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PHLA10H3 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: A Priori And A Posteriori, Possible World

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William Seager
Study Guide

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Philosophy Notes
Argument – structure of statements designed to prove some point
- Premises -> Conclusion
- Premises must be relevant to conclusion
- Relevance = the premises must give good reasons to believe the conclusion
-Only arguments are valid – not points, statements or premises
- An argument is deductively valid when – if the premises are true then the
conclusion must be true
If someone lives in Edmonton, they must live in Canada
Fred lives in Edmonton
Fred lives in Canada
Begging the question
All spiders are dangerous
Therefore, all spiders are dangerous
Valid arguments never add any information not already in the premises
Invalid arguments
- The premises are all true, but it is possible for the conclusion to be false
- Method of counterexample
No philosophers are rocks
Some philosophers are
No rocks are employed
No women are men
Some women are parents
No men are parents
Patching invalid Arguments
- By adding premises, an invalid argument can be made into a valid argument
Fish can swim
Therefore, some women are
Fish can swim
If any fish can swim, some women are
Some women are wealthy
Validity and Soundness
- A valid deductive argument is a sound argument if its premises are all true
- You can deduce something from the conclusion of a sound deductive argument
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- Two forms of debates about the quality of a deductive argument
Debate about whether the logical form is a valid
Debate about whether premises are true
Deductive –valid form (premises true, conclusion true) [can be considered sound]
Inductive – not necessarily valid, take small sample and generalize out to bigger
conclusions [can be stronger or weaker]
^ ways to make stronger – bigger sample, random sample, avoid bias
Abductive – inference to the best possible explanation [take observation and make
Surprise Principle
An observation strongly favors one hypothesis more than the other
a) If H1 were true you would expect O to be true
b) If H2 were true you would expect O to be false
Birthday Fallacy
Everybody has a birthday
So therefore there is a day that is everyone’s birthday
Response to Aquinas – everything comes to existence from something else, so
therefore there is one thing that we all come to existence from
Only Game In Town Fallacy
There is no other viable explanation so one explanation is the only viable explanation
Reductio ad Absurdum
Assume opposite of what you’re trying to prove and alter it so it becomes absurd to
prove own argument
Reductio ad Absurdum Form
If A is true then P is false
P is true
Therefore, A is false
Aquinas’ God ( APKG )
All powerful – omniscient
All knowing – omnipotent
All good – omnibenevolent
Aquinas’ Five Ways of Knowing
1. Argument of Motion
- All things are in motion and there is a necessary first mover
PROBLEM WITH ARGUMENT OF MOTION – Newton proved all objects moving will
remain moving until stopped
2. Argument of Efficient Cause
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