SSH 105 Exam Notes

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Social Sciences and Humanities
SSH 105
Andrew Hunter

SSH EXAM NOTES Chapter one: Key concepts o Argument - Set of sentences that consists of premises that support the conclusion o Conclusion - Statement that is supported by a premise(s) o Premise - Statement used to support a conclusion o Critical thinking - Systematic (b/c it involves procedures and methods) evaluation or formulation of beliefs or statements by rational standards o Explanation vs. argument - An explanation tells you why something happened - An argument tells you why you should believe something happened - Arguments have something to prove meanwhile explanations do not o Inference - The process of reasoning from a premise(s) to a conclusion based on those premises - the move from premise(s) to conclusion(s) o Statement/ assertion (claim) - Assertion that something is or is not the case o Indicator words - Words that help indicate whether or not it is a conclusion or a premise - Conclusion indicators: thus, therefore, hence, entails, etc - Premise indicators: since, because, for, as, etc Chapter two: Category one impediment- why you think (psychological) o Self-interested thinking  Accepting claims solely because it advances our own beliefs  How can we avoid self-interested thinking?  Be aware when things get personal (when becoming emotional)  Beware urge to change opinion to save face  Be alert to ways critical thinking can be undermined (self-centred thinking)  Make sure everything has been considered  Avoid selective attention  Avoid confirmation bias by looking at opposing evidence o Group thinking  Peer pressure - believing claims because the majority believes in it  FALLACY- argument that is common and defective  Appeal to popularity - arguing a claim because the majority of masses believe in it  Appeal to common practice - arguing a claim because it occurs often  Appeal to tradition - arguing a claim because it is part of a tradition  Genetic fallacy - arguing a claim because of its origin even if it is not reliable o Stereotyping -drawing conclusions without enough reasoning Category two impediment - how you think (philosophical) o Subjectivism - Propositions that have no truth value o Analyst - propositions have truth value o Relativism  Subjective - truth value solely depending on what subject believes - accept notion or try to support it  considered subjective fallacy * Truth is relative to individual * If we can make a statement true just by believing it true we would be infallible We could not possibly be in error for anything we sincerely believe * Critics believe that the biggest issue with subjective relativism is that it’s self- defeating (truth implies its falsity)  Social - truth value depends on society - objections:  Implausible  Intolerant views  Self-defeating * belief that different societies are all equal * social relativism is objective o Skeptic - Objective truths - Questions everything because there is never enough evidence - Philosophical skepticism  when we know much less or nothing at all - Philosophical skeptic  thinkers who raise doubts about how much we know Knowledge- justified true belief o Different uses of knowledge  Knowledge by aquintance  Knowledge (how)  Propositional knowledge - Belief - Truth - Justification Worldview o Philosophy of life o Set of fundamental ideas that help make sense of a wide range of important issues in life o Defines for us what exists, what should be, what we can know Chapter three: New key concepts o Sub-argument - Argument within an argument o Sub- conclusion - Arguments contain sub-arguments - The conclusion of the sub-argument acts as the premise in support of the final conclusion o What does it mean to say that an argument is valid? - Argument is valid if and only if its impossible for all the premises to be true and the conclusion to be false - Valid argument provides the strongest logical support for its conclusion - Valid argument may include:  True premises true conclusion  False premises true conclusion  False premises and false conclusion *impossible for a valid argument to have true premises and false conclusion o Deductive argument - intended to provide conclusive support (premises) for its conclusion  Valid - Successfully prides conclusive support  True premises with true conclusion  False premises with true conclusion  False premises with false conclusion * True premises CANNOT lead to false conclusion because it’s truth- preserving  Invalid - fails to provide conclusive support  True premises with false conclusion o Inductive argument - intended to provide probable support (premises) for its conclusion  Strong - succeeds in providing probable support for its conclusion  If premises are true the conclusion is probably true  Weak - fails to provide probably support * Since it is not guaranteed to be true inductive arguments are not truth preserving o Sound Argument - Deductively valid argument with true premises o Cogent argument - Inductively strong argument with all true premises o Necessary vs. Sufficient  Antecedent expresses sufficient condition while consequent expresses a necessary  Necessary condition - Condition for the occurrence of an event without which the event cannot occur  Sufficient condition - Condition for the occurrence of an event that guarantees that the event occurs o Argument Patterns  Affirming the antecedent/ modus ponens (valid) pq p ∵ q  Affirming the consequent (invalid) pq q ∵ p  Hypothetical syllogism (valid) p q q  r ∵ p r  Disjunctive syllogism (valid) p v q ~ p ∵ q  Denying the antecedent (invalid) p  q ~ p ∵ ~ q  Denying the consequent/ modus tollens (valid) p  q ~ q ∵ ~ p Chapter four: Conflicting claims - when claims conflict we can’t believe both: 1. Doubt a claim that conflicts with other claims that we already have good reason to accept - When new claims conflict with old justified claims, we have good reasons to reject the new claim * Not justified to believe either clai
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