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Phil210 Midterm 1 (Chapter 1,2,3)
Terms in this set (89)
The first factor, upon which the second factor depends; the thing to which the "if" is attached.
A declaration of opinion or belief, either positive or negative.
Conjunctive statement (conjunction)
A sentence with two or more statements (conjuncts) that are joined by conjunctions such as "and" or "but."
The factor that will result, depending on what happens with the antecedent; the thing to which the "then" is attached.
Denying the antecedent
If P then Q
Therefore, not Q
Disjunctive statement (disjunction)
A sentence in which the composite statements are presented as alternatives. The word "or" can be used either inclusively (one or both of the statements is true) or exclusively (only one of the statements can be true).
1. P or Q
2. Not Q
The thinking process through which premises lead us to conclusions.
A quality that an argument possesses when it is valid and when it does, in fact, have premises that are all true.
When an argument meets the structural requirement that the conclusion is absolutely certain to be true provided all of the premises are true.
A statement (assertion, proposition, claim) is anything that can either be true or false.
An argument is something given by a particular speaker, in a given context, in order to convince an audience of a certain point.
An argument is a series of statements (premises) that are intended to lend support to a conclusion.
An argument is valid if it is not possible for the premises to all be true and the conclusion false.
The premises interrelate in order to form a single case for the conclusion.
The argument contains one or more sub-conclusions that in turn function as premises for the overall conclusion.
The premises provide multiple distinct lines of support for the conclusion.
Law of Identity
if and only if
Law of Non-Contradiction
Not both p
Law of Excluded Middle
Amounts to Double Negation Elimination:
Either p or not-p
not-not-p = p
1. P or Q
2. If P then R
3. If Q then S
4. R or S
Basic conditional statement
If P then Q.
P is the antecedent;
Q is the consequent.
If P then Q
if Q then R
Therefore, if P then R
If P then Q
If P then Q
Therefore, not P
Affirming the consequent
If P then Q
To say A is necessary for B is to say you cannot have B without A. (If B, then A)
To say A is sufficient for B is to say if you have A, then you also must have B. (If A, then B)
Q1.1. "If taxes are cut, social programs will be cut. There will be cuts to social programs. So, taxes will be cut." This argument is an example of
Affirming the consequent
Q1.2. "If taxes are cut, social programs will be cut. There will be cuts to social programs. So, taxes will be cut." This argument is valid.
False, affirming the consequent is not valid.
Q1.3. "Either Obama is a republican or he is a democrat. He is not a republican. So he must be a democrat." This argument is in the form of:
Q1.4. "Either Obama is a republican or he is a democrat. He is not a republican. So he must be a democrat." This argument is:
Sound and valid
It is a disjunctive syllogism, so it is valid. The premises are also true, so it is sound.
Q1.5. Having true premises is necessary for being valid.
False, valid arguments can have false premises.
Q1.6. Having true premises is sufficient for being sound.
Q1.7. If an argument is sound, it necessarily has a true conclusion.
If an argument is sound, it is valid and has true premises. If it is valid, then if its premises are true, so is the conclusion. So, the conclusion must be true too.
Q1.8. The truth of the conjunction "Jane is a lawyer and lives in New Jersey" is sufficient for the truth of the disjunction "Jane is a lawyer or lives in New Jersey".
Q1.9. "Dave takes the bus to work when it rains. Because before, when he would try to walk, he would always end up getting soaked when a car would drive too fast through a puddle." Is this an argument or an explanation?
Here the person saying this would not be trying to convince you that Dave walks to work, but rather explain why Dave walks to work.
Q1.10. "Obama will win the next election. Since he will only lose if he is very unpopular. But he will be unpopular only if the economy is in awful shape, and by the time of the next election we will have recovered from the recession." Is this an argument or an explanation?
The other statements give you reasons to think that the first sentence (the conclusion) is true. An explanation assumes that something is true and tries to say why it is true. An argument gives you reasons why you should believe that something is true.
An argument in which the conclusions go beyond what is expressed in the premises. This type of argument may be cogent even if it is unsound.
Finding relevant similarities between a familiar, undisputed case and another case that is being argued; drawing useful parallels between the two cases.
This is a quality of arguments that is less technical than validity and soundness, but which entails that the reasoning put forward makes sense and seems to support the conclusion.
Invalid arguments that gives you some good (although not conclusive) reasons for believing a claim.
The quality of ampliative reasoning that leaves it open to amendment. Even if inductive arguments are cogent (solid), they are still defeasible, meaning they may have to be revised or rejected if new information comes to light that doesn't support the conclusions.
Drawing upon what is known about observed cases to make conjectures about unobserved cases, when similar premises seem to apply; taking what is known about specific cases in order to come up with general conclusions.
