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Please do all the requirement in order:Read chapter 1 Basic Tools for Argument (attached) Read the following articles:1.1 Disagreements and Arguments (attached)1.2 Arguments (attached)1.3 Deduction and Induction (attached) Please choose one of the following topics to discuss in your essay. Make sure explain the essentials of the topic and discuss how it can be used in reason and argument. A) The philosophical definition of arguments, how they are from explanations, and the important “parts” of an argumentB) Validity: what is required for an argument to be valid, how can we determine if an argument is valid, why is validity importantC) Definitions: why they are important in argument and reasonD) AbductionE) AnalogiesF) Anomalies and exceptions that prove the ruleG) Useful fictions Make sure you clearly identify where the in the assigned readings (with citation information in parentheses) the topic is discussed. Explain completely what the readings say about the topic. Include a full quote (sentence) from the textbook explaining the point. Then, explain WHY you think the point is important and how it helps you better understand what critical thinking entails. Finally, give a “real world” example of how you could use the point (concept) to better evaluate arguments and/or develop arguments. NOTE these requirements: 1)The first paragraph of your essay should discuss ONE important topic chosen from the discussion prompt. Make sure you clearly identify where the in the assigned readings (with citation information in parentheses) the topic is discussed. 2)The first paragraph of your essay must include a full quote (typed sentence) from the Module assigned readings. 3)The first paragraph of your essay must clearly explain the meaning of topic chosen and discusses its importance for argument and reason. 4)Finally, make sure you end the first paragraph by explaining WHY you think the topic is important and how it helps you better understand what critical thinking entails. 5)The second paragraph of your essay should demonstrate that you understand the “real world” application of the topic you have discussed. Give a “real world” example of how you could use the topic (concept) to better evaluate arguments and/or develop arguments. Note that your example must be concrete (and not theoretical) and specify a specific situation, example, case study, etc. that has actually or does actually occur in the “real” world in your own personal and/or professional life. DO NOT use academic examples or examples that are theoretical. Your example must be practical and part of your normal day to day life. DO NOT use examples found on Logic websites! Again, your example must be practical and part of your normal day to day life. 6)Your essay must be at least 300 words. 7)MLA citations are required at the end of the Essay for all sources used or quoted.
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1) Read chapter 1 Basic Tools for Argument
2) Read the following online articles:
a) Disagreements and Arguments
b) Arguments
c) Deduction and Induction
Please choose one of the following topics to discuss in your essay. Make sure explain the essentials
of the topic and discuss how it can be used in reason and argument.
1. The philosophical definition of arguments, how they are from explanations, and the important
“parts” of an argument
2. Validity: what is required for an argument to be valid, how can we determine if an argument
is valid, why is validity important
3. Definitions: why they are important in argument and reason
4. Abduction
5. Analogies
6. Anomalies and exceptions that prove the rule
7. Useful fictions

Make sure you clearly identify where the in the assigned readings (with citation
information in parentheses) the topic is discussed.

Explain completely what the readings say about the topic. Include a full quote (sentence)
from the textbook explaining the point.

Then, explain WHY you think the point is important and how it helps you better understand
what critical thinking entails.

Finally, give a “real world” example of how you could use the point (concept) to better
evaluate arguments and/or develop arguments.
NOTE these requirements:
1) The first paragraph of your essay should discuss ONE important topic chosen from
the discussion prompt. Make sure you clearly identify where the in the assigned
readings (with citation information in parentheses) the topic is discussed.
2) The first paragraph of your essay must include a full quote (typed sentence) from
the Module assigned readings.
3) The first paragraph of your essay must clearly explain the meaning of topic chosen
and discusses its importance for argument and reason.
4) Finally, make sure you end the first paragraph by explaining WHY you think the
topic is important and how it helps you better understand what critical thinking
entails.
5) The second paragraph of your essay should demonstrate that you understand the
“real world” application of the topic you have discussed. Give a “real world”
example of how you could use the topic (concept) to better evaluate arguments
and/or develop arguments.
Note that your example must be concrete (and not theoretical) and specify a specific
situation, example, case study, etc. that has actually or does actually occur in the
“real” world in your own personal and/or professional life.
DO NOT use academic examples or examples that are theoretical. Your
example must be practical and part of your normal day to day life.
DO NOT use examples found on Logic websites! Again, your example must
be practical and part of your normal day to day life.
6) Your essay must be at least 300 words.
7) MLA citations are required at the end of the Essay for all sources used or quoted.
Grading Rubrics for each Module’s Discussion:
Essay Post:
Possible
Points
The 2-paragraph essay is at least 300 words.
