variable on which its value depends. For example, in the equation, y = 2x, y is a function, and x is the argument of the function.

Also in mathematics you can hear such phrases as the argument of a complex number, the argument of maximization and minimization, but these are much more complicated terms that are difficult to understand without proper preparation.

For more scientific definitions, see the Mathematical concepts section.

Argument in Astronomy

In astronomy, the term "argument" is also used, and in two meanings:

  • The pericenter argument is a quantity that determines the location of the orbit of one celestial body relative to the equator of another or relative to the ecliptic plane.
  • The latitude argument is a characteristic that describes the orientation of a celestial body in orbit.

Argument in other areas

The word argument is also used in logic, denoting an argument or group of arguments that are expressed in support of another statement. However, the definition of an argument in logic is very similar to its well-known meaning.

The term argument is also used in literature; here it means a summary of the play.


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