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PHIL433 - Argument and Philosophical Methodology.docx

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University of British Columbia
PHIL 433
Doran Smolkin

Argument and Philosophical Methodology Argument: A set of at least two claims one of which is the conclusion. Any other claims in the set are premises. The conclusion is the claim that one is trying to prove, and the premises are the reasons offered in support of the conclusion Valid Argument: An argument in which it is impossible for all of the premises to be true and the conclusion false. In order words, if all of the premises are true, the conclusion MUST be true. Invalid Argument: An argument intended to be deductive but with premises that fail to guarantee that the conclusion is true. In an unvalid argument, the conclusion could be false even if all the premises are true. Sound Argument: A valid argument where all of the premises are true. Unsound Argument: An argument which either contains a false premise, or is logically invalid, or both. Moral Argument: An argument in support of a substantive moral claim. Thought Experiment: An example developed to prove or disprove a particular claim or argument or to persuade us of the plausibility of a thesis. Counter Example: An example that is intended to counter a given claim or argument Reflective Equilibrium: For many, it is the end point of a process of philosophical deliberation. It involves going back and forth between principles and what they imply about specific cases to attain a state of coherence or consistency among the moral principles we a
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