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Reason & Argument Quiz 1 Chapter 1&2


A sequence of propositions intended to establish the truth of one of the propositions. The components of an argument are its premises and conclusions


What an argument is intended to establish; the point of an argument; the proposition an argument is supposed to support


A part of an argument that is supposed to help establish the arguments conclusion

reconstructing an argument

The process of identifying the premises and conclusions in a piece or argumentative writing

evaluating an argument

the process of determining whether an argument is a good argument

argument analysis

The process of interpreting (reconstructing) and evaluating an argument

rhetorical power

The power to pursuade of convince. Arguments, as well as people, can have rhetorical power. Contrast with rational strength and literary merit.

rational strength

The degree to which something (typically an argument) provides good reason to believe somethiing. Contrast with literary merit and rhetorical power

literary merit

The quality of a piece of writing determined primarily by whether it is well-written, original, well-organized, and interesting. Contrast with rational strength and rhetorical power

rational thinker

A person who forms beliefs on the basis of available evidence and who is able to evaluate arguments carefully and accurately; a person who does not misevaluate evidence and is not subject to motivational errors

argument stopper

A response to an argument that has the effect of cutting off discussion and preventing careful argument analysis


A grammatically complete pattern of words that expresses a thought, asks a question, or issues a command

interrogative sentence

A sentence that is used to ask a question. Contrast with a declarative sentence and imperative sentence

declarative sentence

A sentence that is used to express a proposition. Contrast with imperative sentence and interrogative sentence

imperative sentence

A sentence that is used to issue a command. Contrtast with declarative sentence and interrogatice sentence

declarative sentence

A sentence that is used to express a proposition. Contrast with imperative sentence and interrogative sentence


A property of a proposition that describes things as they actually are; correspondence with the facts


A property of a proposition that does not describe things as they actually are. A false statement does not correspond to the facts


A specific instance or example of a type


A kind or sort of thing; a category of things. Instances of a type are tokens of that type

proposition (statement)

What is asserted or expressed by a declarative sentence; a statement


The situation or circumstances in which a sentence is uttered, including the person who is speakong, the time, the place, and so on

truth value

Thruth or falsity. Vague statements are sometimes said to have an indefinite or intermediate truth value


A psychological attitude of acceptance toward a statement. To believe a statement is to think that it is a true statement


A psycholgical attitude of rejection toward a statement. To disbelieve a statement is to think that it is a false statement

Suspension of judgement

A psychological attitide toward a proposition in which one has no opinion about the trith value of the proposition. To suspend kjudgement about a proposition is to fail to think that it is true and to fail to think that it is false


Reasonableness. A rational belief is a sensible or reasonable belief, that is, one that it is appropraiate to have given the evidence the believer has

Belief Principle

Whenever a person consideres any proposition, that person must believe the proposition, or disbelieve the proposition, or suspend judgement about the proposition. A person cannot at any time have more than one of these attitudes toward one proposition.

Correspondence Principal

A proposition is true just in case it describes things as they actually are. A true proposition corresponds to the facts. If a proposition says that a certain object has a particular charecteristic, then it is true just in case that object actually does have that charectersitic. A proposition is false juse in case it fails to describe things as they actually are. A false proposition says that a certain object has a particular characteristic, then it is false if that object actually does not have that charecteristic.

One Truth Value Principle

Every Proposition has exactly one truth value. It is either true or false, but not both.

Rational Belief Principle

If a person's evidence concerning a proposition supports that proposition, then it is rational for the person to believe the proposition. If the persons evidence goes against the proposition, then it is rational fo the person to disbelieve the proposition. And if the persons evidence is neutral, then it is rational for the person to suspend judgement concerning the proposition

Principal of proportional belief

It is rational to proportion the strength of ones belief to the strength of ones evidence. The stronger ones evidence for a proposition is, the stronger ones belief in it should be.


