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Lecture 2

PHIL111 13/14 WEEK 2.docx

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Queen's University
PHIL 111
Jon Miller

Week Two September 17, 2013 How to Read Philosophy - Study, not read - Two questions to keep in mind o What does it mean? o What are the reasons? The Importance of Distinctions - Not all distinctions matter o “a distinction without a difference” - However, sometimes distinctions are vital o Eg. Distinction between process of dying, moment of death, being dead Necessary vs. Sufficient Conditions - Most things are conditional; they depend in some way on something else o Not all of their conditions are equivalent: some are necessary while others are sufficient - X is necessary for Y iff the falsity/non-existence/non-occurrence of X ensures the falsity/non-existence/non-occurrence of Y o Eg. Air is a necessary condition for human life  BUT air is not a sufficient condition for human life; this shows that not all necessary conditions are also sufficient conditions - X is sufficient for Y iff the truth/existence/occurrence of X ensures the truth/existence/occurrence of Y o Eg. A sufficient condition for quenching thirst is drinking cold beer  BUT drinking a cold beer is not a necessary condition for quenching thirst; this shows that not all sufficient conditions are necessary - It is important to attend to the difference between necessary and sufficient conditions for fear of confusion that may result o The statement that X causes Y may mean that X is a sufficient condition for Y, or that it is only a necessary condition for Y, or perhaps that it is a necessary part of a total sufficient condition The Type/Token Distinction - We distinguish between general kinds of things vs. specific instances of those kinds - General kinds are types; specific instances are tokens o Eg. Homo sapiens is a general kind of thing; it is a type  Aristotle is a particular instance of the type; he is a token of a human being Arguments - Arguments are not fights - Definition o An argument is a group of sentences, some of which (the premises) provide support for another (the conclusion) o Bailey: “An argument is any sequence of statements intended to establish- or at least to make plausible- some particular claim” (5) - Two types of Arguments o Deductive  If the premises are true and the reasoning sound, then the conclusion follows of necessity. o Inductive  If the premises are true and the reasoning sound, then the conclusion probably follows  Eg. 1. Every mallard that I have seen in the past flies 2. This is a mallard 3. So, this will fly o The main difference lies in the strength of the conclusion o As Bailey says, deductive arguments are an “on/off affair”- either they work or they don’t- while inductive arguments are a matter of degree September 18, 2013 Logical Fallacies - Arguments are supposed to be truth preserving; ca
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