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Lecture 12

PHIL2100 Lecture 12: PHIL2100 Chapter Six.docx

Course Code
PHIL 2100
Andrew Robinson

of 1
PHIL2100 Chapter Six
Loaded Questions:
We say that a question is loaded when it contains a hidden, or implicit, assumption
EG. How can academics be relevant to students if they are not engaged with the most powerful
research medium ever?
EG. Why do all women like to shop?
EG. “we have heard that a half million children have died. I men, that is more children than died
in Hiroshima. And you know, is the price worth it?
Speech Acts:
When we communicate, we use speech acts
Speech acts can be expressed verbally or non-verbally
The Principles of Communication:
In trying to understand and interpret speech acts, it is helpful to keep in mind three principles of
1. Intelligibility
oassume that a speech act is intelligible
othis way a speech act is treated as meaningful, and worthy of understanding
2. Context
oSpeech acts ought to be considered in their respective contexts
oThere are specific contexts to each speech act, which necessarily need to be
considered in the interpretation of each speech act
oContexts shift depending on the people involved, the types of issues, the location,
3. Components
oA speech act must be interpreted, as closely as possible, to the meaning behind its
various components (eg. language, gestures, pictures, music, etc.), as well as the
relationship between all these elements
The principles can be an aid as we interpret, diagram, and assess argumentative exchanges
Abbreviated Arguments:
Some arguments make assumptions, or implications, that are hidden but expected to be
understood by their audience
In order to evaluate arguments that are abbreviated you must fully identify the hidden parts
Hidden Conclusions:
If the reasoning in an argument leads to an unstated point, then it is likely a hidden conclusion
We need to be cautious when putting forward a conclusion
oConsider the tone, emphasis, and commitment of the arguer when qualifying a
Hidden Premises:
A hidden premise is triggered by a gap in reasoning from premise(s) to conclusion
In order to evaluate an argument, the hidden premise on which the conclusion relies needs to be
made explicit