5
The first-paragraph of the essay clearly discusses one
key topic from the list provided in the discussion
prompt. The student explains what the readings say
about the topic. The discussion is clear and precise in
terms of what he/she learned about the topic in the
Module.
5
The first paragraph of the essay includes one full
quote (sentence) from the Module’s assigned
readings. Student explains how and why this quote is
significant and/or contributed to his/her understanding
of the chosen topic. Citations (in-text and works cited)
required in MLA format.
5
The second paragraph of the essay clearly applies the
concept of the Discussion to a real-world case-study.
The case-study is practical and specific (not general
and theoretical). The example comes from the
student’s own experience and life. It is clear that
student understands the chosen topic and is able to
apply it to her/his own professional or personal life.
5
IMPORTANT REMINDER: any website or book that is
used to write your post must be cited at the end of the
post. This includes the Module readings as well as
additional resources. Utilize both in-text and workscited MLA formatting guidelines. Failure to cite all
sources will result in a 30% deduction in points (first
offense) and then a 0 (second+ offense).
1
Basic Tools for Argument
1.1 Arguments, premises and conclusions
Philosophy is for nit-pickers. That’s not to say it is a trivial pursuit. Far from
it. Philosophy addresses some of the most important questions human beings ask themselves. The reason philosophers are nit-pickers is that they are
concerned with the way in which beliefs we have about the world either are
or are not supported by rational argument. Because their concern is serious,
it is important for philosophers to demand attention to detail. People reason
in a variety of ways using a number of techniques, some legitimate and some
not. Often one can discern the difference between good and bad arguments
only if one scrutinizes their content and structure with supreme diligence.
Argument.
What, then, is an argument? For many people, an argument is a contest or
conflict between two or more people who disagree about something. An
argument in this sense might involve shouting, name-calling, and even a bit
of shoving. It might – but need not – include reasoning.
Philosophers, by contrast, use the term ‘argument’ in a very precise and
narrow sense. For them, an argument is the most basic complete unit of
reasoning, an atom of reason. An ‘argument’ is an inference from one or
more starting points (truth claims called a ‘premise’ or ‘premises’) to an end
point (a truth claim called a ‘conclusion’).
2 Basic Tools for Argument
Argument vs. explanation.
‘Arguments’ are to be distinguished from ‘explanations’. A general rule to
keep in mind is that arguments attempt to demonstrate that something is
true; explanations attempt to show how something is true. For example,
consider encountering an apparently dead woman. An explanation of the
woman’s death would undertake to show how it happened. (‘The existence
of water in her lungs explains the death of this woman.’) An argument would
undertake to demonstrate that the person is in fact dead (‘Since her heart
has stopped beating and there are no other vital signs, we can conclude that
she is in fact dead.’) or that one explanation is better than another (‘The
absence of bleeding from the laceration to her head combined with water in
the lungs indicates that this woman died from drowning and not from bleeding.’)
The place of reason in philosophy.
It is not universally realized that reasoning comprises a great deal of what
philosophy is about. Many people have the idea that philosophy is essentially about ideas or theories about the nature of the world and our place in
it. Philosophers do indeed advance such ideas and theories, but in most
cases their power and scope stems from their having been derived through
rational argument from acceptable premises. Of course, many other regions
of human life also commonly involve reasoning, and it may sometimes be
impossible to draw clean lines distinguishing philosophy from them. (In fact,
whether or not it is possible to do so is itself a matter of heated philosophical
debate!)
The natural and social sciences are, for example, fields of rational inquiry
that often bump up against the borders of philosophy (especially in consciousness studies, theoretical physics, and anthropology). But theories composing these sciences are generally determined through certain formal
procedures of experimentation and reflection with which philosophy has
little truck. Religious thinking sometimes also enlists rationality and shares
an often-disputed border with philosophy. But while religious thought is
intrinsically related to the divine, sacred or transcendent – perhaps through
some kind of revelation, article of faith, or religious practice – philosophy,
by contrast, in general is not.
Of course, the work of certain prominent figures in the Western philosophical tradition presents decidedly non-rational and even anti-rational
dimensions (for example, that of Heraclitus, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche,
Basic Tools for Argument 3
Heidegger and Derrida). Furthermore, many wish to include the work of
Asian (Confucian, Taoist, Shinto), African, Aboriginal and Native American thinkers under the rubric of philosophy, even though they seem to make
little use of argument.
But, perhaps despite the intentions of its authors, even the work of nonstandard thinkers involves rationally justified claims and subtle forms of argumentation. And in many cases, reasoning remains on the scene at least as
a force to be reckoned with.
