A R G U M E N T S I N A C T I O N

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1 ARGUMENTS IN ACTION Descriptions: creates a textual/verbal account of what something is, was, or could be (shape, size, colour, etc.) Used to give you or your audience a mental picture of the world around us. Arguments may contain descriptions, but descriptions can t be arguments. For example, Explanations: two types explanations of how to do something and explanations of why something is true. Explanations of why are often confused with arguments as they use similar indicators etc. Explanations are trying to make you understand something, they re not trying to prove/convince you of a claim. For example, Summaries: gives the main points of a piece of work. They often omit details, shortening or rewording parts to succinctly convey what they ve judged to be the important parts. An argument can be summarised, but not all summaries are arguments. For example, Arguments: attempt to provide reasons for thinking that some belief is true. All arguments have two parts; the first part is the reasons (the premises), and the second part is the belief that those reasons are intended to support (the conclusion). For example, Commands instruct others to do something; for example,. Questions seek an answer; for example,. Exclamations convey an emotion; for example,. They cannot be true or false, so we do not consider them as part of an argument. score them out Rhetorical questions are questions that do not seek an answer. It is used for dramatic effect. Rhetorical questions can be converted into a statement as that is what the person is trying to say. For example, can be converted into the statement. A statement (a proposition or a premise), is a sentence that can be true or false. For example,. Statements cannot prove anything, they can assert or deny a claim. Arguments are made up of statements. An argument is a connected series of premises (statements) that infer a conclusion. For example,. An argument can prove or disprove a claim. We consider deductive, inductive, and conductive arguments in the course. Premises are the statements that are intended to support the conclusion. Indicator words suggest the presence of argument and help to indicate its structure. Words like and typically come before premises. A hidden premise (HP) is a statement that is not explicitly stated in the text, but it is implied by the argument. It can be something so obvious it doesn t need to be said. They can determine an arguments reliability. In the argument shown it is assumed that John is messy, not stated.

2 The conclusion is what the argument is trying to convince you of or show/prove to be true. Conclusions are statements that are supported, and premises are statements that are supporting. Conclusions are typically indicated by words like:,,,,, An intermediate conclusion is a conclusion that appears in the middle of an argument as a stepping stone to prove a further and more important conclusion. There can be multiple intermediate conclusions. It s not the main thrust of the piece, but used to build up the argument. Standard form is where we set out the premises and conclusion(s) of a piece in clearly ordered statements preceding the conclusion. By numbering the premises and the conclusion, we can refer to specific statements, assessing the reliability. Validity of an argument is judged on the structure, how the premises linked to the conclusion. A valid argument is one where if the premises are true it guarantees the conclusion. Two valid forms we consider are: P Q, P Q (modus ponens) and P Q, not-q not-p (modus tollens). A sound argument is one that has both valid structure and true premises. A sound argument is the most reliable form of argument. When we say valid we mean deductively valid. Deductive arguments can be valid or sound, with a certain conclusions. They don t go beyond what is in the premises. If the premises are true then the conclusion can be accepted as true by the virtue of the structure. Inductive arguments have probable conclusions. The premises are drawn from our previous experiences (a posteriori). They cannot be valid or sound, instead if the argument is convincing we say it is strong and if it is strong with true premises then it is cogent. A type of inductive reasoning where the premises give independent reasons to support the conclusion. This means that if one of the reasons turns out to be wrong, the other will not be affected; each have enough weight to support the conclusion on its own. In the example both premises support the conclusion, but they re not linked. If the study was shown to be dodgy your experiences would still stand. If your experience was a placebo then this doesn t affect the trustworthiness of the study. Shown better in Convergent Diagrams (see below).

3 Premises are said to be acceptable if it is: (1) An a priori (rational) truth, e.g., most reliable as it is irrefutable. (2) Demonstrably true, you can show that it s true, e.g. (3) A commonly accepted truth, e.g. (this is also demonstrably true but you need specialist knowledge in order to know it to be true so we accept from common knowledge that it s true) (4) Plausible, sounds reasonable to you, e.g. (5) The premises aren t ambiguous (see types of Ambiguity) (6) Supported by appropriate authority. (see Appeals to Authority) (7) If conditional premises (if/then) are used they are presented without the drama of a slippery slope (see Slippery Slopes), e.g. statement of what might be rather than a dramatic coercion. This is just a simple (8) No conformation bias in the information presented in the premises (see Conformation Bias) Premises are said to be relevant to the conclusion if they: (1) Give reasons why you should agree with/accept the conclusion, e.g., you might not agree but there is still relevance. (2) The premise gives reason(s) to support another premise which then supports the conclusion, e.g. (3) If an analogy is used, it is relevant to what is being argued, e.g. (4) If arguing against something, the premises attack the central claim of the argument rather than the person, e.g. (see ad hominems below). (5) If emotional language is used it is relevant to the argument, e.g. The premises provide good grounds for the conclusion. Premises are sufficient if: (1) The premises are both acceptable and relevant, e.g. (2) The structure of the argument is reliable. Regardless if it is deductive, inductive, or conductive the structure does not use any fallacious or rhetorical ploys to convince you of the conclusion. (3) Does not create a causal link between correlating facts in an attempt to try and convince you that Y was caused by X (see post hoc ergo proper hoc below) (4) The struture of is not a formal fallacy meaning that it would be suffienct to accept the conclusion (see Denying the Antecedent & Affirming the Consequent)

