PHIL MONDAY MARCH 5th.docx

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28 Mar 2012
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PHIL MONDAY MARCH 5th, 2012
Scope and Adequacy Chapter Eight
- in both cases the premise in question provides no reason to believe the
conclusion
- adequacy does not work the same way as the other two the prem may be
true, supply reasons to believe the conclusion, and still be inadequate
- when we take all these three criteria together , we have the tools to assess
whether or not an arg is sound; that is whether the prems are true and the
prems support the conclusion
Scope
- intent of the author of an arg and the context makes a huge difference
- is part of that intent
- when we refer to the scope of an arg, we are referring to how wide-reaching
its implications are or are meant to be, or how strong of a conclusion is
meant to be drawn
- EX. An arg about black F150s driven by middle aged suburban men in the
Pacific Northwest has a very narrow focus, and its conclusions would only be
applicable to things of that description (narrow scope) how can he
generalize? Implications can only fit into the description made by the arg
- Yet an arg about trucks in the pacific northwest has a considerably wider
focus. The colour, make, and model (less specific means a wider scope)
- Wider scope = applicable to more cases
- Scope is important because it indicates what level of evidence and what kind
of evidence is required for an arg. To succeed (linked to adequacy)
- When talking about something very specific you need specific evidence
- Something broad you need more evidence but less specific
- The widest scope possible is a universal generalization (“All x are y’ or ‘ for
all x, y’)
- This is the widest scope possible because it is talking about all members of a
particular universe of discourse
- When you say all ( in logic ) you mean all that has been, all that is, and all that
will be
- Ex. All black F150s -> the more you specify the smaller the universe gets, less
the specificity the larger the universe gets
- Universe of discourse -> adequate (not adequate means that it’s outside the
universe of discourse, which results in false generalizations)
- To show that an argument of this type is true requires a logical proof. To
show that it is false, you require a single counterexample
- A more narrowly scoped type of arg is a probabilisitic generalization (‘most x
are y’ or ‘for most x, y’ – ‘many x are y’ or ‘for many x, y’)
- Many more ambiguous and less strong
- These kinds of generalization are easier to argue for because they require
less examples BUT a logical proof is next to impossible
- What’s important to note with both of these is that the type of arg required is
different! One counterexample is not enough to show ‘most x are y’ is false
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