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Lecture 1

PHIL 180 Lecture 1: PhilBookNotes

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PHIL 180
James Tappenden

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find more resources at 1.1 Arguments, Premises, and Conclusions ● Logic:​ the organized body of knowledge, or science, that evaluates arguments ○ Aim of logic is to develop system of methods to use as criteria when judging arguments ● Argument:​ a group of statements, one or more of which (the premises) are claimed to provide support for, or reasons to believe, one of the others (conclusion) ○ Two types of arguments: ■ Ones where premises support conclusion and ones where they do not ■ Former = good argument and latter = bad argument ● Purpose of logic is thus to evaluate arguments by developing methods and techniques that allow us to distinguish between good arguments from bad ● What is an​ argument? ○ Group of statements ■ Statement ​is either true or false, typically a declarative sentencee ■ Truth and falsity are two​ truth values ​of a statement ■ Questions, proposals, suggestions, commands are not statements ■ Statements that make of argument divided into one or more premises and one conclusion ○ Premises:​ statements that set forth the reason or evidence ○ Conclusion:​ statement that the evidence is claimed to support or imply ○ Important to be able to tell difference between conclusion and premises ■ Conclusion indicators:​ therefore, wherefore, thus, so, hence, etc ■ Premise indicators:​ since, because, for, in that, given that, etc ○ Arguments that lack indicators usually have conclusion as first sentence ■ When argument is restructured using logical principles, conclusion comes last (P1, P2, P3, C) ○ Passages that contain arguments can have statements that are neither premise or conclusion ○ Inference:​ the reasoning process expressed by an argument (used interchangeably with word argument) ○ Proposition:​ the meaning or information content of a statement (used interchangeably with word statement) 1.2 Recognizing Arguments ● Not all passages contain arguments a. In order for passage to contain an argument: ■ At least one of the statements must claim to present evidence or reasons ■ Must be a claim that the alleged evidence supports or implies something ● Premises must claim to present evidence or reasons that support or imply something ● Explicit claim:​ asserted by premise or conclusion indicator words (thus, since, because) ● Implicit claim:​ inferential relationship between statements in a passage, but no indicator words find more resources at find more resources at ● In deciding whether there is a claim that evidence supports or implies something: a. Look for premise and conclusion indicator words b. Look for presence of ​inferential relationship​ between statements ■ Insert word ​“therefore”​ before various statements to see whether it makes sense to interpret one of them as following from the others Simple Non Inferential Passages​: ● Lack a claim that anything is being proved (can contain premises, but lacks claim) ● Warning:​ form of expression that is intended to put someone on guard against dangerous situations ○ If no evidence is given that such statements are true, there is no argument ○ “Watch out that you don’t slip on the ice” “Bob is a blabbermouth” ● Piece of Advice: ​form of expression that makes a recommendation about some future decision or course of conduct ● Statement of Belief (Opinion): ​an expression about what someone happens to believe or think about something ● Loosely Associated Statements: ​may be about same general subject, but lack a claim that one of them is proved by the other ● Report: ​a group of statements that convey information about some topic or event Expository Passages​: ● Kind of discourse that begins with a topic sentence followed by one or more sentences that develop the topic sentence ○ If purpose of passage is to also prove the topic sentence, it can be an argument ○ Ask yourself if topic sentence is something that everyone agrees with​, if not, it can also be an argument Illustrations​: ● An expression involving one or more examples that is intended to show what something means or how it is done ○ Many illustrations contain indicator words and are confused with arguments ● Arguments from example:​ illustrations taken as arguments ● To interpret illustrations as arguments or not, determine whether the passage shows how something is done or whether it also purports to prove something ○ If claim is something everyone accepts, it is not an argument Explanations​: ● An expression that purports to shed light on some event or phenomenon accepted as tru ● Composed of two distinct components ○ Explanandum:​ the statement that describes the event or phenomenon to be explained ■ “The sky appears to be blue from the earth’s surface” ○ Explanans:​ the statement or group of statements that purports to do the explaining ■ “Light rays from the sun are scattered by particles in the atmosphere” ● Often mistaken as arguments due to the fact the word “because” is used find more resources at find more resources at ● Explanations​ used to show ​why​ something is the case; ​arguments​ used to prove ​that something is the case ● Distinguish argument from explanation: ○ Identify statement that is explanandum or conclusion ■ If this statement is matter of fact then it is explanation ● To determine if statement is an accepted matter of fact look at intended audience (source of passage) Conditional Statements​: ● An “if...then…” statement ● Made up of two component statements: ○ Antecedent:​ component statement immediately following the “if” ○ Consequent: ​component statement immediately following the “then” ■ “Then” occasionally left out and order of two components can be switched ● Not an argument because there is no assertion that antecedent or consequent is true ● No single condition statement is an argument, however, a conditional statement may server as either the premise or the conclusion (or both) of an argument ● The inferential content of a conditional statement may be reexpressed to form argument ● Antecedent expresses a sufficient condition, meaning the truth of the antecedent is sufficient to guarantee the truth of the consequent ● Consequent expresses a necessary condition Factual Claim​: ​claim that presents evidence or reasons Inferential Claim​: ​claim that the evidence or reasons imply something Inferential Relationship​: one claim that presents evidence and one claim that implies something from that evidence ● Sufficient Condition:​ ​A​ is sufficient condition for ​B​ whenever the occurrence of ​A​ is all that is needed for the occurrence of ​B ○ Being a dog is sufficient condition for being an animal ● Necessary Condition:​ ​B​ is necessary condition for ​A​ whenever ​A​ cannot occur without B ○ Being an animal is a necessary condition for being a dog find more resources at find more resources at 1.3 Deduction and Induction ● Deductive Argument: ​argument incorporating the claim that it is impossible for the ​ conclusion to be false given the premises are true (based on ​necessary reasoning) ○ Indicator words​: certainly, absolutely, definitely ● Inductive Argument: ​argument incorporating the claim that it is improbable that the ​ conclusion be false give the premises are true (based on ​probabilistic reasoning) ○ Indicator words​: likely, plausible, improbable, reasonable to conclude ● Differentiate deductive from inductive: ○ Strength of the inferential link between premises and conclusion: ■ If conclusion follows strict necessity from the premises = ​deductive ■ If conclusion does not follow necessity, instead probably = ​inductive ○ Form or style of argumentation Deductive Argument Forms​:​ indicate premises are suppose to provide absolute support ● Argument based on mathematics: ​conclusion depends on some purely arithmetic computation or measurement ● Argument from definition: ​conclusion claimed to depend on definition of some word or phrase used in the premises or conclusion ● Categorical syllogism: ​syllogism (contains 2 premises and 1 conclusion) in which each statement begins with one of the words, “all”, “no”, or “some” ● Hypothetical syllogism: ​syllogism having a condition (“if...then”) statement for one or both of its premises ● Disjunctive syllogism:​ syllogism have a disjunctive (“either...or…”) statement Inductive Argument Forms​: ​content of conclusion is in some way intended to “go beyond” the content of the premises ● Prediction:​ argument that proceeds from our knowledge of the past to claim about the future ○ Since interest rates fell Friday, they will pick back up Monday ● Argument from analogy: ​argument that depends on the existence of an analogy, or similarity, between two things or state affairs ○ Someone argues Nick’s porsche is a great handling car so it can be said Ricky’s porsche must also be a great handling car ● Generalization: ​argument that proceeds from the knowledge of a selected sample to some claim about the whole group ○ 3 oranges selected from a crate were tasty and juicy, thus all of the oranges from that crate must be tasty and juicy ● Argument from authority: ​argument that concludes something is true because a presumed expert or witness has said it is ○ CEO claims earnings will be up in coming quarter because an investment counselor made a similar statement (probabilistic; CEO could be lying) ● Argument based on signs: ​argument that proceeds from knowledge of a sign to a claim about the thing or situation that the sign symbolizes ○ Sign on highway says road curves; can argue that road does really curve find more resources at find more resources at ● Causal inference: ​argument that proceeds from knowledge of a cause to a claim about an effect, or, from knowledge of an effect to claim about a cause ○ Knowledge that bottle wine left in freezer overnight, one concludes it may be frozen (cause to effect) ○ After tasting a dry/tough piece of chicken, one concludes it may have been overcooked (effect to cause) 1.4 Validity, Truth, Soundness, Strength, Cogency ● Evaluation of argument involves answering 2 questions: ○ Do the premises support the conclusion? ○ Are all the premises true? Deductive Arguments​: ● Valid deductive argument:​ argument in which it is impossible for conclusion to be false given the