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Lecture

Arguments and Cogency.pdf

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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHL 302
Professor
Stephen Phillips
Semester
Summer

Description
ARGUMENTS and COGENCY An argument is: A set of one or more propositions (or claims), called premises, advanced as proof or evidence for another proposition, called the conclusion. A cogent (or good) argument must meet three conditions. If any of the conditions is not met, the argument is fallacious: (a) the reasoner(s) must be warranted in believing the premises (b) the argument must proceed according to a correct principle of reasoning (c) one must argue in good faith and not suppress relevant evidence. If these three conditions are met, one is warranted, or justified, in believing the argument's conclusion. N.B. Argument layeredness. For example: Almost every known human carcinogen causes cancer in animals. Thus it is reasonable to expect that compounds that cause cancer in animals are also human carcinogens. A deductive argument: 1. All Greeks are human beings. 2. All Athenians are Greeks. 3. Therefore, all Athenians are human beings. An inductive argument: 1. X 1 X 2 X 3 . . . Charlieave red hair and hot tempers. 2. X Dianehas red hair. 3. Therefore, (probably) Diane has a hot temper. An inductive argument with a conclusion we know would be true: 1. X 1 X 2 X 3 . . . Charliere both smokey and fiery. 2. X is smokey. my house 3. Therefore, my house is fiery. MORAL REASONING Simple Case: Murder Jennifer hits Michael over the head with a baseball bat. Moral reasoning typically involves both factual and moral premises. Fact: This action was a murder. Moral principle or premise: Murder is wrong. Conclusion: This action was wrong. To justify the factual premise: 1. Murder is killing a human being with malice aforethought. (Definition) 2. Jennifer killed Michael. (Fact known by perception or another means) 3. Michael was human. (Fact) 4. Jennifer's act was premeditated and malicious. (Fact) To justify the moral principle, we may argue from above or from below. From below, we argue from instances: · This murder was wrong. · That murder was wrong. · . · . · . · Murder is wrong. From above, we argue from broader principles: we need a moral theory. Often this takes the
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