handout_-_logic_primer_-_v02 - Short primer on arguments...

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Short primer on arguments John Turri 1. Argument This course studies a lot of interesting and influential arguments about interesting and important topics. In the sense relevant to our course, an argument is not a testy exchange. Rather, an argument is an attempt at a reasoned transition in thought, from premises to con- clusion. 2. Parts As just mentioned, an argument has two basic components: premises and conclusion. The premises are your starting point(s). The con- clusion is your destination. 3. Two criteria We have thoroughly objective and well understood criteria for evalu- ating arguments. Two centrally important criteria are factual strength and logical strength. An argument is factually strong just in case all its premises are true. It starts from facts and only facts. That makes it factually strong. If an argument has one or more false premises, then it is fac- tually weak. An argument is logically strong just in case it has the following property: IF it is factually strong (i.e. if all its premises are true), THEN its conclusion is (at least) very likely to be true too. An argument is successful just in case it is both factually strong and lo- gically strong. Arguments aspire to success. Please, please, please notice that logical strength is independent of factual strength. PLEASE! :) One of the most common and persist- ent mistakes people make is to neglect this important fact. To say that an argument is logically strong is not to say that it has true
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This note was uploaded on 07/11/2011 for the course PHIL 100 taught by Professor Something during the Fall '10 term at Waterloo.

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handout_-_logic_primer_-_v02 - Short primer on arguments...

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