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Chapter 1

PHL 214 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Loarn Mac Eirc


Department
Philosophy
Course Code
PHL 214
Professor
James Cunningham
Chapter
1

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PHL214 – CHAPTER 1 NOTES
Chapter One: Identifying Arguments
Our ultimate goal in studying critical thinking is to learn to evaluate arguments
Arguments: Attempt to justify or prove a conclusion
Conclusion: What the argument is trying to make you believe
Premises: The reasons for accepting a claim
Indicator words:
Can help you recognize arguments
Although some arguments do not have indicator words
The decision is made on the basis of the content and context of the passage
oFor Conclusions:
Thus, therefore, hence, so, it follows that, shows that, indicates that, proves that,
then, etc.
oFor Premises:
For, since, because, for the reason that, on the grounds that, follows from
Questions for arguments:
A passage is an argument if you answer, “yes” to both of these questions:
Is it trying to convince me of something?
Are reasons given to convince me?
Propositions: The content or meaning of a sentence. It is important to isolate propositions to discover the
structure of an argument
Simple propositions: Every simple proposition must
Express a complete thought
Express only one complete thought
Be able to be either true or false
Compound proposition:
Expresses more than one thought (containing if, unless, or, and, etc) one piece of the sentence
wont make sense on its own
Asserted: Stating something – Economics is easy (asserted)
Un-asserted: When you’re not asserting anything
Explanations: are sometimes difficult to distinguish from an argument
Give you reasons why something is true
Tell you why things are as they are
Where as…
Arguments:
Give you reasons why you should believe something is true
Tell you how things are
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