Philosophy 1100 Chapters 2-4.docx

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Memorial University
PHIL 1100
Arthur Sullivan

Philosophy 1100: Critical Thinking Summarized Class Notes Dan Kalbhenn PHIL 1100 Arthur Sullivan Chapter 2  To evaluate an argument you must: Step 1: isolate conclusion and premises Step 2(a): identify the exact content of the premises and conclusion Step 2(b): identify the structure of the argument  Step 1: isolate conclusion and premises 1. To standardize an argument is to explicitly set apart its conclusion and its premises. This will involve omitting irrelevant and repetitive material, and adding implicit material. (See the table on p.31, Note that identifying the conclusion comes first)  Step 2(a): identify the exact content of the premises and conclusion 1. What is implicit, and why? (41-8) 2. Rhetorical question (35): Not a request for information, but rather a way of making a statement 3. Scope, degree of commitment, etc. (36)  Step 2(b): identify the structure of the argument 1. Sub-arguments (24-8) 2. Linked vs. Convergent premises (38) 3. Linear structure (27-8): A succession of one premise subarguments.  Three important parts of Ch2:  22-37: Standardizing – what is the C? what are the P‘s?  37-40: Patterns – how exactly are the P‘s interrelated?  41-48: Unstated Ps and Cs – filling in what is left unsaid Chapter 3  A condition, language- sometimes both arguers and evaluators can be lured into thinking that something has been justified, when the persuasive burden is, to some extent, carried by the particular choice of words.  Emotionally charged language, euphemism, ambiguity, vagueness I. ECL expresses a positive or negative evaluative attitude about what is being described: e.g., terrorist vs. freedom fighters II. The point is not that ECL is always irrational, illogical, illegitimate. Rather, this is something that the critical thinker needs to develop a good nose for.  Euphemism is the opposite of ECL. To use a euphemism is to use an inappropriately bland and neutral term, to try to hide or obscure something brutal or embarrassing: e.g., ‗collateral damage‘, ‗friendly fire‘, ‗pre-enjoyed‘  Ambiguous: having more than one meaning  Fallacy of equivocation: an argument that persuades by sliding illicitly between two different meanings of an ambiguous term  Vague: lacking precision in meaning: e.g., ―This government is prepared to do whatever it takes to deal with this issue effectively.‖  Five tool
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