Week 1-4 Basic Knowledge Notes
Week 1-4 Basic Knowledge Notes 1010
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kazendi Simon on Wednesday April 20, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 1010 at Georgia State University taught by Mark Daniel Kemp in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 17 views. For similar materials see Critical Thinking in Political Science, Philosophy, & Religion at Georgia State University.
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Date Created: 04/20/16
Critical Thinking 1010 Notes Basic Needs to Know Argument: A set of statements, some of which serve as premises, one of which serves as a conclusion, such that the premises purport to give evidence for the conclusion. The definition employs two technical terms: premise, and conclusion. Clarifying these terms requires three additional definitions: Premise: A premise is a statement that purports to give evidence for the conclusion. Evidence: To say that a statement A is evidence for another statement B is to say that if A were true, this would provide some reason to believe that B is true. Conclusion: The statement in an argument that is supposedly supported by the evidence. The following words and phrases indicate that what follows is probably the conclusion of an argument: Therefore, thus, for that reason, hence, it follows that. They indicate that what follows is probably a premise of the argument: Because, Since, For, For the reason that. Standard Form: Usually we find arguments expressed in ordinary prose. But as noted, when we are evaluating arguments it is a good idea to separate the premises from the conclusion, and to put the argument into “standard form.” Understanding Argument Types Deductively Valid Argument (sometimes called just a “deductive argument” or a “valid argument”): An argument is deductively valid just in case it has the following property: If the premises are true, then the conclusion cannot possibly be false. Inductive Argument (or ‘induction’): A nondeductive argument in which characteristics of individuals not in a sample are inferred from the characteristics of individuals in a sample. Abductive argument (or ‘abduction’): A form of nondeductive inference, also called “inference to the best explanation” in which a hypothesis is supported on the ground that it is the best explanation for some observed phenomenon. Testing for Validity: Only deductive arguments can be valid. Abductive and inductive arguments are never valid, even if they are excellent arguments that provide good reasons in support of their conclusion. Notice that the conclusions of inductive and abductive arguments are only probable, not certain. All good arguments share two characteristics: They have true premises. & They have a proper form. Proper Form test: is a Deductive argument that provided the premises which if true show that the conclusion must be true. However, the premises and conclusion of an argument do not have to be true in order for the argument to be valid. In fact, validity has nothing to do with truth. Common Fallacies Ad hominem (Latin, "against the man"): Attack the author of the argument rather than the argument itself. A red herring: speaker attempts to distract an audience by deviating from the topic at hand by introducing a separate argument the speaker believes is easier to speak to. Appeal to tradition (argumentum ad antiquitatem): a conclusion supported solely because it has long been held to be true. Appeal to novelty (argumentum novitatis, argumentum ad antiquitatis): where a proposal is claimed to be superior or better solely because it is new or modern. Straw man fallacy: an argument based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. Appeal to fear: a specific type of appeal to emotion where an argument is made by increasing fear and prejudice towards the opposing side Appeal to pity (argumentum ad misericordiam): an argument attempts to induce pity to sway opponents Argumentum ad populum (appeal to widespread belief, bandwagon argument, appeal to the majority, appeal to the people): where a proposition is claimed to be true or good solely because many people believe it to be so The Easy Target fallacy occurs in three steps. First, someone makes an inaccurate claim about the views held by someone else. Second, the person argues that the inaccurately described view is false. Finally, the person asserts that this argument shows that the accurate view is false. Someone commits the fallacy of Appeal to Ignorance when he claims that a statement is true because it hasn’t been shown to be false. Understanding Statement Types Empirical statements are statements that report what people observe through their senses. When you observe with your senses, you're getting direct empirical evidence. The reports of what others have experienced are testimonial statements. From your perspective, your friend's statement that it has started to rain and Clara's statement are examples of testimony. The second statement in each pair is a definitional statement, a report about how a word is used. Experts are people who have specialized knowledge about a particular field. You should use five criteria to determine whether a statement by an expert may be used as an assumed premise: appropriate credentials, reliability, lack of bias, appropriate area of expertise, and expert consensus. An argument that contains a premise that's assumed on the basis of expertise but is about an issue outside an expert's area of expertise commits the fallacy of Inappropriate Expertise. If most experts cannot agree about the truth of a statement, you shouldn't use that statement as an assumed premise.
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