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Chapter 2

PHI 1101 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: If....


Department
Philosophy
Course Code
PHI 1101
Professor
Mark Brown
Chapter
2

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CHAPTER 2:
Simple Arguments: Standard Form.
We can put simple arguments (arguments with only one inference) into standard form
just by listing the premises one after another, drawing a line, then stating the conclusion.
EXAMPLE:
Strikes by public employees are illegal.
The teachers at PS 197 are public employees.
----------------------------------------------------
The strike by the teachers at PS 197 is illegal
Complex Arguments: Standard Form:
All the evidence suggests that our children in the United States will not enjoy the
economic prosperity that we have come to take for granted. At home, increased
entitlement programs and ballooning deficits entail that the next generation will be
burdened with a heavy national debt that they will have to pay for out of their taxes.
Meanwhile, since the economies of places like China and India are expanding at an
unparalleled rate, these countries are likely to overtake us on the list of the worlds
wealthiest in the next few decades.
To exhibit the structure of this complex argument in standard form:
1- Arrange the claims so the premises come before the conclusion they support. Do this
for both intermediate conclusions and the final one.
2- Number the premises and conclusions in revised order.
3- After each conclusion, write the number of the premise(s) that supports it.
The structure of an argument represented in this way is immediately clear. A line without
a number on its right is a premise; a line with a number on its right is a conclusion.
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1. The United States is experiencing an increase in entitlement programs and ballooning
deficits. (premise)
2. The next generation will be burdened with a heavy national debt that they will have to
pay for out of their taxes. (conclusion)1
3. The economies of places like China and India are expanding at an unparalledled rate.
(premise)
4. These countries are likely to overtake us on the list of the worlds wealthiest in the
next few decades. (conclusion)3
5. Our children in the United States will not enjoy the economic prosperity that we have
come to take for granted. (conclusion) 2, 4
Diagrams:
Consider this simple argument:
[Most people classifies as poor are employed.]1 Thus, {talk of welfare chiselers is
unjustified.}2
Most people classified as poor are employed
Talk of welfare chiserlers is unjustified.
1
2
- the arrow indicates that the firt statement is given as a reason for the second.
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