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Chapter Seven - Chapter Seven Evaluating Arguments...

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Chapter Seven Evaluating Arguments Reliability and Relevance of Premises Premise Reliability Analyzing an argument reveals how the premises relate to each other and to the conclusion they are advanced in support of Our objective is to determine how reliable the premises are in any case where one or more of them is in doubt or questionable A premise is reliable when it provides adequate evidence or good reasons in support of the conclusion General or common knowledge Specific information Observation statements Considered more reliable than any statement inferred from it Consider the conditions where the observations were made, as well as whether the observer has normal faculties and is trustworthy Testimony of people about their own experiences We also make an initial assessment of the conclusion of an argument by comparing it with general knowledge on the topic, or whatever specific information we can readily obtain Premise Relevance Probative Relevance – when either by itself or linked with other premises it can contribute to establishing the conclusion
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