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Lecture 2

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Modes Of Reasoning
MODR 1760
Hilary Davis

Fallacies 15/09/2011 10:31:00 AM Truth  Whether or not premises and conclusions correspond to fact Validity  Relationship of the premises to the conclusion  Whether reasoning makes sense Soundness  When premises are true and conclusion validly derived from them  Conclusion is the logical consequence of the premise o All men are mortal o Socrates is a man o Therefore, Socrates is mortal Unsound arguments  True premises but invalid connection to conclusion o Just because “a” is “b” and “c” is “b”, does not make “a” “b”  Valid reasoning but untrue premise o All dogs are ferocious o Tom has a dog, Shaggy o Therefore, Shaggy is ferocious  Untrue premise and invalid reasoning o I like this course o All final exams are easy o Therefore, I will receive a high grade in this course Necessity and Sufficiency  When evaluating an argument, ask yourself if the premises are necessarily true o Do both premises both have to be there for an argument to be true?  Are premises sufficient to prove the conclusion o Is there enough evidence? Evaluating Arguments  Interested in whether an argument is sound: o Are premises true or acceptable to a reasonable person? o Is the reasoning to arrive at the conclusion valid?  Not interested in o Clarity, elegance, persuasiveness, or economy of style  Do not be opinionative  We do not need to know if conclusion is true Fallacies  Illusion of a good argument  Must be explained, not simply identified  Even when an argument is contains fallacies, the conclusion may be true 1. Appeal to Force or Threat of Force (Appeal to Fear)  instead of using reasons this fallacy threatens to use force to get another to do something or accept an idea 2. Appeal to Emotion  persuade us by manipulating our emotions/desires o emotions usually irrelevant to issue  Appeal to Pity  Appeal to Fear  Appeal to Guilt or Shame  Appeal to Flattery 3. Ad Hominem (“To the man”)  the person, mostly their character, is attacked  even someone of poor character can produce a good argument o Abusive Ad Hominem (Mudslinging)  Opponent is insulted or abused (attacks person)  Very effective because no one will trust the attacked o Circumstantial ad Hominem (Vested Interest)  Accusing opponent of a biased argument  Arguing that opponent has something to gain from their own argument  Fo
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