Information indicating the truth or falsity of a proposition


The doctrine that a rational belief can be false; the idea that it can be reasonable to believe something on the basis of evidence that is not entirely conclusive

conclusive evidence

Evidence for a proposition that is so strong that it guarantees that the proposition is true

motivational errors

Irrational belief resulting from motivational factors (such as strong desires) These factors can prevent proper assessments of evidence

misevaluation of evidence

mistaken views about what conclusion a body of evidence supports. This can lead to irrational beliefs

total evidence

the totality of ones evidence. Contrast with partial evidence

Strong Argument

A well formed argument whose premises are reasonable and, in the case of cogent arguments, which is not defeated by ones background evidence. The strength of an argument can vary from one person to another, depending on the persons evidence

Deductively Strong Argument

A valid argument with premises that are reasonable for a person to beleive. The deductive strength of an argument can vary from one person to another, depending on the persons evidence concerning the premises

Defeated Argument

Cogent argument with reasonable premises whose conclusion is made unreasonable for a person by the persons background evidence. Whether an argument is defeated for a person depends on that persons evidence.

Inductively Strong Argument

A cogent argument with reasonableness premises that is not defeated by ones background evidence. (The inductive strenth of an argument can vary from one person to another, depending on the persons evidence concerning the premises)

Weak Argument

An argument that is not strong because it is ill-formed, has an unreasonable premise, or is defeated.

Why should you not criticize an argument by denying its conclusion?

Once you grant that an argument is valid, the only legitimate criticism you can make of the argument is that it has at least one premise that is not reasonable to believe (or is false) You cant legitimately criticize the argument by objecting to the conclusion itself. And if the argument is valid you there is no other way the argument can fail to be strong other than by having premises that are not all justified.

Why should one not accept an argument solely because one aggrees with the conclusion and why?

because you may be tempted to accept other similar arguments and thus come to accept their conclusions when you shouldnt, since the arguments are really no good. Another reason is that you will appear to others to be a more reasonable, careful and discriminating thinker, and thus one whose views are worthy of consideration

What is the distinction between flimsy/insubstantial and substantial criticisms

An insubstantial critiism is one that may appear to be significant but actually fails to identify a real flaw in the argument such as argument stoppers

What is it to accept a generalization as a premise, and what it takes to criticize such a premise via the use of counterexamples

With a universal generalization such as all A's are B's, you just need to come up with one example of A that are not B. Ex) all students in the class have completed the assignment. If you know that Hardlee works has not completed the assignment, it is a counterexample to the generalization. A criticism to a non-universal generalization such as most as are bs, you must provide a FEW coutnerexamples

What are compound sentences and how do you evaluate them when they are used as premises ( how to determine whether they are true or false. Pay particular attention to conditionals

Compound setences are formed by combining two or more simpler sentences. Among the most common are conjunctions (P and Q) disjunctions (p or Q) and conditionals (if p then q)

Conditionals, If its tuesday we are going to have a quiz, no quiz so t & F

If P then Q

Meanings of key terms and how it may affect argument analysis, and what should be done about this. In particular, what should be done in argument analysis when it is determined that an argument makes use of an ambiguos term.

insubstantial criticism, argument stoppers, competing arguments, counterexample,compound sentences, sufficient condition, necessary condition, ambiguous, vague, incomplete sentence and implicity relative sentance.

What is the difference between ambiguity and vagueness

Ambiguous is having more than one meaning Vagueness having a meaning that is indefinite or imprecise especially as result of containing terms that have borderline cases of application

You should understand the role testimony plays in our thinking (i.e. why is thinking about testimony important ?)

Everytime you believe in something on the basis of what you read in a newspaper, book, or magazine or on the basis of what you hear from a friend or on television or radio, Three basic times to believe in sentences: Expertise, Sincerity, and the person says that its true

What is the standard pattern of testimonial arguments (specifically pattern # 3, and why patterns #1 and #2 were inadequate) and how to tell when such arguments are defeated

In most cases, if a person syas that some proposition is true, and that person is sincere in saying that the proposition is true, and that person is an expert on the subject matter of the proposition, then the proposition is true.
Arguments in standard pattern 1 barely supports the conclusion while arguments in standard pattern 2 makes it better because of sincerity, but standard pattern 3 is strongest because it involves people with expertise.

sufficient condition

A condition that is enough to guarantee the occurence of something else. A is a sufficient condition for B provided, if A is true, then B must be true as well

necessary condition

A condition that must be present for something to occur. A is a necessary condition for B just in case, if B is true, then A must be true as well

implicity relative sentence

Sentence instended to express a relation or comparizon but with one of therms of the relation or cmparizon omitted

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