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Chapter 1

PHL 214 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Loarn Mac Eirc

Course Code
PHL 214
James Cunningham

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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…
Give you reasons why you should believe something is true
Tell you how things are
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