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Modes Of Reasoning
MODR 1760
Anthony Falikowski

24 September 2011 What is an argument? A product (book, essay, editorial, etc). A process (dialectical) - (Carl Marx) one side of argument and criticism, counter-criticism. Instrument used for “rational” persuasion (vs. bribe, force, charm, intimidate, etc). Justify A set of claims / statements (at least two) that must be related. At least one claim is used to support another claim. eg. [ She’s armed ]. So, [ she’s dangerous ]. Not an argument because one claim does not support the other claim. eg. The lights are on in this room. The clock at the front of the class has stopped. So, therefore, thus claim = premise (supporting claim) Make an “inference.” = Making an intuitive connection. Is the inference “warranted?” claim = conclusion, point that is trying to be justified / proved. Evaluate argument at the level of claim. True / falsity of supporting claim. Not disputing evidence but disputing the inference. How can we tell how a claim is meant to be used? Sometimes by context in which a discussion or debate is going on, the intention of the speaker, or indicator words that indicate premises or conclusions. Premise Indicators Whatever follows is the reason for ex. He’s going to do well [ because ] he’s committed to it. because, since, for, seeing that, as, given that, considering that Conclusion indicators therefore, so, thus, consequently, it follows that What is not a claim? Question* - eg. what time is it? exception: loaded questions are claims (the claim is inside the question.) rhetorical questions. eg. when will the gov end its failed policies. Greeting Command* - eg. shut the door exception: can be an “ought” imperative - eg. [ shut the door ] you ought to shut the door, there’s a lion outside. Request - eg. please do something. Proposal - eg. let’s get married. Exclaimation - eg. oh my goodness! What is not an argument? Report - describes a situation, does not try to prove anything. Unsupported assertion - a claim lacking support, an opinion (subjective preference). Conditional statements - “if ... then ...” statements. Illustrations - used to clarify a point but not to prove it. Examples are used to clarify a point, examples are used to prove a point in arguments. Explanation - tells us how or why something is the case, does not try to prove that something is the case. Types of support (premises) Independent - premise works by itself to prove a conclusion Linked - one premise needs another premise (to be relevant) to prove a conclusion. Without linked premises, a premise does not prove a conclusion. 1 October 2011 Missing Premises & Conclusions (enthymeme) eg. The bigger the burger, the better the burger. The burgers are bigger at Burger King. implicit conclusion: is that the burgers are better at Burger King. Not stated but assumed. It is part of the argument but it’s missing. eg. Herman couldn’t be the person who robbed the store [ because ] he did not have a tattoo. Hidden Premise: The robber had a tattoo on his left arm. Premise: He didn’t have a tattoo on his left arm. Conclusion: Herman couldn’t be the person who robbed the store. page 180-181 Simple vs Complex Arguments Simple arguments have only one conclusion, eg: She’s armed so she’s dangerous. Complex arguments has multiple conclusions. Standard form: Supporting Premise / Conclusion (Premise that supports the conclusion) Diagram form: P1, P2, P3 = C1 Now look, (1) everyone who has read Marx knows that capitalism can’t survive into the 21st century and (2) Sanchez has read more than his share of Marx. So, (3) he is well aware of that. And if he’s well aware of that, (4) he’s lying to you when he says you should start a florist shop. (5) The man’s a liar. Linked premises: 1+2 proves 3 which proves 4 which proves 5 Standard form: (1) Everyone who has read Marx knows that capitalism can’t survive into the 21st century. (2) Sanchez has read more than his share of Marx. (3) He’s well aware that capitalism can’t survive into the 21st century. (1+2) (4) He’s lying to you when he says you should start a florist shop. (3) Main conclusion: (5) The man’s a liar. (3, 4) 15 TF = Chapter 1 & 2 10 MC = Chapter 1, some of 2 5 enthymemes 5 passages (just like homework - what’s premise and conclusion, possibility not an arguments in which case explain why it’s not) pages 1 to 52, 180 to 181, 164 to 170 One question on test that will require bracketing a phrase and do standard form and diagram form. 15 October 2011 Two Types of Reasoning Deductive 1) Form > Structure > Syllogism 2) Content > Subject - Conclusions are necessary - Logic is 100% or not Non-Deductive - Non-formal - Conclusions are only probable - Arguments are weaker or stronger by degree Valid Forms of Deductive Logic (MP) Modus Ponens If P (antecedent), then Q (consequent) P - affirming the antecedent So, Q (MT) Modus Tollens not Q - denying the consequent So, not P Disjunctive Syllogism Either A or B (disjunt) , the word “or” is used exclusively. Argument by Elimination Not A Not B So, B So, A A (affirming the disjunt) So, not B 22 October 2011 More Valid Forms Chain Argument If P, then Q If Q, then R If P, then R Categorical Syllogism All men (A) are mortal (B) < major premise Socrates (C) is a man (A) < minor premise Socrates (C) is mortal (B) < conclusion Practical Syllogism Latecomers (S) should be applauded (P) < value premise William (Q) is a latecomer (S) < factual premise William (Q) should be Applauded (P) < value conclusion Invalid Forms