Chapter 2 Overview

Critical Thinking

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Chapter 2 Overview There are claims, and then there are claims with supporting arguments. Chapters 8–12 fill out the work of critical thinking by doing for arguments what we will begin here. The evaluation of claims played only a small role in Chapter 1's account of what a claim is. But it is even truer of arguments than it was of claims that you will not get far in judging their merits until you have first gotten clear on what they are and how they should work. This chapter sets the project in motion by showing how to clarify and analyze an argument. Arguments will be divided into two broad groups, deductive and inductive, dissected into their essential parts—mainly, premises and conclusions—and characterized as relatively strong or relatively weak, valid or invalid, depending on how well the premises lead to the conclusions. 1. An argument comprises a conclusion and premises. a. The conclusion is the claim that the argument intends to support, and the premises are all the claims offered in support of the conclusion. b. An argument may leave a premise, or even its conclusion, unstated. i. "[Conclusion] You don't want to shop at Lucky's Car Stereo. [Premise] A man has to court disaster to win the name 'Lucky.'" Unstated premise: You don't want to shop at a car stereo business owned by a man who courts disaster. ii. "[Premise] If old age were bad in itself, every old person would be unhappy. But [premise] I'm old and I'm happy." Unstated conclusion: Old age is not bad in itself. c. A passage may contain separate arguments for a single conclusion. i. Two arguments for the same conclusion are separate if problems in either one do not affect the strength or validity of the other. 1. "[Conclusion] I didn't dent your car door. First of all, [premise] I never borrowed your car. In the second place, [premise] the door was fine when I returned the car to you. And anyway, [premise] the door was dented when I borrowed the car." 2. Note that, logically speaking, even if one or two of the arguments are debatable, we may still have support for the conclusion. 2. We evaluate arguments with the terms good or bad, valid or invalid, sound or unsound, strong or weak. a. At the most general level we call an argument good if it gives grounds for accepting its conclusion.
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 06/15/2011 for the course HUM 115 taught by Professor Miller during the Spring '11 term at Craven CC.

Page1 / 4

Chapter 2 Overview - Chapter 2 Overview There are claims...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online