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Langara College
PHIL 1100

Arguments Understanding Arguments  The Structure of Arguments o Deductive: conclusion follows necessarily from premises (reasons)  General  Specific  Very powerful argument (like math)  You can be wrong here, but if first part is right, second part must be right  If premises are true, the conclusion must be true  Valid: specific, logical operate (nothing to do with truth); conclusion must follow premises (structure)  Invalid: fails to give conclusive support  Sound: valid arguments, truth  Unsound: invalid, with at least one false premise  All men are mortal. Socrates is a man. Therefore, Socrates is mortal. } Follows premise  Valid, in this case, it is sound  All bachelorettes are female. Jen is a bachelorette. Therefore, all females are Jen. } Conclusion doesn’t make sense  Invalid and unsound o Inductive: conclusion supported by premises to some degree  Specific  General  All sciences, physics  My pit bull is vicious; so all pit bulls are vicious.  A lot of room for error.  If the premise is true, conclusion more likely to be true (but could be false).  Could be exception, we don’t know  All swans are white. (Not always true)  We could look at 1000 swans to determine if all swans are white.  Personally, I have only seen white swans but if we see a black swan  Most swans are white. (Less strong/convincing)  Probable support to conclusion  A lot of argumentation in science, no certainty  Not meant to give decisive support  85% of Twilight fans prefer Edward to Jacob. Sarah is a Twilight fan. Therefore, Sarah probably prefers Edward to Jacob. (Specific  General) o Reason + Reason = Conclusion o Strong argument: probable support o Weak argument: little to no support o We cannot say it is invalid or false.  A form of thinking in which certain statements are offered in support of another statement  Reasons (Premise) Cue words: o Since, in view of, for, because, furthermore, as shown by, given that, after all, for the reason that, may be inferred/derived from, first of all, as indicated by, assuming that, secondly  Conclusions Cue words: o Therefore, hence, allows us to infer, you see/agree that, then, thereby showing, points to, thus, consequently, as a result, implies that, leads me to believe, so  Indicator Words o I think. Therefore, I exist. o Since (premise) … I won’t (conclusion) … o You … so that’s why (conclusion) …  Evaluating Arguments o How true are the reasons? o To what extent, do the reasons support conclusions? o Does the argument pass test of truth and validity?  What an argument is not:
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