Chapter 10 Overview

# Critical Thinking

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Chapter 10 Overview Chapter 10 takes up inductive syllogisms, inductive generalizations, and analogical arguments. These types of inductive arguments use the properties shared by members of a group, or individual, to establish the properties of something else. That something else is a smaller group when we argue inductively from the general to the specific, a larger group when we argue inductively from the specific to the general, or an individual in cases of analogy. In the case of inductive syllogisms we must begin by looking at a generalization that accurately represents the percentage of individuals in the whole group that have the feature we're interested in. In the case of inductive generalizations and analogical arguments we must begin by looking at a large enough initial group (sample) that accurately represents the cases of the property we are interested in. This chapter introduces some technical vocabulary from statistics, specific warnings about public-opinion polls, and warnings about fallacies that can derail inductive thinking. 1. Inductive arguments are arguments that try to apply what is known about known objects or situations to unknown objects or situations. a. Almost all inductive arguments fit the following pattern. i. A known thing X has certain properties (a, b, c, etc.). ii. Another thing Y that is not known as well as X has the same properties. iii. X also has some additional property (p). iv. On the basis of these three premises the argument concludes that Y also has the additional property (p). v. The general idea is that if Y is like X in some ways (relevant ways of course) then it could also be like X in other ways. b. If the premises of an inductive argument are all true then, to the extent the argument is successful, the conclusion has some likelihood or probability of being true. i. Conclusions of inductive arguments are more or less likely to be true; the arguments are correspondingly stronger or weaker. ii. These arguments are never valid or invalid, for they are not deductive arguments. c. This general idea of an inductive argument can be stated more precisely with the help of certain key concepts: i. The property under investigation – the "p" of the argument – is the property or feature in question.

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ii. The sample is a group of things that are already known or believed to possess the property in question. iii. The target, target class, or target population is an individual or a group about which one is asking: Does this target possess the property in question? 1. Whether the target is a single thing or a larger group of things, the goal of an inductive argument is to show that it possesses the property in question. 2.
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Chapter 10 Overview - C hapter 10 Overview Chapter 10 takes...

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