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Logic Tutorial - Arguments and Explanations.doc

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McMaster University
Arts & Science
Stefan Rodde

Logic Tutorial #1 Topics: • DIFFERENCES AND SIMILARITIES BETWEEN ARGUMENTS AND EXPLANATIONS • WAYS TO DISTINGUISH AN EXPLANATION FROM AN ARGUMENT Lecture Topic: • Argument: a claim or set of claims intended to establish a further claim • Premise: the claim or set of claims which is intended to establish the conclusion • Conclusion: the claim which is supposed to be established by the premise • Claim: a sentence which is true/false • Indicator words o Help identify the premises and conclusions in an argument o Examples in the textbook • Without indicator words, must rely on context to determine whether or not there an argument. Ask the following: o Is there an issue in dispute? o Is there a claim supported by reasons or evidence o Explanations are not arguments • Arguments and Explanations o How are they the same? • Both use some of the same indicator words • Both provide reasons for something else • The same passage can contain both an argument and an explanation o How are they different? • Argument provide us with a reason to think that something is the case • Explanation provides us with the reason why or how something is the case or happened o How to tell them apart? o Examples • Three people saw him do it, so Adam is the one who stole the money  Argument: trying to establish that something is the case • Adam was hungry, so he stole the money  Probably an explanation: trying to explain why something is the case o Ways to distinguish • C
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