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Mid-Term Exam Notes.docx

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Western University
Philosophy 1200
Ryan Robb

Thursday December 5 2013 MidTerm Exam Notes FIRST OF ALL Review Propositions are ideas that are expressed in declarative sentences things that can be shown to be true or false Every argument contains at least 2 propositions a conclusion and premiseWide set of beliefsweb of beliefsDraw on beliefs form assumptionAssumption is an intentionally undefended propositionRemember audiencesWhen dealing with a sympathetic audience you wont need strong set of reasons When dealing with a hostile audience strong arguments are neededWhen the audience doesnt have a special interest they are called a universal audience and you will just need to present the best reason availableBIASES LegitimateIllegitimateBiases are preferences for or against a point of viewIt is usually the result of assumptions that favour other specific kinds of conclusions over othersEvery argument features a bias bc it is unavoidableIt is important that a bias doesnt outweigh reasons in an argument Important to still look at other points of view instead of quickly accepting a conclusion bc of bias A bias is illegitimate if it outweighs the reasons presented If a person accepts an argument that satisfies their bias this is illegitimateIf weak logical connections between premise and conclusiona vested interest is when the outcome of an argument stands to benefit on the arguers behalf This is caused by biasDoesnt guarantee poor reasoning but provides grounds for questionable arguments presented by people with such interests high likelihood of illegitimate bias can be motivated by desire for power fame revenge money etc EXAMPLE When industries pay lobbyists and donate money to politicians we can assume that their arguments for the special treatment contain illegitimate biasA direct form of vested interest is conflict of interestwhen someone needs to make a decision knowing they can directly benefit from it An example of a conflict of interest is when someone such as ministry of finance can benefit themselves or benefit the company moreWe must be aware of our own biases and the biases of others bc others can threaten good critical thinking by 1
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