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Lecture 3

PHI 1101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Trie, Smallpox, Modern Art

Course Code
PHI 1101
Sardar Hosseini

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Identifying Arguments
Lecture 3 - PHI1101
Exercises from Book (Pg. 10-13)
All complex arguments have 2 or more conclusions, they also have 1 or more premises.
1. The snow is making driving conditions very dangerous. But I must still go out and
vote even though my candidate has no chance of winning.
- Not an argument because there is no premise nor a conclusion
2. Smallpox is no longer a threat to anyone in the United States. And the vaccination
against it is unpleasant and, in rare cases, life-threatening. We were wise when we
ceased the routine vaccination of our children.
- The last sentence is the conclusion. And the statements before could be
either trie or false. Therefore it is an argument.
3. Herbert had the highest score on the qualifying exam, and so he will get first
consideration for the job. The person who gets first consideration almost always
does get the job. Thus, it is pretty sure that the job will go to Herbert.
- The first two statements are premises. The last sentence is a conclusion
because it has a conclusion indicator— “thus”. The first conclusion is “SO
he will get first consideration for the job”, and the second conclusion is
“THUS, it is pretty sure that the job will go to Herbert.” Therefore this is an
4. The substance was dissolved in dilute hydrochloric acid. A pungent smell was given
off. Finally, a milky precipitate was observed at the bottom of the breaker.
- Not an argument. This is simply a list of facts/description of events.
5. It looks like a duck! It sounds like a duck! It even walks like a duck! It must be a duck!
- It IS an argument. All three premises support the final conclusion.
6. It is not difficult to program computers so that they “learn’ from their mistakes. Thus,
computers will soon exceed the abilities of humans at complex games such as
chess or bridge. That makes it obvious that computes think.
- This is a complex argument with conclusion indicators.
7. Cheetah basketball begins again on November 1st with Midnight Madness at the
Cheetahdome! Get your tickets from the box office or the Student Center bookstore
starting tomorrow.
- Not an argument.
8. The Taipei study of the spread of SARS doesn’t establish its conclusion at all. The
sample for the study was too small and wholly unrepresentative of the total
- There is one premise here, and one conclusion. So it is a simple
9. Charlene brown, executive chef at the Moulin Restaurant, offers one of the most
exciting new menus in town. Her poached salmon with red pepper coulis is
particularly inspired, and her attention to detail in her presentation is unparalleled.
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