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Chapter 2

Phil-XX1 - Chapter 2 Notes (Textbook + Lectures)

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Simon Fraser University
PHIL 105

Chapter 2 TextbookLecturesPhilXX1Understanding arguments means paying special attention to languageHow does langue capture transmit preserve and lose meaning Ambiguitythe capacity of being understood in two or more ways can occur at any meaningful level of languageLiterature ambiguity allows for richness of interpretations and readingsCan get in the way of communicating information Ambiguity complicates the understanding of arguments We should note whether expressions have the same sense each time they occur in the argument Ambiguous expressions with different meanings in a single argument can compromise the ability of the premises to support the conclusionUsing ambiguous terms to confuse or deceive is called equivocationFallacy of equivocation occurs when the force of an argument depends of shifts of meaning even when there is no intent to deceiveAmphiboly ambiguity in the sentence structure rather than a single term can occur when commas or modifiers are omitted or misplacedRelative terms ambiguities through use of adjectives a large mouse is not a large animal Ambiguity can occur when shifting the accent or emphasis on certain wordsAmbiguities can be valuable and useful Poetry PunsUnivocal terms solve the problem of ambiguityVagueness An expression is vague if borderline cases for its application occur It is unclear at what age young is no longer applicable and middleaged isVagueness also arises when several criteria exist for application of a term Similar to ambiguous terms in having more than one meaning different in that the meanings overlapLack of specificity Examples Religion democracy etc 1
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