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Lecture 4

PHI 1101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: The Butler, Asthma, Iceberg

Course Code
PHI 1101
Sardar Hosseini

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Chapter 2
Knowledge aims at truth
Argument aims at taking us closer to truth
Therefore the main task of logic is to tell the good arguments from the bad ones: this is
called evaluating argument
In order to evaluate an argument, we must analyze the argument, that is, identify the
premise and conclusion and the relationship between them
Analyzing arguments is slightly arbitrary and artificial, but it is a helpful way of
getting clearer on the content and structure of an argument
There are different ways for analyzing arguments
Putting Arguments in standard form
Diagramming arguments
Strategy to Analyze Argument
1. Probably, the best piece of advice is to see if we can first detect what the conclusion is
2. Identify any inference indicators (since, because, therefore)
3. Rule out descriptions, reports, disputes, etc.
4. Identify if the argument is simple or complex
5. If it is a simple argument, identify what the conclusion is
6. If it is a complex argument, determine what the final conclusion is, along with the
intermediate conclusion or intermediate conclusions
7. Ignore of get rid of elements that do not belong to the argument
a. Get rid of any statements that aren’t part of the premise or conclusion
8. Reformulate claims when necessary
9. The only rule: do what you can as you can. Start with what is clear and build from there.
Standard Form
To put an argument in standard for means that we outline an argument and express it in
the form of a list, where each claim is numbered separately, premises and conclusions
are clearly labelled, premises always appearing in the list before the conclusions they
support, and inferences indicated by referring to the premises supporting a given
Simple Argument: Standard Form
We put simple arguments into standard form by listing the premises one after
another, drawing a line, then stating the conclusion
Ex: 1. Strikes by public employees are illegal
2. The teachers at PS 197 are public employees
3. The strike by the teachers at PS 197 is illegal. 1,2
Complex Argument: Standard Form
Ex: 1. The penalties are stiff if you are caught drinking and driving

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2. You might cause an accident if you drink and drive
3. You shouldn’t drink and drive 1,2
4. You have to drive tonight
5. You shouldn’t have anything to drink tonight 3,4
Diagramming Arguments
Diagramming is another useful way of analyzing arguments. Especially in the case of
complex arguments, diagrams often give us a better understanding of the roles played
by various premises, and the contribution of various sub-arguments.
Ex: 1. Joe hasn’t eaten for three days
2. So, he must be hungry. 1
1 → 2
Two types of arguments
Separately: V diagram
Each premise exists by itself and can lead to the conclusion without the
other premise
The argument holds with only one premise
Jointly: T diagram
You need both premises in order to lead to the conclusion
If one premise doesn’t exist, then the argument won’t hold
Separately + Jointly Arguments
1. Jake is a philosopher
2. All philosophers are geeks
3. And, Jake has a Chewbacca plush hat
4. Jake is a geek (1,2), 3

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Complex Arguments
Two Special Problems
Arguments and Explanations
In an explanation, as in arguments, reasons are given, and often enough the
same indicator words are used. The aim of arguments is to convince someone
that something is true. Explanation are where something is true and reasons are
given to show why it is.
Arguments are intended to persuade, but explanations are used to show how or
why something happened.
Examples of explanations:
The titanic sank because it hit an iceberg
I dislike smoking. It smells bad and makes my asthma worse
Conditionals, Disjunctives and Unless
1. Conditionals
a. “If… then…”
b. Considered one claim
c. If I study hard, then I’ll pass PHI 1101
2. Disjunctive Sentences of Statements
a. “Either… or…”
b. Either I’ll pass PHI 1101 or I’ll fail it
3. Unless
a. There will be no tomatoes in the garden unless fertilizer is applied
1+2 3
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