Logic & Critical Thinking Exam #1 Study Guide
Logic & Critical Thinking Exam #1 Study Guide Phil 1313
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This 6 page Study Guide was uploaded by carmen.bobbie33 Notetaker on Monday September 19, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to Phil 1313 at Oklahoma State University taught by Dr. Drohan in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 39 views. For similar materials see Logic and Critical Thinking in Philosophy (introduction to bioethics) at Oklahoma State University.
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Date Created: 09/19/16
Logic & Critical Thinking Dr. Drohan Study Guide for Exam #1 Highlight = Important Information Highlight = Key Term Chapter 1:Reasoning and Critical Thinking Reasoning Inference Involves a special relationship between different thoughts. Inference Indicators Are words that indicate the one thought is intended to support (i.e., to justify, provide a reason for, provide evidence for, or entail) another thought. Statement A sentence (i.e., a set of words) that is used to make a claim that is capable of being true or false. An ARGUMENT is a set if statements that claims that one or more of those statements, called the PREMISES, support another of them, called the CONCLUSION. The Concept of Logical Strength An argument has LOGICAL STRENGTH when its premises, if true, actually provide support for its conclusion. Some arguments are so strong that the truth of the premises guarantees the truth of the conclusion. Such arguments are called DEDUCTIVE ARGUMENTS, and they constitute strict proofs. Most arguments are not as strong as this; usually, the truth of the premises makes it reasonable to hold that the conclusion is also true, but it does not provide an absolute guarantee. Such arguments are called INDUCTIVE ARGUMENTS. Truth, Logical Strength, And Soundness Sound Argument o An argument that has both logical strength and true premises. Logical strength is a property of inferences and never of statements. Counterfactual Arguments o An argument with premises that we know or assume to be false Soundness is a property of an argument as a whole. Reductioad Absurdum o In a reduction argument, a statement is proven to be true by assuming it to be false and then deriving a contradiction from the assumption. Critical Thinking and the Science of Logic LOGIC is the science that studies the relationships between premises and conclusions with a view to determining when and to what extent the premises actually support the conclusion. o NORMATIVE PRINCIPLES function as standards for assessment or guides for action, whereas descriptions merely attempt to accurately represent something. Chapter 2: Meaning and Definition The Meaning of Language Aristotle first expounded the REFERENCE THEORY OF MEANING in the fourth century BCE. According to this view, the meaning of a word consists in what it refers to. John Locke developed the IDEA THEORY OF MEANING in the seventeenth century. He held that the meaning of a word consists of the idea or mental image that is associated with the word. MEANING AS USE was developed more recently by Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889 1951) and John Austin (19111960). They recognized that many words do refer to things and that many words have a mental image or idea associated with them, but they held that the primary bearers of meaning are not words but sentences. The Main Functions of Language Descriptive Function o One very important function of language is to describe (i.e., to convey factual information about) something. Evaluative Function o Often we use language not (or not merely) to describe something but to make a value judgment about it, that is, to evaluate it. Emotive Function o Language is sometimes used to express emotions and thus has an emotive function. Evocative Function o Language can also be used for the purpose of evolving certain emotions in an audience. Persuasive Function o One of the most widespread uses of language is to persuade people to accept something or to act in a certain way. Interrogative Function o In order to elicit information we usually need to ask for it. Directive Function o We sometimes use language to command others to do something or to provide advice. Performative Function o There is an interesting class of sentences that are known as Performative utterances, i.e., utterances that are not descriptions, evaluation, directives, and so on, but are themselves to be regarded as actions. Recreational Function o Sometimes language is used to amuse others and ourselves. The SENSE of a word is what we understand when we understand its meaning, and the REFERENCE is the class of things to which the word refers. The Purposes of Definitions When we want to know the meaning of a word in its standard usage, we need a REPORTIVE DEFINITON, i.e., one that reports its standard usage. It is useful to be able to create a new, more precise meaning, which is called a STIPULATIVE DEFINITION. ESSENTIALIST DEFINITION’S attempt to express in succinct form a theory about the nature of what is being defined. Methods of Definition GenusSpecies Method o A common method of defining a word referring to a kind of thing is to mention a larger category (a genus) to which that kind of thing belongs, and then to specify what makes that particular kind (that species) different from the other species in that genus. Ostensive Definitions o Giving examples, either verbally or by pointing, can easily convey the meaning of a word. OPERATIONAL DEFINITIONS are commonly used outside science when defining terms that are used to distinguish things that form a continuum. Assessing Reportive Definitions A definition is too broad when the defining phrase refers to some things that are not included in the reference of the term being defined. A definition