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PHIL 102 Week 2 Notes

by: Margaret Pressman

PHIL 102 Week 2 Notes PHIL 102

Margaret Pressman
CSU Chico

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About this Document

These notes for Week 2 (Chapter 2) include: -What to Read -What to Do (Practice Problems) -Additional Notes
Critical Thinking
Wai-Hung Wong
Class Notes
PHIL 102, CSU Chico, critical thinking
25 ?




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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Margaret Pressman on Thursday February 11, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHIL 102 at California State University Chico taught by Wai-Hung Wong in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 21 views. For similar materials see Critical Thinking in PHIL-Philosophy at California State University Chico.


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Date Created: 02/11/16
Chapter 2 Two Kinds of Reasoning This chapter gives you a better understanding of the structure of an argument, that is, how premises and conclusion are related, and explains further the difference between a deductive argument and an inductive argument. Read the whole chapter once and then reread the following sections: Deductive Arguments (pp.34-35) Inductive Arguments (p.36) Telling the Difference between Deductive and Inductive Arguments (pp.37- 38) Deduction, Induction, and Unstated Premises (p.38) Inference to the Best Explanation (p.41) * Read also the additional notes on deduction argument posted on Blackboard Learn. What You Are Supposed to Have Learned After reading this chapter, you should know: 1. Something which looks like an argument is not necessarily a real argument. 2. Something which does not look like an argument may actually be an argument. 3. An argument can have unstated premises or an unstated conclusion 4. The conclusion of an argument can be used as a premise of another argument. 5. What makes a deductive argument valid or invalid. 6. What makes an inductive argument strong or weak. 7. How to turn an inductive argument with an unstated premise into a deductively valid argument. 8. How to clarify the structure of an argument. 9. What an inference to the explanation is. Self-Testing Questions In order to test your understanding of the concepts you are supposed to have learned, ask yourself the following questions and answer them (either in writing or just in your mind) without looking at the book: 1. In a (deductively) valid argument, how are the premises and conclusion related? 2. What is the difference between a valid argument and a sound argument? 3. Is it possible for a valid argument to have false premises? 4. Is it possible for a valid argument to have a false conclusion? 5. Is it possible for an invalid argument to have all true premises? 6. Is it possible for an invalid argument to have a true conclusion? 7. No matter how strong an inductive argument is, it is always possible for its conclusion to be false. Why? 8. What are the two aspects of an arguments that you can evaluate; what are these two aspects? 9. Can you give an example of an inference to the best explanation? * If you don't know how to answer any of the above questions, you should reread the relevant section(s). Exercises Do the following exercises (answers have been posted in this learning module): Exercise 2-2 Exercise 2-3 Exercise 2-4 Exercise 2-8 Exercise 2-9 Exercise 2-11 Deductive Argument Valid Argument - If the premises are all true, then the conclusion must be true. - That is, in a valid argument the truth of the premises guarantees the truth of the conclusion. An example of a valid argument: All human beings are mortal; Socrates is a human being; therefore Socrates is mortal. - But an argument can be valid even if the premises are false. - If some or all of the premises are false, then the conclusion may be true or false; a valid argument can have false premises and a false conclusion, or false premises and a true conclusion. - An example of a valid argument that has false premises and a false conclusion: All Chinese are evil; Mother Teresa is Chinese; therefore Mother Teresa is evil. - An example of a valid argument that has false premises and a true conclusion: All Chinese are evil; Adolf Hitler is Chinese; therefore Adolf Hitler is evil. - The validity of an argument is a feature of its form, not a feature of its content; all three arguments above share the same form, with different content: All Xs are F; S is an X; therefore S is F. Invalid Argument - Even if the premises are true, the conclusion may still be false. - That means in an invalid argument, the truth of the premises does not guarantee the truth of the conclusion. An example of an invalid argument: If I am drinking beer, I am drinking something alcoholic; I am not drinking beer; therefore I am not drinking something alcoholic. (Well, I may be drinking whisky!) - But it is possible for an invalid argument to have both true premises and a true conclusion; what makes it invalid is that the conclusion does not follow from the premises. - An example of an invalid argument that has both true premises and true conclusion: All Chico State students are human beings; You are a human being; therefore You are a Chico State student. (The conclusion would have been false if the argument was applied to me, for then the “you” would have referred to a professor rather than a student.) Sound Argument - a sound argument is a valid argument with premises that are all true - the conclusion of a sound argument must be true


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