PHL 145 Chapter 5: PHL145 Book Notes - Ch5
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PHL145 Book Notes
Chapter 5 – Deep Analysis
•Tangents: “fluff” of an argument; going off topic in an argument (sometimes done
on purpose to complicate an argument) – trick of excess verbiage
•Repetition – could be a mistake or could be to strengthen the argument or to
assure a certain point
•Guarding – pulling down your argument a notch to allow sailing over any
•Assuring – phrases to avoid giving reasons for an argument e.g. “Trust me when I
•Clarifying crucial terms – always clarify the extent, number and context of any
words used in a sentence if you don’t want the addressee to imply it
•X Y Z is a linear argument, where X y is a sub-argument
•X Y, X’ Y is a branching argument
•X + Y Z is a joint argument
•Real life arguments are rarely completely explicit; involve a lot of assumptions
•Modus ponens – conditional + affirming the conditional = conclusion
•Process of elimination – ‘p or q or r or s’ + ‘not p’ + ‘not q’ + ‘not r’ = s
•Validity is a good feature of a deductive argument
•Inductive arguments don’t have to have validity
•Soundness – argument is valid + premises are true; so conclusion is true
•Suppressed premises – premises that are not explicit but need to be assumed to
make an argument valid
•Enthymematic – arguments that rely on suppressed premises to be valid
•Contingent Facts – facts that can be disputed but are generally true. They can be
implied of not explicitly stated otherwise
•Reconstructing an argument
1. Do a close analysis of the passage containing the argument.
2. List all explicit premises and the conclusion in standard form.
3. Clarify the premises and the conclusion where necessary.
4. Break up the premises and the conclusion into smaller parts where this
5. Arrange the parts of the argument into a chain or tree of sub-arguments where
this is possible.
6. Assess each argument and sub-argument for validity.
7. If any argument or sub-argument is not valid, or if it is not clear why
it is valid, add suppressed premises that will show how to get from the
premises to the conclusion.
8. Assess the truth of the premises.
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