premises ● Invalid deductive argument:​ argument in which it is possible for the conclusion to be false given that the premises are true ● Validity determined by relationship between premises and conclusion (question is NOT whether premises are true/false, but whether they support the conclusion or not) ● Any deductive argument have ​true premises​ but a ​false conclusion​ is ​invalid ● Sound Argument:​ deductive argument that is valid and has all true premises ● Unsound Argument:​ deductive argument that is invalid, has one/more false premises, or both Inductive Arguments​: ● Strong Inductive Argument:​ inductive argument in which it is improbable that the conclusion be false given that the premises are true ● Weak Inductive Argument:​ inductive argument in which the conclusion does not follow probably from the premises, even though it is claimed to ● All inductive argument depend on​ uniformity of nature: ○ Future tends to replicate past and regularities in spatial regions tend to prevail in other regions (sugar tasted sweet in past and will prob continue to taste sweet) ● Test strength of inductive arguments: ○ Assume premises are true ○ Determine, based on this assumption, whether conclusion is probably true ● If conclusion of inductive argument is probably true ​independent from premises​, then it is a ​weak argument ​but still considered ​valid ● Merely knowing the truth conditions of premises and conclusion tell us nothing about the strength of an argument (except in one case) ● Total Evidence Requirement:​ argument must not overlook facts that require a different conclusion find more resources at find more resources at 1.5 Argument Forms: Proving Invalidity ● All valid arguments have the form; All A are B, All C are A, All C are B ● Argument Form:​ arrangement of letters and words such that the uniform substitution of words or phrases in the place of the letters results in an argument ○ Substitution Instance:​ argument when words are inserted in place of the letters ● Invalid argument form; All A are B, All C are B, All A are C ● Not every substitution instance of an invalid form are invalid arguments Counterexample Method​: ● A method for showing that a given argument is formally invalid by constructing a good counterexample to its argument form ● Invalid syllogisms can be proven invalid by strategically selecting three terms :cats, dogs, mammals, animals, fish” and constructing a counterexample ● Form words: all, no, some, are , not, either, or, both, and 3.1 Fallacies in General ● Fallacy:​ a defect in an argument that arises from either a mistake in reasoning or the creation of an illusion that makes a bad argument appear good (makes argument unsound or uncogent) ○ Formal fallacy:​ one that may be identified by merely examining the ​form or structure​ of an argument (occur only in deductive arguments) ■ All A are B → All C are B → All A are C ■ If A then B → B → A ■ If argument is invalid because of improper arrangement of terms, it contains a formal fallacy ○ Informal fallacies:​ those that can be detected only by examining the ​content​ of the argument ■ Calculators are made of atoms → atoms are invisible → therefore calculators are invisible find more resources at find more resources at 3.2 Fallacies of Relevance ● Fallacies of relevance:​ have premises that are logically irrelevant to the conclusion, even though the premises may psychologically be relevant ○ Must distinguish genuine evidence from forms of emotional appeal 1.​ ​Appeal to Force​: ● Appeal to force: ​occurs whenever an arguer poses a conclusion to another person and tells that person either implicitly or explicitly that some harm will come to him/her if she does not accept the conclusion ○ Sesame Street is best show on TV, and if you don't believe it, I’m going to hit you ■ Conceals premise​; if I force you to like Sesame Street, then Sesame Street really is the best show ○ Give me a raise, I’m sure you wouldn’t want your wife to know about another girl ■ Conceals premise​; if I succeed in threatening you, then I deserve a raise ○ Can be physical or psychological threat 2. Appeal to Pity​: ● Appeal to pity: ​occurs when an arguer attempts to support a conclusion by merely evoking pity from the reader or listener ○ If you give me this ticket then I cannot buy dinner for my starving children. Surely I am not guilty. 3. Appeal to the People​: ● Appeal to the people:​ uses desires such as the want to be loved, admired, valued etc to get the reader or listener to accept a conclusion ○ Direct approach​: arguer excites the emotions and enthusiasm of crowd to win acceptance for his conclusion (creating a mob mentality) ■ Appeal to fear: ​arguer trumps up fear of something in mind of crowd and uses that fear as premise for conclusion (presidential elections, red scare) find more resources at find more resources at ○ Indirect approach​: arguer aims his appeal not at the crowd as a whole but at one or more individual separately, focusing on individuals relationship to the crowd ■ Bandwagon argument:​ everybody believes such-and-such, therefore, you should believe such-and-such too ■ Appeal to vanity:​ linking love, admiration, or approval of the crowd