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PHI 1101 Chapter Notes -Pathos, Relativism, F 17 Kallinge

Course Code
PHI 1101
Sascha Maicher

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PHI 1101 Chapter 1 09/11/2013
Critical thinking:
Determines what information is or isn’t important
Distinguishes between rational and emotional claims
Separates fact from opinion
Recognizes the ways in which the evidence could be limited or compromised
Spots deception and holes in others’ arguments
Presents his or her own analysis of the information
Recognizes logical flaws in his/her own argument
Draws connections between discrete sources of data
Attends to contradictory, ambiguous or inadequate information instead of ignoring it
Constructs arguments rooted in data rather than opinion
Selects the strongest set of supporting data
Avoids overstated conclusions
Identifies holes in evidence and suggests additional information to collect
Recognizes that the problem may have no clear problem or solution
Proposes other options and weighs them in the decision-making process
Considers all affected parties in making a decision
Articulates the argument and context for the argument
Avoid extraneous elements in the arguments development
Presents evidence in an order that contributes to a persuasive argument

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Propositional: something that can be expressed in a declarative sentence. (The grass is green)
Beliefs, judgments and opinions can be used interchangeably.
Claim: an assertion that can be true or false
Statement, proposition, distinct from subjective opinions (I like Purple the best)
Objective claim: a claim that is true or false regardless of other peoples’ opinions of it.
The world is round
The grass is green
Obama is president
Florida is farther than the moon (objective but wrong)
Subjective Claim: a claim which its value of true or false is dependent on peoples’ opinion.
I like Taylor Swift
Kayla likes John Mayer
Katie hates broccoli
Snowboarding is more fun than skating
You can’t argue it—no amount of evidence is going to change or prove it
Moral subjectivism: the belief that whether something is good or bad cannot be said for sure and for
Issue: when a claim is called into question
It’s important to know what the issue is so that you can find evidence for or against it and actually engage in
an argument about the issue
Argument: when one sets forth reasons for either accepting or rejecting a claim
Consists of two parts: the premise, which is intended to provide a reason for accepting the other, the
Premise: a reason for accepting a claim

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Can only offer support if the premise is true and relevant to the conclusion
Can include:
Imperical facts
Moral truths
Differnet types of premises are needed for different types of arguments
If there is not any evidence, there is no real question—it’s not a claim that can be sensibly answered
Premises provide evidences by:
Being relevant to the conclusion
Being evidence independently
Being evidence dependently
Being true
Conclusion: the claim
Explanations: account of causal events—a description of something (the bird makes a nest in a tree
because then the bears won’t get at it)
Persuasion: when the goal is to change someone’s opinion, doesn’t always worry about truth
Belief Bias: the tendency to evaluate reasoning by how believable its conclusion seems
Heuristics: general rules we unconsciously follow in estimating probabilities
Availability heuristic: things that seem more or less frequent based on how many examples we can
think of at the time (Oh yeah heart disease is really rampant—I mean, I know 5 people who have had heart
attacks this year alone)
False consensus effect: the tendency to believe that the views and opinions we have and that are
held by the people around us are shared by many
Bandwagon effect: the unconscious tendency to align one’s own beliefs and actions with those of the
general population
Books with “bestseller” written on it
Box office smash hits
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