All cases of type A so far have had feature B,
so a new case of type A will also have feature B.
Five methods developed by John Stuart Mill to explore the various levels of causation and correlation: method of agreement; method of difference; joint method of agreement and difference; method of concomitant variations; method of residues.
Deductively Valid Argument
All of the information stated in the conclusion is already implicit in the premises.
The truth of the premises is sufficient for the truth of the conclusion.
State of Information
Since new information might undermine good reasons we previously had for a claim, whether it is reasonable to believe something depends on our total state of information.
Abduction is reasoning to the best explanation. If some claim, if true, explains a lot of what we already know, then that is good reason for accepting the new claim.
Context of Discovery and Context of Justification
where the idea for a claim came from and what the evidence for it is.
A belief is credible if your total state of information counts as reason to believe it.
If the evidence points to something's being true and you choose not to believe it, or if it points to it being false and you choose to believe it anyway, then you are being unreasonable.
Method of agreement
If there is only one factor F in common between two situations in which effect E is observed, then it is reasonable to believe that F causes E.
Method of difference
If E is observed in situation S1, but not in S2, and the only relevant difference between them is that S1 has factor F and S2 does not, then it is reasonable to believe that F causes E.
Joint method of agreement and disagreement
If in a range of situations E is observed when and only when F is present, then it is reasonable to believe that F causes E.
Method of co-variation
If the degree to which E is observed is proportional to the amount of F present, then it is reasonable to conclude that F is causally related to E. (We cannot be sure is F causes E, E causes F or there is a common cause for both of them.)
Methods of residues (this applies to cases where we cannot isolate F all on its own):
If we know that G causes D (but not E), and in all cases where we see G and F we see both E and D, then we can conclude that F likely causes E.
Q2.1. A cogent argument is:
Neither sound nor valid
A cogent argument is not even intended to be valid, and no argument can be sound unless it is valid.
Q2.2. A cogent argument cannot lead from true premises to a false conclusion.
Q2.3. "Every winter for which we have data, there has been less than 400 cm of snow falling in Montreal. So this year we should expect less than 400 cm as well." This is an example of:
Here we are arguing about how the future will be on the basis of what we know about the past. This is called inductive reasoning.
Q2.4. What are some types of arguments that can be undermined without discovering that any of the premises are false?
Inductive, abductive and argument from analogy
All non-deductively valid arguments can be undermined without discovering the falsity of one of the premises.
Q2.5. If you take a jar full of pebbles of various sizes and you shake it for a long time, smaller pebbles will likely be found on the bottom of the jar and larger ones near the top. Some scientific creationists (people who hold that there are good scientific reasons for rejecting evolution in favour of a view that all animals were created at the same time) think that the reason we see smaller, simpler animals in lower levels of the fossil record is that there was some such 'hydrodynamic sorting' in a great flood event. That is, the animals we see in the lower levels of the fossil record did not live earlier than the ones we find further up, they just settled to the bottom because of their size and shape. The fact that this theory is clearly inspired by the Biblical story of the flood counts as evidence against the theory.
This is merely part of the context of discovery - it does not count as evidence for or against the theory.
Q2.6. If you take a jar full of pebbles of various sizes and you shake it for a long time, smaller pebbles will likely be found on the bottom of the jar and larger ones near the top. Some scientific creationists (people who hold that there are good scientific reasons for rejecting evolution in favour of a view that all animals were created at the same time) think that the reason we see smaller, simpler animals in lower levels of the fossil record is that there was some such 'hydrodynamic sorting' in a great flood event. That is, the animals we see in the lower levels of the fossil record did not live earlier than the ones we find further up, they just settled to the bottom because of their size and shape. The fact that certain small animals are only found in some of the upper levels of the fossil record counts as evidence against this theory.
Yes, this counts toward the context of justification. If the theory were true, we would not expect to see this.
Q2.7. In a hospital, there is an outbreak of a set of strange new symptoms. A researcher discovers that everyone who had the symptoms had been treated by some doctor who had recently come from the morgue. The researcher concludes that something about the morgue is causing the symptoms. Which of Mill's methods is being used here?
Method of agreement
The causal conclusion is based on a similarity between all of the cases.
Q2.8. Researchers discovered that IQ scores in children are related to the level of manganese in drinking water. The higher the levels of manganese, the lower the IQ scores in the children tested. These researchers are using which of Mill's methods?
Here the method of co-variation is used. The more of something that is found, the stronger the effect.