with some famous figure who is loved, admired, or approved of ● Daniel Craig wears an omega watch. Thus, if you want to be cool like him, you will buy an omega watch ■ Appeal to snobbery:​ the crowd the arguer appeals to is a smaller group that is supposed to be superior; if listener wants to join group, they must do a certain thing or buy certain product ● Lexus 400 is not for everyone. Only those with accomplishments with acquire one. You will want to buy one to join these select few ■ Appeal to tradition: ​arguer cites something has become tradition for grounds of something (people have done it that way for a long time) ● We sing national anthem at sporting events. Therefore we should continue to sing national anthem at sporting events. ■ You want to be accepted/included in the group...Therefore, you should accept XYZ as true 4. Argument Against the Person​: ● Argument against the person: ​one arguer advances a certain argument and the other responds by directing his attention to the first person himself, not the argument (must be 2 arguers, where one is placed into bad light by the other) ○ Ad hominem abusive:​ Bill Maher argues religion is foolish nonsense. But Maher is arrogant and shameless. Obviously his arguments are worth listening to. ○ Ad hominem circumstantial: “​Of course Mr. X argues this way; just look at the circumstances that affect him.” ○ Tu quoque (“you too”):​ “How dare you argue that I should stop doing X; you have done X yourself.” (makes arguer seem hypocritical or arguing in bad faith) 5. Accident​: ● Accident:​ committed when a general rule is applied to a specific case it was not intended to cover 6. Straw Man​: ● Straw Man:​ committed when arguer distorts an opponent’s argument for the purpose of more easily attacking it, demolishes the distorted argument, then concludes that the opponent’s real argument has been demolished find more resources at find more resources at 7. Missing the Point​: ● Missing the point: ​occurs when premises of an argument support one particular conclusion, but then a different conclusion is drawn ○ Crimes of theft and robbery are on the uprise. The conclusion is obvious: we must reinstate the death penalty asap. ■ Premise supports conclusion that increased police protection should be put in place, but draws the conclusion that death penalty needs to exist 8. Red Herring​: ● Red herring: ​committed when arguer diverts attention of the reader or listener by changing the subject to a different one and making a conclusion about that subject\ ○ Straw man is where arguer distorts opponent's argument and knocks down that distorted argument, whereas, red herring, the arguer ignores opponent's argument and changes the subject ○ Straw man involves 2 arguers, red herring does not always 3.3 Fallacies of Weak Induction ● Fallacies of weak induction:​ occur because the connection between premises and conclusion is not strong enough to support conclusion 9. Appeal to unqualified Authority​: ● Appeal to unqualified authority:​ occurs when cited authority or witness lacks credibility ○ “Our family physician says muonic atoms are key to nuclear fusion reactions. Because his expertise as a physician, we must conclude that this is true.” 10. Appeal to Ignorance​: ● Appeal to ignorance:​ premises of argument state that nothing has been proved one way or the other about something, and the conclusion makes a definite assertion about that thing ○ Exception to this is when a qualified expert makes such claims find more resources at find more resources at 11. Hasty Generalization​: ● Hasty generalization:​ effects inductive generalizations; when there is likelihood that the sample is not representative of the group 12. False Cause​: ● False Cause:​ occurs whenever the link between premises and conclusion depends on some imagined causal connection that probably does not exist ○ “There are more laws on books than ever before and more crimes are being committed than ever before. Therefore we must eliminate laws.” ○ “Quality of education in schools is going down. Clearly, our teachers just aren’t doing their job these days.” (There are more than just one factor) 13. Slippery Slope​: ● Slippery slope:​ conclusion of an argument rest on an alleged chain reaction and there is no sufficient reason to think the chain reaction will actually take place. (innocent first step leads to an unlikely chain reaction ending in a disaster) ○ “If you don't make porn illegal, rape and incest will increase, which will erode the morality of society and result in even more crime. Overall, leading to the collapse of civilization.” 14. Weak Analogy​: ● Weak analogy: ​when analogy is not strong enough to support the conclusion that is drawn ○ Entity A attributes a,b,c, and z ○ Entity B attributes a,b,c ○ B has attribute z also 3.4 Fallacies of Presumption, Ambiguity, and Illicit Transference Fallacies of presumption​: ​include begging the question, complex question, false dichotomy, and suppressed evidence (premises presume what they purport to prove) 15. Begging the Questions​: ● Begging the question:​ arguer creates the illusion that inadequate premises provide
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