is too narrow when the defining phrase fails to refer to some things that are included in the reference of the term being defined. A definition can sometimes be too broad and too narrow at the same time. This happens when the defining phrase refers to some things to which the term does not (too broad) and also fails to refer to some things to which the term does (too narrow). A circular definition is one that includes the term being defined (or its cognate) in the definition. A definition can also be useless when it fails, through the use of vague, obscure, or metaphorical language, to express clearly the meaning of the term being defined. Chapter 3: Clarifying Meaning The Principle of Charity The PRINCIPLE OF CHARITY, that is, to adopt the most charitable interpretation of their words among the possible interpretations suggest by the context. Linguistic Ambiguity Ambiguous Sentence o A sentence that has two or more different but possibly quite precise meanings. Vague Sentence o A sentence that lacks a precise meaning. REFERENTIAL AMBIGUITY arises when a word or phrase could, in the context of a particular sentence, refer to two or more properties or things. Most nouns refer to a class of individual objects. When we use such nouns we do so in order to say something about each and every member of the class. When we use a term in this way it is being used DISTRIBUTIVELY. But sometimes we use terms to say something not about each and every member of the class but about the class as such. When we use a term in this way it is being used COLLECTIVELY. GRAMATICAL AMBIGUITY arises when the grammatical structure of a sentence allows two interpretations, each of which gives rise to a different meaning. Another type of linguistic ambiguity arises through the failure to distinguish between USING a word or phrase and MENTIONING a word or phrase. Analytic, Contradictory, and Synthetic Statements Analytic Statement o A statement that is true by definition Contradictory Statement o A statement that is false by definition Synthetic Statement o A statement whose truth or falsity is not solely dependent upon the meanings of the words in it. Necessary and Sufficient Conditions A NECESSARY CONDITION is defined as follows: X is a necessary condition for Y if, and only if; when X is false Y must also be false (or, when X is absent Y cannot occur). A SUFFICIENT CONDITION is defined as follows: X is a sufficient condition for Y if, and only if; when X is true Y must also be true (or, when X is present Y must occur). Whenever we can list all the necessary conditions for something, we will have listed the conditions that are JOINTLY SUFFICIENT CONDITIONS. Chapter 4: Reconstructing Arguments Reconstruction Before we can critically assess an argument, therefore, we have to determine what the actual argument is. What is its conclusion, what are its premises, and what is the precise relationship between them? The process of eliciting this information is called RECONSTRUCTING THE ARGUMENT. Missing Premises and Conclusions A presupposition is not simply missing information; it is a statement that is logically required by the argument in order for one of its state claims to be true. Special Cases A REPORT OF AN ARGUMENT is a statement that says that soandso argued in a certain way. The second kind of special case consists of EXPLANATIONS or explanatory arguments. Because sometimes arguments purport to prove that their conclusion is true, they may be described as PROBATIVE ARGUMENTS. The Structure of Arguments A TREE DIAGRAM is a schematic representation of the structure of an argument using letters (p1, p2, mp3, c, etc.) to represent the premises and conclusion, and an arrow to represent therefore. The simplest type of argument consists of a single premise and a single conclusion. Such arguments have a structure that we will call a SIMPLE ARGUMENT structure. If either premise were false, the remaining premise would provide little or no support for the conclusion. It is only when both are true that they provide support. An argument with this structure is called a T ARGUMENT. If two separate reasons are offered in support of the conclusion. Each operates independently of the other. If either premise is missing or false, the remaining one still provides support for the conclusion. We shall call arguments with a structure of this sort V ARGUMENTS. Chapter 5: Strategies for Assessing Arguments The Fallacies Approach Philosophers have developed two approaches for assessing arguments. The first and more traditional is the FALLACIES APPROACH, in which we identify all the specific fallacies (or mistakes) that an argument can make and then ask whether a given argument commits any of these fallacies. If it commits none of them, it will be a good argument, and if it commits one or more of them, it will be a bad argument. The second is the CRITERIAL APPROACH, in which we appeal to the criteria, or standards, that a good argument must satisfy and ask whether a given argument meets these criteria. Fallacy o Any error or weakness that detracts from the soundness of an argument yet somehow manages to disguise itself so as to give the argument the appearance of being better than it really is. The Criterial Approach The Criterial approach, unlike the fallacies approach, is positive in nature. It begins by establishing the CRITERIA that a good argument must satisfy and then uses these criteria as the basis for assessing particular arguments. The three Criteria of a Sound Argument o Acceptability o Relevance o Adequacy Seven Rules for Assessing Arguments Identify the Main Conclusion Identify the Premises Identify the Structure of the Argument Check the Acceptability of the Premises Check the Relevance of the Premises Check the Adequacy of the Premises Look for CounterArguments
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