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Valid and Sound Arguments

by: Noelle Wiggins

Valid and Sound Arguments Phil 105

Marketplace > Drexel University > PHIL-Philosophy > Phil 105 > Valid and Sound Arguments
Noelle Wiggins
GPA 3.8

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About this Document

These notes prepare you to understand deductive and inductive arguments as well as syllogisms.
Critical Reasoning
Amy S. Bush
Class Notes
25 ?




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Noelle Wiggins on Friday February 26, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Phil 105 at Drexel University taught by Amy S. Bush in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 23 views. For similar materials see Critical Reasoning in PHIL-Philosophy at Drexel University.

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Date Created: 02/26/16
Valid and Sound Arguments Valid and Sound Arguments What is a Valid Argument? - A valid argument is one that follows a structure that assures the conclusion. - A deductive argument is either valid or invalid- there is no in between! - The content of the argument doesn’t have to be true to be a valid argument. - Let’s look at the penguin’s argument and turn it into a valid form: “All things that are black and white are penguins. Old TV Shows are black and white. Therefore, old TV shows are penguins.” - Even though the content of the argument is untrue, the structure is valid because there is only one logical conclusion. - - There are generally accepted structures that are always valid. These are called syllogisms. - The above penguin argument is a syllogism 1 Valid and Sound Arguments What is a Sound Argument? - Soundness refers to the content of the argument being true. - A sound argument must first be a valid structure, and second, true in content. - In order for an argument to be “sound,” it must be empirically verifiable. - This makes it difficult sometimes to determine whether an argument is sound. - Which of the following is a sound argument? Either Elizabeth owns a Honda or she owns a Saturn. Elizabeth does not own a Honda. Therefore, Elizabeth owns a Saturn. or All toasters are items made of gold. All items made of gold are time-travel devices. Therefore, all toasters are time-travel devices. 2 Valid and Sound Arguments - Too easy, sorry! The fist syllogism is sound. - Both are valid forms, but only the first is empirically verifiable. - Empirically verifiable means we can observe it first hand. - To empirically verify the first, you’d have to go observe what type of car Elizabeth drives. - The second is obviously not empirically verifiable because we cannot verify that • Toasters are always made of gold or • All gold items are time-travel devices - Note that despite the second examples lack of soundness does not change it’s validity. - Like validity, an argument is either sound or not sound- there is no spectrum of soundness. 3


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