Philosophy_Unit 1_Writing Philosophy_ ch1-5_Notes.docx

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Jennifer Nagel

Writing Philosophy Philosophy Notes: Ch. 1  What is philosophy? o A discipline, field of inquiry  Examines the most fundamental beliefs  Worldview o Is a set of fundamental ideas that help us make sense of a wide range of important issues in life  Defines for us what exists, what should be, what we can know  Argument o NOT a hearted disagreement. It is a statement or claim, couples w/ other statements that are meant to support it  Statement meant to be supported is the conclusion  Statement meant to do the supporting are the premises  Premises are meant to provide reasons for believing that conclusion is true. o Good arguments:  Gives us good reasons for accepting a conclusion o Bad arguments:  Fails to provide good reasons o Believing a statement for good reasons increases your chances of uncovering truth  Divisions of philosophy o Metaphysics  Study of reality  Fundamental nature of the universe & the things in it. Ex. is there a God? o Axiology  Study of value  Both aesthetic & moral value o Questions of interest: What makes an action right/wrong? (Page 6) o Epistemology  Study of knowledge  Questions of interest: Does knowledge require certainty? (Page 6) o Logic  Study of inference patterns.  Questions of interest: what is the nature & structure of deductive arguments? (Page 6)  Writing/Reading philosophy o Rule 1-1  Approach text w/ open mind o Rule 1-2  Read actively &critically  Cant be rushed, take your time o Rule 1-3  Identify the conclusion first, then the premises  Finding the main conclusion, thus find out the central point of the essay. Finding out the supporting premises become easier o Rule 1-4  Outline, paraphrase, or summarize the argument  In your own words! o Paraphrase; create own accurate replica of the argument (accurately encapsulate its main points) o Summary; paraphrase & condense (fewer words then the original) o Rule 1-5  Evaluate the argument & formulate a tentative judgment  Make an informed judgment about what you read o Assessment; whether the conclusion follows the premises & if the premises are true Ch. 2  How to read an argument o Arguments can gave more then one premise o Sometimes a premise or even the conclusion goes unstated  Indicator words o Conclusion  Consequently, thus, as a result (page 29) o Premise  In view of the fact, because, due to the fact that (Page 29) o These are telltale signs (do not guarantee the presence of conclusions & premises)  Judging Arguments o Rule 2-1  Know the basics of Deductive & Inductive arguments  Deductive arguments aim to offer logically conclusive support for their conclusions. o If this type of arg. Manages this task= valid (doesn’t mean true). If it fails= Invalid o Valid: Premises are true, Conclusion= True  If p, then q. p. Therefore, q. o Valid deductive arg. That has true premises= Sound  Inductive arguments intend to support their conclusions, but w/ less than 100% certainty. o If it succeeds in providing support = strong  Strong= the premise are true, it is probable (but not certain) that conclusion= true  Strong inductive arg. w/ true premises= cogent  A cogent inductive argument can have a false conclusion o If it files= weak  Weak= fails to provide such support o These arguments cannot guarantee the truth of their conclusions as deductive argument can o Inductive arg. Are evaluated as strong or weak o Rule 2-2  Determine whether the conclusion follows from the premises  If the conclusion doesn’t follow from the premises, the argument cant give you any good reasons to accept the conclusion (argument=bad even if the premise is true) [page 33]  If p, then q. p. Therefore, q.  This kind of argument (Argument 9/page 33) is known as Conditional (or Hypothetical)  Contains at least one conditional premise, which has an if-then structure: If p, then q. o The first half (the if part) is called the antecedent o The second part (the then part) is called the consequent  Valid Conditional Argument Forms: [page 35]  Affirming the Antecedent (Modus Ponens)
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