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Unformatted text preview: Study Questions: Arguments 1. What is the difference between an informal and a formal representation of an argument? What are the advantages of being able to represent an argument in a more formal manner? In formal logic, a formal system (also called a logical calculus) consists of a formal language and a set of inference rules and/or axioms. These components may be called deductive apparatus. A formal system is used to derive (to conclude) one expression from one or more other expressions (premises) antecedently supposed (axioms) or derived (theorems). A formal system may be formulated and studied for its intrinsic properties, or it may be intended as a description (i.e. a model) of external phenomena. Formal logic is the study of inference with purely formal content, where that content is made explicit. (An inference possesses a purely formal content if it can be expressed as a particular application of a wholly abstract rule, that is, a rule that is not about any particular thing or property. Informal logic is the study of natural language arguments. The study of fallacies is an especially important branch of informal logic. To appreciate this switch on focus from formal to informal logic, one must set aside stock examples such as: "All men are mortal, Socrates is man, therefore Socrates is mortal." This is not the sort of matter people choose to argue about in their everyday lives. (It is a paradigm of a certain kind of reasoning, called a syllogism). In the wider world, people argue about which party should form the government, how to deal with global warming, the morality of capital punishment, or the effects of television, subjects that do not lead to answers that have only a single "truth", or "falseness", as do statements within formal logic. In informal logic, argument is distinguished from implication and entailment, argument being construed as activity or discourse in which reasons are given to persuade rationally. By "form 2 ," Barth and Krabbe mean the form of sentences and statements as these are understood in modern systems of logic. Here validity is the focus: if the premises are true, the conclusion must then also be true also. Now validity has to do with the logical form of the statement that makes up the argument. In this sense of "formal," most modern and contemporary logic is "formal." That is, such logics canonize the notion of logical form, and the notion of validity plays the central normative role. In this second sense of form, informal logic is not-formal, because it abandons the notion of logical form as the key to understanding the structure of arguments,...
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This note was uploaded on 05/14/2008 for the course PHIL 140 taught by Professor Nathancox during the Spring '08 term at Kansas.
- Spring '08