4 Linked Diagrams: shows how premises are dependent on each other premises in the argument. The premises together prove or refute the conclusion. If one was removed or shown to be wrong then it would in turn weaken the others, making the conclusion more or less convincing. Convergent Diagrams: shows how premises independently support the conclusion. The convincingness of the conclusion would be unaffected if the other premises were removed or refuted; however, the argument is stronger when the premises are considered together, since more evidence is then offered. Serial Diagrams: shows how a single premise can lead to an intermediate conclusion and then to another premise, then to a conclusion, and so on. They aren t sufficient as it is not enough to infer a conclusion from a single premise. You could add a HP. As you can guess, these can collapse easily. If you show P1 to be false then the whole chain falls down. If P2 is shown to be false than C2 drops off. Analogical Statements, are sentences that contain an analogy. However, Analogical Arguments are arguments that try to convince you of a claim by drawing similarities between two similar things and proposing if P and Q are similar then whatever is true for P must also be true for Q. The conclusion more convincing as we are normally familiar with P or Q. In the example left it is comparing home invasion with the invasion of a country; however, it s focusing on the moral acceptability and not how the two actions are similar or different. It s a good analogy. For example,. Poor Analogies don t help. They compare two things that aren t similar. It seems to depend on the person if they find it convincing or not. There are no objective tests for this. For example, In the example the analogy doesn t help. If you did get instructions for a toaster you would have to search online or get others to help you which goes against the Ignore it message from their argument. Quite often if we re trying to argue a point, or for us if we re assessing someone s argument, we would present or think of a counterexample. If an all or every claim is used to support a conclusion we should consider if there is any way it could be false. If we can find a Counterexample then the conclusion is either weakened, depending on if one or all of the premises are countered, or simply impossible to be true. For example, If we find someone who passed the exam without studying then it counters the original claim.

5 Where parts, of an argument can have two or more meanings: (1) Equivocation (lexical) is where a word has more than one meaning and the person is trying to use the meaning in one context to apply to others where the word is used. For example,. The term theory has a different usage in science. (2) Amphiboly (syntactic) is where the premise could be interpreted in different ways because of how it is ordered or the grammar that is used or missing. For example,. We re not sure if the man on the hill has the telescope or is seen through the telescope. (3) Accent causes confusion as something can be written or spoken with parts of the premise accentuated, changing its meaning. For example,. When different parts of the sentence the meaning is changes; if they say I didn t take the test then they may mean someone else did. If they say they didn t take the test today then they may have taken another. A Legitimate Appeal to Authority is where a person has an in depth knowledge of the subject and can add assurance to the premises making the conclusion more convincing. For example, An Illegitimate Appeal to Authority is where a person of authority is used in an argument to make the conclusion more convincing but the argument doesn t show if they re qualified in what they re argument is trying to show. For example, A chain of worsening events that leads to a more negative outcome that makes the conclusion more convincing out of fear. There can be legitimate ones, smoking and cancer for example, but are normally usually fallacious as the conclusion is not inevitable. For example, People present, seek, or only listens to information that conforms to their viewpoints; as well as ignoring or disregarding information that goes against their viewpoint. Stubbornness, in short. For example, Michael Gove commented Selecting information that fitted with his political narrative. Latin to the man, Attacking the person making the argument instead of the or claims themselves. (1) Abusive: Attacking the person making the argument, rather than the argument itself, when the attack on the person is completely irrelevant. For example, (2) Circumstantial: Suggesting that the person making the argument is biased and therefore the argument is necessarily invalid of course YOU would say that. For example, (3) tu quoque: (you too) Claiming the argument is flawed as the person making the argument is not acting consistently with the claims of the argument. Hypocrisy. For example,

6 Illegitimate Appeals to Emotion occur when a debater attempts to win an argument by trying to get an emotional reaction from the opponent(s) and/or audience, e.g. eliciting fear, outrage, sadness, sympathy, etc. It is often effective as a rhetorical device, but is dishonest as a logical argument, since it often appeals to listeners' prejudices instead of being a critical appraisal of a situation. For example,. The arguer doesn t want sex offenders released in the same area as the victims but is using scare tactics to convince you instead of reason. post hoc ergo propter hoc, from the Latin after this, therefore because of this. An informal fallacy where it is assumed that if Q follows P then P caused Q. The an arguer shows only that one thing came before another. They don t provide any evidence of correlation or causation. For example,. At most, the evidence indicates that these two events are correlated. The arguer makes no attempt to rule out other possible causes, such as an increase in prison sentences for shootings. Formal fallacies are unreliable because the structure of the argument is confusing or misleading. If we say If P then Q, P Q we are saying that if P is true then Q is necessarily true there s no way it cannot be. If all cats have a tail (I know they don t), and Pomme is a cat, then it is necessarily true that Pomme has a tail. Affirming the Consequent and Denying the Antecedent are both formal. Denying the Antecedent A formal fallacy with the structure: Affirming the Consequent A formal fallacy with the structure: P1 P2 If P then Q Not-P P1 P2 If P then Q Q C Not-Q, C P This assumes because P being true means it s necessary for Q to be true then if P is false then Q must also be false. Q is conditional on P being true, not-q isn t conditional on not-p, there may be other reasons for it being false. For example,. There are more reasons other than the teacher being bad that might lead you to fail. They re making a leap that the argument does not support. This assumes because P being true means it s necessary for Q to be true that if Q is true then P must also be true. P is not necessarily true just because Q is true, it doesn t work both ways. For example, if we say and someone happens to have a beard, then it is a leap to say they re a philosopher as beards may be a feature of other profession. Frank P. Ramsey

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