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PHIL 1500
Jay Drydyk

Looking for an argument? Objectives for today: • What we study: public reason • How to find arguments • How to analyze arguments • How to outline arguments • Peter Singer's arguments 250 word max. reading responses. Thoughtful response. What we study: public reason Public opinion • Attitudes about issues • What people happen to think • But not their reasons VS Public reason • Also about issues • People's reasons for thinking what they do • Reasons that could have been applied • What are the better arguments? ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------- How we study public reason 1. Looking for the arguments - for & against 2. Prescriptive arguments. (descriptive = how things are) (prescriptive = how things out to be, or what ought not to happen, wrong to do) 3. Prescriptive conclusion, both kinds of premises 4. Were going to learn to assess (which arguments are stronger?) (Can they be defended against objections?) How to find arguments *find third point in upload lecture slide. AROUND SLIDE 10* Finding arguments begins with noticing when people are arguing By arguing we mean attempting to convince. • Others trying to convince you. • You trying to convince others. An argument (definition #1) A set of claims, in which • Some (premises) are used in an attempt • To convince someone that another claim (the conclusion) is true An argument (definition #2) A set of claims, in which • Some (premises) give reason for • another claim (the conclusion) 'Giving reason for...' Does claim A give reason for Claim B? • Ask: Why is B true? Why should I believe B? • If claim A answers the question, then claim A is giving reason for claim B. • Example: • B: Pat is female. • A: She is my sister. Is this an argument? • Philosophy is the most important subject you can study at university. It will help you to reason better, which will help you to do better in many other classes. Italics = conclusion. Underline = Answer, give reason for the first. • You can tell that economics students are smart. They get high-paying jobs, and they always dress well. Italics = conclusion. Underline = Premises. Example of poor arguments. • Follow the directions for using this medicine provided by your doctor. This medicine may be taken on an empty stomach or with food. Store this medicine at room temperature, away from heat and light. Not an argument, just instructions. • Why don't you ever call me? What's wrong? Don't you love your mother? Where did I go wrong? Questions are not true or false, they are questions. Not an argument. An argument consists of claims. • Claims have truth-values. • Other types of sentences do not consist of true or false. Sometimes authors signal arguments with verbal clues. • If all human beings had a definite set of rules of conduct by which to regulate their lives, then they would be no better than machines. But there are no such rules, so human beings cannot be machines. • Accordingly, consequently, ergo, hence, it follows that, so, therefor, thus usually means a conclusion is next which means they stated a argument. Other verbal clues mark premises. • Mankind... have never understood the power of Eros. For if they had understood him, they would surely have built noble temples and altars, and offered solemn sacrifices in his honor, but this is not done. - Play, Symposium • As, as shown by, because, considering that, due to the fact that, follows from, for, in that, inasmuch as
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