Q2.9. William Paley argued that if you found a watch, you would conclude given all its many parts working together to achieve certain purposes that it had a designer and was not simply the result of natural forces. Living things, like the watch, have many parts that work together to achieve their purpose. So, says Paley, we should conclude that living things have a designer and are not the result of natural forces. This argument is:
An argument from analogy
An analogy is being made here between the watch and living things. Paley is suggesting that what is true in one case should also hold in the other.
Q2.10. Alice goes out at 11 a.m. to mow her lawn. The street and sidewalk are dry, but the lawn is quite wet. She concludes that it must have rained during the night, but stopped early enough that the sun could dry up the paved areas. What kind of reasoning is Alice using here?
Burden of proof
When the audience is obliged to look for evidence against a claim rather than the speaker providing evidence in its favour.
Arguments that are technically invalid because they have premises that are implied but not explicitly stated.
Implicit propositions that are granted or assumed to be true, but which are actually false.
When a word or expression has more than one meaning or interpretation.
Saying that someone said something when they didn't.
Making references to alleged facts about nature when a moral question is under discussion. This is misleading because it gives the false impression that there are good naturalistic grounds backing whatever moral conclusion is proposed.
Ambiguity between related meanings of an expression.
"All", "every" and "each."
The study and use of effective communication, including cogent argumentation; the technique of using words to achieve a calculated emotional effect.
Aspects of a speaker's language that are meant to persuade, but have no bearing on the strength of the argument.
Characterized by a lack of sharp boundaries; admitting cases that are neither one thing nor the other.
A vague word that can be inserted into a claim to make it easier to escape from if it is challenged; words such as "quite", "some" and "perhaps."
Go to the party.
Are you going to the party?
You went to the party.
Ambiguity arises when a written or spoken sentence can be given two (or possibly more) distinct interpretations.
If lexical ambiguity involves two meanings that are not closely related, it is called homonomy.
An equivocation is a fallacy which plays on an ambiguity.
A claim about how things are in the world.
A claim about how things ought to be.
Q3.1. Rhetorical questions are usually used for stylistic purposes, but they can also be used to shift the burden of proof.
Rhetorical questions are usually used for merely stylistic purposes. A rhetorical question can always be rephrased as an assertion. If the speaker would not be willing to make the assertion, then there is a questionable rhetorical move behind the use of the question.
Q3.2. The sentence "Steve became somewhat angry":
Has a weasel word as a qualifier
The word "somewhat" makes it unclear what the truth condition for this sentence is.
Q3.4. The sorites paradox shows that vague terms are hopelessly unclear and are best avoided.
It is a paradox because even if they seem to have no borders at all, they still admit of clear cases. In addition, almost all terms are vague to some degree.
Q3.5. "A human fetus is just that: human. It is not a panda, giraffe or polar bear fetus. As a human, it has an obvious right to life." This passage contains:
The problem here is not one of vagueness, but of an ambiguous term. "Human" has two meanings. It can mean a human being (that is, a full individual human) or it can mean of the species human. The second sense is what we mean when we talk about human hair or human hands. I have two human hands, but they are not humans. Without the slide between these two meanings, there is not much to this argument.
Q3.6. "Cubans should work for change: Rice." This was an actual headline about Condoleezza Rice's statements concerning Cuba's future. Rice clearly meant that Cubans should work to achieve political change. However, one who is skeptical of the U.S.'s intentions toward Cuba may read it in a very different way. It would be in the U.S.'s interest to have access to a cheap labour market so close to its shores. This reading involves interpreting "change" as pocket change. This is an instance of:
This is a case of a homonomous ambiguous term. It would be hard to set up an argument that relied on an equivocation of these two senses of "change" since the meanings are so clearly different.
Q3.7. "Alice is either in her office or at the library. So she must be at the library." This argument:
Is an enthymeme
This argument is invalid as it stands, but clearly has an implicit premise. The speaker here is taking it for granted that Alice is not in her office. Once the missing premise is added, it is valid. To simply ignore what is obviously a missing premise is to give an unfair interpretation to the argument.
Q3.8. If an article presents an uninterrupted direct quotation, then you can be sure that that is what was actually said.
It could always be a misattribution (someone else said the same thing), or simply a lie.
Q3.9. Imagine that you see the following quote attributed to a politician named Johnson: "My plan includes...some tax increases...for every citizen of this state." It is quite safe to conclude that:
Johnson said nothing that has the same meaning as the quote
Because this is quite obvious quote mining it gives us evidence that no direct quote with the same meaning could be found.
Q3.10. "Rich people, as a group, have more education than the poor. They perform jobs requiring more training and skill. They also have had the chance to develop an appreciation for the finer things in life. So the economic inequalities are justified." This is an example of:
This is an example of the naturalistic fallacy. It infers a claim about how the world should be from purely descriptive claims.
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