In this paper we investigate the links between instantiated argumentation systems and the axioms for non-monotonic reasoning described in  with the aim of characterising the nature of argument based reasoning. In doing so, we consider two possible interpretations of the consequence relation, and describe which axioms are met by ASPIC+ under each of these interpretations. We then consider the links between these axioms and the rationality postulates. Our results indicate that argument based reasoning as characterised by ASPIC+ is - according to the axioms of  - non-cumulative and non-monotonic, and therefore weaker than the weakest non-monotonic reasoning systems they considered possible. This weakness underpins ASPIC+'s success in modelling other reasoning systems, and we conclude by considering the relationship between ASPIC+ and other weak logical systems.