Philosophy, then, is not the only field of thought for which rationality is important. And not all that goes by the name of philosophy may
be argumentative. But it is certainly safe to say that one cannot even
begin to master the expanse of philosophical thought without learning
how to use the tools of reason. There is, therefore, no better place to
begin stocking our philosophical toolkit than with rationality’s most
basic components, the subatomic particles of reasoning – ‘premises’
and ‘conclusions’.
Premises and conclusions.
For most of us, the idea of a ‘conclusion’ is as straightforward as a philosophical concept gets. A conclusion is, literally, that with which an argument concludes, the product and result of a chain of inference, that which
the reasoning justifies and supports.
What about ‘premises’? In the first place, in order for a sentence to serve
as a premise, it must exhibit this essential property: it must make a claim
that is either true or false. Sentences do many things in our languages, and
not all of them have that property. Sentences that issue commands, for example, (‘Forward march, soldier!’), or ask questions (‘Is this the road to
Edinburgh?’), or register exclamations (‘Holy cow!’), are neither true nor
false. Hence it is not possible for them to serve as premises.
This much is pretty easy. But things can get sticky in a number of ways.
One of the most vexing issues concerning premises is the problem of implicit claims. That is, in many arguments key premises remain unstated,
implied or masked inside other sentences. Take, for example, the following
argument: ‘Socrates is a man, so Socrates is mortal.’ What’s left implicit is
the claim that ‘all men are mortal’.
In working out precisely what the premises are in a given argument, ask
yourself first what the claim is that the argument is trying to demonstrate.
Then ask yourself what other claims the argument relies upon (implicitly or
explicitly) in order to advance that demonstration.
4 Basic Tools for Argument
Indicators.
Sometimes certain words and phrases will indicate premises and conclusions. Phrases like ‘in conclusion’, ‘it follows that’, ‘we must conclude that’
and ‘from this we can see that’ often indicate conclusions. (‘The DNA, the
fingerprints and the eyewitness accounts all point to Smithers. It follows
that she must be the killer.’) Words like ‘because’ and ‘since’, and phrases
like ‘for this reason’ and ‘on the basis of this’, often indicate premises. (For
example, ‘Since the DNA, the fingerprints and the eyewitness accounts all
implicate Smithers, she must be the killer.’)
Premises, then, compose the set of claims from which the conclusion is
drawn. In other sections, the question of how we can justify the move from
premises to conclusion will be addressed (see 1.4 and 4.7). But before we
get that far, we must first ask, ‘What justifies a reasoner in entering a premise
in the first place?’
Grounds for premises?
There are two basic reasons why a premise might be acceptable. One is that
the premise is itself the conclusion of a different, solid argument. As such,
the truth of the premise has been demonstrated elsewhere. But it is clear
that if this were the only kind of justification for the inclusion of a premise,
we would face an infinite regress. That is to say, each premise would have to
be justified by a different argument, the premises of which would have to be
justified by yet another argument, the premises of which . . . ad infinitum. (In
fact, sceptics – Eastern and Western, modern and ancient – have pointed to
just this problem with reasoning.)
So unless one wishes to live with the problem of the infinite regress, there
must be another way of finding sentences acceptable to serve as premises.
There must be, in short, premises that stand in need of no further justification through other arguments. Such premises may be true by definition. (An
example of such a premise is ‘all bachelors are unmarried’.) But the kind of
premises we’re looking for might also include premises that, though conceivably false, must be taken to be true for there to be any rational dialogue
at all. Let’s call them ‘basic premises’.
Which sentences are to count as basic premises depends on the context in
which one is reasoning. One example of a basic premise might be, ‘I exist’. In
most contexts, this premise does not stand in need of justification. But if, of
course, the argument is trying to demonstrate that I exist, my existence cannot be used as a premise. One cannot assume what one is trying to argue for.
Philosophers have held that certain sentences are more or less basic for
Basic Tools for Argument 5
various reasons: because they are based upon self-evident or ‘cataleptic’ perceptions (Stoics), because they are directly rooted in sense data (positivists),
because they are grasped by a power called intuition or insight (Platonists),
because they are revealed to us by God (Jewish, Christian and Islamic philosophers), or because we grasp them using cognitive faculties certified by
God (Descartes, Reid, Plantinga). In our view, a host of reasons, best described as ‘context’ will determine them.
Formally, then, the distinction between premises and conclusions is clear.
But it is not enough to grasp this difference. In order to use these philosophical tools, one has to be able to spot the explicit premises and make explicit the
unstated ones. And aside from the question of whether or not the conclusion
follows from the premises, one must come to terms with the thornier question
of what justifies the use of premises in the first place. Premises are the starting
points of philosophical argument. As in any edifice, intellectual or otherwise,
the construction will only stand if the foundations are secure.