of Logic 1) Affirming the consequent If it’s red (P), then it’s a colour (Q). It’s a colour (Q) So, it’s red (P) 2) Denying the Antecedent If it rains (P), then there are clouds (Q). It is not raining (P) So, there are no clouds (Q) 3) Affirming the inclusive disjunt The word “or” is used inclusively. Either the person’s a man (A) or a Canadian (B). The person is a man (A) So, the person cannot be Canadian (B) But one can be both, a Canadian and a man. 4) The fallacy of common antecedent If I smoke (P), then I’ll be cool (Q) If I smoke (P), then I’ll get cancer (R) So, If I will be cool (Q) then I will get cancer (R) 5) The fallacy of common consequent If it’s red (P), then it’s a colour (R) If it’s green (Q), then it’s a colour (R) If it’s red (P), then it’s green (Q) 6) Incorrect Categorical Syllogism All cats (A) animals (B) All dogs (C) are animals (B) So, all cats (A) are dogs (C) 29 October 2011 Test Nov 12th - 5 passages - express dedutive form (if P than Q, P / So, Q), naming, valid / invalid, bracketing (A, B, C, etc) - 10 identifying claims - non-deductive, reasoning Evaluating Arguments - Different types of arguments use different types of criteria for evaluation. 1) Deductive Truth: Claims are either true or false (acceptable or not). Validity: Form of argument is either 100% valid or invalid. Soundness: True claims and valid in form. 2) Non-deductive (inductive) Truth, Strength, Cogency Weak arguments are always uncogent. Strong arguments can be cogent or uncogent. Common Patterns of Non-deductive Reasoning 1) Inductive Generalization - Different from a generalization. - What’s generally “true” for most or all. - A claim made about an “entire population” based on a sample of that population. - A good inductive generalization must be based on a sample that is large enough and representative of the entire population. 2) Predictive Argument - A prediction is supported with reasons. 3) Argument from Authority - A claim or conclusion is supported by an appeal to authority. 4) Causal Argument 5) Statistical Argument 6) Argument from Analogy 5 November 2011 Evaluating Claims within an Argument The strength of an argument depends on the relevance, acceptability, and the sufficiency of the claim(s) made. Relevance Irrelevance - the truth or falsity of the claim has no bearing on the conclusion. Positive Relevance - a claim lends weight (supports) to a conclusion and makes the conclusion more likely (more justified). Warrants the inference. Negative Relevance - makes the conclusion less likely and makes the argument weaker. Fallacy of Irrelevant Premise Irrelevant claims don’t warrant the conclusion. Acceptability Claims are either acceptable or not / true or false / justifiable or not. Different kinds of claims require different procedures of evaluation. Unacceptable claims weakens the arguments. Relevant acceptable claims strengthens the arguments. Sufficiency Sometimes as little as one claim can prove the conclusion. Ask: is there enough to prove / warrant / justify the conclusion. If so, the argument succeeds. Types of Claims Empirical Claims Factual claims - can be true or false. (generalization, causal claims) - “is” / was / will be the case. - Descriptive - Verification (physical evidence, inference drawn from an observation, experiment, appeal to authority) Normative Claims Valued judgements - Good or evil, better or worse, out imperatives. - Justification (appeal to principles and values such as fairness, justice, etc). Four Tests to Evaluate Normative Claims 1) Role-Exchange - take a rule of behaviour and apply it to yourself. If you wouldn’t accept it applied to yourself, then the principle is unacceptable. 2) New Cases - use new cases to test the principles. 3) Higher Order Principle - specific principles are justified by appeal to higher order principles. 4) Consistency in Universalizability - principle must be consistent. Conceptual Claims Claims are acceptable or not depending on the meaning or the language used. - Language can be too vague, narrow, broad, etc. - Definitions must be clear. - Conceptual analysis 7 January 2012 Paper topic: Is capitalism democratic? Is pornography hate literature? Techniques of Conceptual Analysis 1. Model Case: - Answer YES to the question. - Produce an example which illustrates this. A white supremacy group publishes stories and photo stills from their snuff films. In these films, non-white women are abducted, molested, raped, killed, and dismembered. This publication is distributed to other clan members for purposes of sexually exciting them. PORNOGRAPHY HATE LITERATURE - The powerful take sexual advantage of - People of a particular race are degraded. woman of colour. - Used by the powerful to suppress the weak. - Can involve group sex. - Distinguishes between the in and out - Portray group stereotypes. groups. - Is distributed by publishers. - Is distributed by underground organizations. 2. Contrary Case: - Answer NO to the question. - Produce an example which illustrates this. A married couple is experiencing sexual problems. They go to a sex therapist for help. The therapist gives them a copy of playboy, kama sutra, and other “how-to” sex manuals. She gives the couple homework assignments requiring experimentation-risk- taking. PORNOGRAPHY HATE LITERATURE WHAT’S MISSING? (WHY IS THERE NO HATE?) - Can be shared. - An expression of anger or - No anger or negativity. - Has therapeutic or healing negativity towards others. - No group is targeted. value.
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