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Final

PHIL 2003 Final: Final Study Guide
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5 Pages
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Fall 2016

Department
Philosophy
Course Code
PHIL 2003
Professor
Ken Ferguson
Study Guide
Final

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Term
Definition/explanation
In-text Exercises
Refers to ___ Exam
Question
Define
Pseudoscience…
-Definition: is an imitation science that doesn’t use reliable
scientific methods of inquiry
Pg 94-100 (mainly Pg
98-100)
10-2, 10-3, 10-8, 10-9,
10-10
Hypothesis plausibility AND
explain why (Part II)
Inference to the best
explanation
-Determines the most plausible (not just possible)
-The pattern of inference: phenomenon P exists —> E is the most
plausible explanation for the existence of P = it is likely that E is
true
-Ex.: there’s water on my window —> it probably rained BUT I
could say someone must have thrown water on my window
Pg 101-108
Part: II
Define
Criteria of
Adequacy…
Criteria used to evaluate possible explanations
Consistency
(C of A)
-Internal consistency: the theory/explanation is not contradicting
-External consistency: the theory is consistent with all the facts
that have to be explained
Testability
(C of A)
-It must be possible to determine whether the explanation is true
or false
-Needs to be possible in principle not practice (ex. physics)
Fruitfulness
(C of A)
-Fruitful theories predict new phenomena OR leads to other
explanations of the hypothesis (which are found empirically true)
Explanatory Scope
(C of A)
-The more phenomena a theory explains the more plausible it is
Simplicity
(C of A)
-The best explanation is the simplest
-Makes the least assumptions
Conservativism
-A theory should agree with confirmed background beliefs and
theories
Formula for
Evaluating
Explanations…
1. State the explanation AND check for internal/external
consistency
2. Assess evidence for the explanation
3. Identity alternative possible explanations
4. Apply C of A t competing explanations to see which is best
Inductive Reasoning/
Argument
Pg 111-122
8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.8, 8.9, 8.10
Identify arguments as…
AND evaluate as strong or
weak. If the argument
commits a fallacy
described in the
weaknesses or a causal
fallacy identify it (Part III)
Enumerative
Inductions (inductive
generalization)
-Argument goes from premises about observed instances to a
conclusion about the group as a whole or an unobserved
member
-Ex.: X is a raven and X is black —> Y is a raven and Y is black
—> no non-black ravens have been observed = all ravens are
black
-Problems (weakness): small sample size, sample isn’t
representative (“self-selecting”), opinion polls, etc.
Statistical Syllogisms
-When we have good but incomplete knowledge of a group of
people but we reach a conclusion about a member of the group
-Form: most A are B —> X is an A —> therefore X is a B
-Pattern: a proportion X of group M have characteristic P —>
individual S is a member of M = individual S has characteristic P
(in cases where the proportion of X of M that have P is 100%,
the argument is deductive)
-Problems (weakness): how accurate is the generalization? word
use (some v. many v. most), how typical is the individual of the
group?
Argument from
Analogy
-Analogy: comparison of one thing to another
-Literary analogy: comparisons that don’t have an argument (ex.
box of chocolates)
-Form: A is similar to B as having 1, 2, 3 —> A also has additional
quality N = B also has quality N
-Ex. William Paley design for the existence of God
-Problems (weakness): begging the question (etc), number and
relevance of similarities/dissimilarities, number of instances,
diversity of cases
-Plausible/convincing : if it significantly raises the probability that
the conclusion in question is true
How convincing is the
argument? (Part IV)

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Description
Term Definition/explanation In-text Exercises Refers to ___ Exam Question Define - Definition: is an imitation science that doesn’t use reliable Pg 94-100 (mainly Pg Hypothesis plausibility AND Pseudoscience… scientific methods of inquiry 98-100) explain why (Part II) 10-2, 10-3, 10-8, 10-9, 10-10 Inference to the best - Determines the most plausible (not just possible) Pg 101-108 Part: II explanation - The pattern of inference: phenomenon P exists —> E is the most plausible explanation for the existence of P = it is likely that E is true - Ex.: there’s water on my window —> it probably rained BUT I could say someone must have thrown water on my window Define Criteria used to evaluate possible explanations Criteria of Adequacy… Consistency - Internal consistency: the theory/explanation is not contradicting (C of A) - External consistency: the theory is consistent with all the facts that have to be explained Testability - It must be possible to determine whether the explanation is true (C of A) or false - Needs to be possible in principle not practice (ex. physics) Fruitfulness - Fruitful theories predict new phenomena OR leads to other (C of A) explanations of the hypothesis (which are found empirically true) Explanatory Scope - The more phenomena a theory explains the more plausible it is (C of A) Simplicity - The best explanation is the simplest - (C of A) Makes the least assumptions Conservativism - A theory should agree with confirmed background beliefs and theories Formula for 1. State the explanation AND check for internal/external Evaluating consistency Explanations… 2. Assess evidence for the explanation 3. Identity alternative possible explanations 4. Apply C of A t competing explanations to see which is best Inductive Reasoning/ Pg 111-122 Identify arguments as… Argument 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.8, 8.9, 8.10 AND evaluate as strong or weak. If the argument commits a fallacy described in the weaknesses or a causal fallacy identify it (Part III) Enumerative - Argument goes from premises about observed instances to a Inductions (inductive conclusion about the group as a whole or an unobserved generalization) member - Ex.: X is a raven and X is black —> Y is a raven and Y is black —> no non-black ravens have been observed = all ravens are black - Problems (weakness): small sample size, sample isn’t representative (“self-selecting”), opinion polls, etc. Statistical Syllogisms - When we have good but incomplete knowledge of a group of people but we reach a conclusion about a member of the group - Form: most A are B —> X is an A —> therefore X is a B - Pattern: a proportion X of group M have characteristic P —> individual S is a member of M = individual S has characteristic P (in cases where the proportion of X of M that have P is 100%, the argument is deductive) - Problems (weakness): how accurate is the generalization? word use (some v. many v. most), how typical is the individual of the group? Argument from - Analogy: comparison of one thing to another How convincing is the Analogy - Literary analogy: comparisons that don’t have an argument (ex. argument? (Part IV) box of chocolates) - Form: A is similar to B as having 1, 2, 3 —> A also has additional quality N = B also has quality N - Ex. William Paley design for the existence of God - Problems (weakness): begging the question (etc), number and relevance of similarities/dissimilarities, number of instances, diversity of cases - Plausible/convincing : if it significantly raises the probability that the conclusion in question is true Components of - Subject: what the argument is trying to make a conclusion about Argument from - Analogue: the thing the subject is being compared to Analogy - Similarities: between the subject and the analogue - Target property: the property of the subject one is trying to establish Scientific Method - Definition: tries to minimize the effects of things that can interfere Pg 94-108 Scientific method and Dr with the goal of arri
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