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Media Ethics1.docx

Course Code
PHIL 2730F/G

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Media Ethics, Philosophy 2730
What is philosophy?
- the lover of wisdom
- but for the purpose of the course like this one is the methodology by which a
philosopher gathers wisdom
- the manner by which philosophers ensure their belief are evident
Arguments can be represented as follows:
- premise(p): it was raining when I cam in to class
- p2: the weather network says the rain is expected to continue
- c: it will probably still be raining when I leave class
- practically, philosophical arguments are intended to at the very least convince
those to whom the argument is presented to accept the conclusion of the argument
as compelling or plausible
- ideally, a philosophical argument is intended to reveal some truth about the world
of the human experience that was previously unknown
How do we go about making arguments?
- identify a belief that needs to be addressed, some belief, supported by reasons,
about which there is uncertainty with respect to its accuracy, and/or ambiguity in
respect of its meaning (always a belief presented by others)
- once the belief at issue has been identified, you then articulate its flaws (supported
by good reasons), or purpose a more compelling alternative (that is more
compelling because its supported by better reasons) or both
One point we can infer from this two step outline of argument making: a good
philosopher only accepts/endorses beliefs that are supported by good reasons, example,
beliefs supported by the best possible arguments
- good reasons do not imply certainty…owing to the finite and fallible nature of
human existence, the best we can hope for is that our beliefs be supported by the
best available reasons (never use the word, “prove” in an essay)
- this unavoidable uncertainty further implies a third point: a good philosopher
needs to be a fallibilist with respect to their beliefs (be weary of anyone who
claims to know anything with absolute certainty)
while the burden of accepting beliefs only when there are good reasons is on that each
individual philosopher accepts, the means by which knowledge is acquired and developed
by humans using arguments is a collective undertaking
- the basic idea behind the collective enterprise can be traced at least back to plato.
Each of us presents our bliefs and the reasons that support those beliefs
- start by asking about the goal of the essay: a successful essay convinces all those
that read the essay that the position taken(the thesis) is the position the reader
should also take, because the reasons presented are sufficiently
- CLARITY: if I am a reader for your work, and I cannot understand what you are
trying to convince me of, you cannot convince me of anything
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