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Practical Reasoning in Natural Language

by: Kimberly Notetaker

Practical Reasoning in Natural Language PHL 264-01

Marketplace > La Salle University > PHIL-Philosophy > PHL 264-01 > Practical Reasoning in Natural Language
Kimberly Notetaker
La Salle
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About this Document

Some of this information is coming from the textbook/teachers handout and I also used the same setup as the handout
Critical Thinking
Joseph A Volpe
Class Notes




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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kimberly Notetaker on Friday January 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHL 264-01 at La Salle University taught by Joseph A Volpe in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 17 views. For similar materials see Critical Thinking in PHIL-Philosophy at La Salle University.

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Date Created: 01/22/16
Basic  Analysis  of  Reasoning   1-­‐1 What  is  Reasoning   • The  Distinction  Between  a  Sentence  and  a  Statement   Sentence:  A  single  sentence  can  contain  more  than  one  statement   Statement:  The  unit  of  attention   “Take  your  sweater,  its  cold  outside.”      Single  sentence  with  two   statements   What  is  important  is  the  relationships  are  between  all  statements   • Discourse   Allow  an  easy  way  to  refer  to  what  we  are  looking  at   Sentence  or  a  series  of  sentences     • Reason   Any  statement  that’s  given  in  support  for,  justification  for,  or  evidence  for   some  other  statement     • Conclusion     Statement  that  is  supported  by  a  reason(s)       • Reasoning   Any  discourse  in  which  some  statement  is  given  as  a  reason  for  some  other   statement  that  is  a  conclusion   Can  be  contained  in  a  single  sentence   • Argument   Alternative  way  in  talking  about  some  reasoning  (premises=reasons)   th Practical  Reasoning  in  Natural  Language  4  Edition                                                              Stephen  Naylor  Thomas   • Inference  Indicators   These  indicators  are  not  a  reliable  guide  to  see  if  there  is  any  reasoning   -­‐ Reasons   As  (Many   Follows  From   Seeing  That   May  Be  Deduced   Exceptions)   From   Since  (Many   Being  That   For  The  Reasons   May  Be  Derived   Exceptions)   That   From   For  (Many   Being  As   In  The  View  Of  The   Whereas  (In  Legal   Exceptions)   Fact  That   Documents)   Because  (Most   Inasmuch  As   On  The  Correct   In  The  Second  Place   Reliable)   Supposition  That   As  Shown  By   In  The  First  Place   Assuming,  As  We   Secondly   May,  That   AS  Indicated  By   Firstly   May  Be  Inferred     From     -­‐ Conclusions   Consequently   Implies  That   Leads  Me  To  Believe  That   Therefore   Entails  That   Bears  Out  That   Which  Shows  That   Accordingly   Thus  (Frequent  Exceptions)   Proves  That   I  Conclude  That   Demonstrates  That     Hence   Points  To  The  Conclusion   It  Follows  That   th Practical  Reasoning  in  Natural  Language  4  Edition                                                              Stephen  Naylor  Thomas   That   Must  (Some  Exceptions)   Allows  Us  To  Infer  That   In  This  Way  One  Sees  That   You  See  That   Suggests  Very  Strongly  That   Then  (Without  Preceding  ‘If’   or  ‘When’)     • The  Distinction  Between  Explanations  and  Justifications     Reasoning  is  about  justifying  and  does  not  about  explaining   Explanations:  Causal  account  of  something  of  hoe  it  came  to  be   Justifications:  a  claim  or  assertion  is  to  give  grounds,  evidence,  or  reasons,  of   any  other  sot  intended  to  convince  others  of  its  truth   Explanations  are  given  as  a  reason  for  something  else  to  be  true   • Helpful  Hints   -­‐ The  presence  in  a  discourse  of  a  word  or  phrase  from  either  of  the  lists  of   inference  indicators  is  a  good  clue  that  the  discourse  contains  reasoning,   but  there  are  many  exceptions   -­‐ Conditional  (“if,  then”)  sentences,  in  themselves,  are  no  instances  of   reasoning   -­‐ Some  reasoned  discourses  contain  NO  inference  indicator  words   -­‐ Reasoning,  including  both  reasons  and  conclusions,  may  be  contained  in  a   single  sentence   -­‐ A  sentence  or  discourse  that  DOES  NOT  contain  reasoning  may  quote,   directly  or  indirectly,  a  discourse  that  does  contain  reasoning   th Practical  Reasoning  in  Natural  Language  4  Edition                                                              Stephen  Naylor  Thomas   -­‐ The  difference  between  reasoning  and  nonreasoning  is  not  always  clear-­‐ cut;  some  discourses  are  borderline   -­‐ The  mere  fact  that  a  discourse  expresses  someone’s  “conclusion”  about   something  is  not  enough  for  the  discourse  to  qualify  as  reasoning     1-­‐2 Reasons  and  Conclusions   • Arrow  Diagram   The  arrow  indicates  that  an  inference  is  being  drawn  and  it  is  always  going  to   be  pointing  to  some  statement  that  is  some  kind  of  conclusion                Reason  (R)              Conclusion  (C)   • Basic  Reason   Statement  that  is  offered  in  support  for,  justification  for,  or  evidence  for  some   other  statement  or  conclusion   A  reason  for  which  no  reason  is  offered  (statements  that  initiate  the  reason)   A  reason  that  itself  is  unsupported   • Intermediate  Conclusion   Statement  that  is  supported  by  a  reason   Though  it  is  a  statement  that  is  supported  by  a  reason,  it  then  is  going  to  be   supported  as  a  reason  for  some  further  conclusion.                                        R                                 1                            C                     th Practical  Reasoning  in  Natural  Language  4  Edition                                                              Stephen  Naylor  Thomas                              C             2 • Final  Conclusion   A  conclusion  that  is  being  supported  by  a  reason(s)  that  itself  supports  no   further  conclusion   Reasoning  can  include  more  than  one  final  conclusions   • Hints  About  Inference  Indicators   -­‐ When  the  Inference  Indicators  For  introduces  a  reason,  it  indicates  that   the  conclusion  was  a  statement  that  appears  Earlier  in  the  discourse.   -­‐ When  any  of  the  words  Hence,  Thus,  Consequently,  So  or  Therefore  is  used   as  a  conclusion  indicator,  Generally  it  signals  that  at  least  some  of  the   reasons  for  that  conclusion  appeared  somewhere  Earlier  in  the  discourse   -­‐ When  any  of  the  words  Since,  As,  Because  is  used  to  indicate  a  reason,  the   conclusion  being  supported  is  stated  in  Another  Clause  of  the  very  same   statement   • Other  Useful  Tips   -­‐ Generally,  when  sentences  of  the  form  “When  A,  then  B”  or  “B  when  A”   are  encountered,  do  not  split  them  into  two  statements   -­‐ Always  remember  that  is  a  discourse  does  contain  reasoning  but  its   context  and  inference  indicators  leave  the  analysis  of  its  reasoning  open   to  a  variety  of  interpretations  choose  the  interpretation  that  results  in  the   strongest  possible  reasoning.     th Practical  Reasoning  in  Natural  Language  4  Edition                                                              Stephen  Naylor  Thomas   -­‐ Many  discourses  that  contain  reasoning  will  also  containing  statements   that  are  neither  reasons  nor  conclusions.  That  is,  there  are  often   statements  in  a  reasoned  discourse  that  are  not  part  of  the  reasoning  at   all.   -­‐ Sometimes  the  conclusions  of  a  reasoned  discourse  are  expressed  in  the   form  of  imperative  sentences  rather  than  declarative  sentences.       1-­‐3 Determining  the  Logical  Structure  of  a  Reasoned  Discourse   • Serial  Reasoning     This  is  the  simplest  form  of  reasoning.  Think  a  linear  straight  line  that  varies  in   length   R                    R                    R     C       1       1       C                    C           2       2          C                    C                                                      Etc.   • Divergent  Reasoning     A  reason  or  reasons  in  support  of  multiple  logically  independent  conclusions   Can  include  many  conclusions                        R     C 1     2                   • Linked  Reasoning   th Practical  Reasoning  in  Natural  Language  4  Edition                                                              Stephen  Naylor  Thomas   Multiple  logically  dependent  reasons  offered  in  support  of  a  common  conclusion   Can  include  many  reasons  for  one  conclusion   R 1      + 2      R                  C   • Convergent  Reasoning     Multiple  logically  independent  reasons  in  support  of  a  common  conclusion   Can  include  many  reasons  for  one  conclusion         1      R       R 2                   C   TRY  NOT  TO  GET  LINKED  REASONING  AND  CONVERGENT  RESONING  CONFUSED   • The  Procedure   Step  1:  Circle  all  inference-­‐indicator  words   Step  2:  Enclose  the  separate  statements  constituting  the  discourse  in  angle     brackets  and  number  them     Step  3:  Supply  and  circle  any  inference-­‐  indicator  words  that  do  not  appear  but   are  clearly  suggested   Step  4:  Set  forth  the  numbered  statement  of  the  discourse  in  an  “arrow  diagram”   using  arrows  to  show  the  inferences   Practical  Reasoning  in  Natural  Language  4  Edition                                                              Stephen  Naylor  Thomas   Look  Out  for  Index  cards  for  1-­‐1,  1-­‐2,  and  1-­‐3    (All  )   Practical  Reasoning  in  Natural  Language  4  Edition                                                              Stephen  Naylor  Thomas  


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