[PHI 101] - Midterm Exam Guide - Ultimate 39 pages long Study Guide!

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PHI 101
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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Deduction
Deductive inference is a mode of inference- a kind of reason
o Allows us to construct arguments with the same skeleton
o If you construct arguments in a particular way, you get an absolute certainty that
your conclusion is true
Truth of the conclusion is a consequence of the truth of the premises
What is stated in conclusion is really already stated in your
premises
Components of an argument
o Premises
Statements/propositions expressed by declarative sentences
Assumed to be true but can be either true or false
From their truth, conclusion should follow
o Conclusion
Statement Expressed by a declarative sentence
Deductively valid arguments
o Ex:
All men are mortal (True)
Socrates was a man (True)
Socrates is mortal (True)
o Gives you an absolute guarantee that the conclusion is true
o Validity: IF the premises WERE true, their truth would provide an absolute
guarantee that the conclusion is true
o Premises and conclusions do not have to be true to be valid
Valid argument with false premises and conclusion
All plants are ladders
All ladders have minds
All plants have minds
o Definition of validity is a technical definition
In everyday language, valid means correct
You can’t say an idea is valid in philosophy
In philosophy, validity is solely a property of deductive arguments
If you can find a conclusion that is false even though the premises are true, the argument
is invalid. If the premises do not guarantee the conclusion, the argument is invalid.
o Test for invalidity
Step one: Ignore the content
Isolate the logical structure
Step Two: is there any circumstance under which the conclusion could be
false when the premises are true
o Example
If Jones stands under the heavy rain with at an umbrella, Jones will get
wet.
Jones is wet
Jones was standing under the heavy rain without an umbrella.
Jones could have gotten wet by other means
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Validity is not enough to construct a rational and persuasive argument
o Goal of arguments is to be rationally persuasive
o Circular arguments
Arguments that beg the question
One person is calling the other person out for engaging in circular
reason
An argument where the conclusion is already assumed to be true in the
premises
Conclusion appears as a premise
They are valid arguments, but they are also bad arguments because they
are not rationally persuasive
Ex:
Lemons are yellow
Conclusion: lemons are yellow
Ex:
Premise: The brain is divisible (True)
Premise: The mind is indivisible (True?)
Conclusion: The mind and the brain are not identical.
Will not convince anybody that the conclusion is true
“true for me” just means you believe something; you believe the proposition is true
o Misleading
o Involves misuse of the truth predicate
Review question:
If p, then q If p, then q If P, then Q If P, then Q
P Q Not-p Not Q
Therefore, Q Therefore, P Therefore, Not-Q Therefore, not P
Valid Invalid Invalid Valid
Example 2 is called affirming the consequent (logical fallacy)
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