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ARGUMENTS AND PERSONS - ARGUMENTS AND PERSONS Consider the...

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ARGUMENTS AND PERSONS Consider the following arguments: 1. Nobel prizewinning chemist Linus Pauling recommends the use of megadoses of Vitamin C to prevent colds. If you want to prevent colds this winter, you should follow his advice. 2. It is true that many medical researchers have testified that marijuana is nonaddictive and harmless, but these same researchers have admitted to using marijuana themselves. We should certainly disregard their views. Do you find these arguments persuasive? Why? - What these two arguments have in common is that they both judge a position by pointing to the person (or persons) who hold the position. - The first argument points to the person as a reason to support a position. - The second argument points to the person as a reason to reject a position. - The relationship between an argument and the person making it is quite complex. - Sometimes pointing to the person making an argument is a legitimate move, sometimes it is not. - We’re going to learn how to see the difference. Appeal to Authority - We rely upon authority all the time. Why is this? - The reason is that in our society, there is just so much that you need to know, you can’t possibly know it all. - If your car breaks down, who do you go to? - If it hurts when you pee, who do you go to? - It wouldn’t make much sense to go to a doctor about your car and a mechanic about your pee, would it? - This tells us something important. We rely upon authorities when the authorities possess expert knowledge in the relevant field. - The expert knows something that we don’t. - She knows this because she has done research in the relevant field.
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