See also
1.2 Deduction
1.3 Induction
1.9 Axioms
1.10 Definitions
3.6 Circularity
6.1 Basic beliefs
6.6 Self-evident truths
Reading
*Nigel Warburton, Thinking From A to Z, 2nd edn (2000)
*Patrick J. Hurley, A Concise Introduction to Logic, 7th edn (2000)
1.2 Deduction
The murder was clearly premeditated. The only person who knew where Dr
Fishcake would be that night was his colleague, Dr Salmon. Therefore, the
killer must be . . .
Deduction is the form of reasoning that is often emulated in the formulaic
6 Basic Tools for Argument
drawing-room denouements of classic detective fiction. It is the most rigorous form of argumentation there is, since in deduction, the move from
premises to conclusions is such that if the premises are true, then the conclusion must also be true. For example, take the following argument:
1.
2.
3.
Elvis Presley lives in a secret location in Idaho.
All people who live in secret locations in Idaho are miserable.
Therefore Elvis Presley is miserable.
If we look at our definition of a deduction, we can see how this argument fits
the bill. If the two premises are true, then the conclusion must also be true.
How could it not be true that Elvis is miserable, if it is indeed true that all
people who live in secret locations in Idaho are miserable, and Elvis is one of
these people?
You might well be thinking there is something fishy about this, since you
may believe that Elvis is not miserable for the simple reason that he no
longer exists. So all this talk of the conclusion having to be true might strike
you as odd. If this is so, you haven’t taken on board the key word at the start
of this sentence, which does such vital work in the definition of deduction.
The conclusion must be true if the premises are true. This is a big ‘if’. In our
example, the conclusion is, I believe, not true, because one or both (in this
case both) premises are not true. But that doesn’t alter the fact that this is a
deductive argument, since if it turned out that Elvis does live in a secret
location in Idaho and that all people who lived in secret locations in Idaho
are miserable, it would necessarily follow that Elvis is miserable.
The question of what makes a good deductive argument is addressed in
more detail in the section on validity and soundness (1.4). But in a sense,
everything that you need to know about a deductive argument is contained
within the definition given: a (successful) deductive argument is one where,
if the premises are true, then the conclusion must also be true.
But before we leave this topic, we should return to the investigations of our
detective. Reading his deliberations, one could easily insert the vital, missing
word. The killer must surely be Dr Salmon. But is this the conclusion of a
successful deductive argument? The fact is that we can’t answer this question unless we know a little more about the exact meaning of the premises.
First, what does it mean to say the murder was ‘premeditated’? It could
mean lots of things. It could mean that it was planned right down to the last
detail, or it could mean simply that the murderer had worked out what she
would do in advance. If it is the latter, then it is possible that the murderer
did not know where Dr Fishcake would be that night, but, coming across
him by chance, put into action her premeditated plan to kill him. So it could
be the case that both premises are true (the murder was premeditated, and
Basic Tools for Argument 7
Dr Salmon was the only person who knew where Dr Fishcake would be that
night) but that the conclusion is false (Dr Salmon is, in fact, not the murderer). Therefore the detective has not formed a successful deductive argument.
What this example shows is that, although the definition of a deductive
argument is simple enough, spotting and constructing successful ones is much
trickier. To judge whether the conclusion really must follow from the premises,
we have to be sensitive to ambiguity in the premises as well as to the danger of
accepting too easily a conclusion that seems to be supported by the premises,
but does not in fact follow from it. Deduction is not about jumping to conclusions, but crawling (though not slouching) slowly towards them.
See also
1.1 Arguments, premises and conclusions
1.3 Induction
1.4 Validity and soundness
Reading
*John Shand, Arguing Well (2000)
Fred R. Berger, Studying Deductive Logic (1977)
1.3 Induction
I (Julian Baggini) have a confession to make. Once, while on holiday in
Rome, I visited the famous street market, Porta Portese. I came across a
man who was taking bets on which of the three cups he had shuffled around
was covering a die. I will spare you the details and any attempts to justify my
actions on the grounds of mitigating circumstances. Suffice it to say, I took
a bet and lost. Having been budgeted so carefully, the cash for that night’s
pizza went up in smoke.
My foolishness in this instance is all too evident. But is it right to say my
decision to gamble was ‘illogical’? Answering this question requires wrangling with a dimension of logic philosophers call ‘induction’. Unlike deductive inferences, induction involves an inference where the conclusion follows
from the premises not with necessity but only with probability (though even
this formulation is problematic, as w …
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