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Unformatted text preview: Prof. Pams Intro to Philosophy Argument Basics, p. 1 Fundamentals of Argumentation and Logic Summary: In this lesson you will learn: what arguments are, the elements of an argument, different kinds of arguments, and some ways to analyze them. What will be covered: 1. Argument Basics 1.1 Definition of an argument 1.2 Parts of an argument 1.3 But how do we get to the conclusion? 1.4 Two basic kinds of arguments 1.5 Truth? Truth? You can't handle the truth! 1.6 Types of Claims and statements 1.7 Is that your final answer? 1.8 Symbols 1.9 Claim letters 1.10 Deductive Argument Patterns 1.1 Definition of an argument What is an argument? An argument is a statement (or series) of statements offered in support for another statement. Let's take a look at my favorite argument: The Welfare Queen. Statement #1: All black women are welfare queens. Statement #2: Prof. Pam is a black woman. _____________________________________________ Statement #3: Therefore, Prof. Pam is a welfare queen. The Welfare Queen argument is indeed an argument: Statements are offered in support of some other statement. Someone wants to show that I'm a welfare queen, i.e., she wants to prove Statement #3. Statements #1 and #2 constitute evidence given in support of #3. Somebody out there is spreading lies about me. They're calling me a "welfare queen"-someone who lives quite well, thank you, supporting herself by receiving government welfare checks. No job, no real income, yet she manages to drive a new Cadillac, wear fancy clothes, has tons of Prof. Pams Intro to Philosophy Argument Basics, p. 2 jewelry--all at government expense. 1.2. The parts of an argument We said that Statements #1 and #2 are the reasons given in support for Statement #3. A statement given as a reason is called a premise. The plural form of premise is premises (pronounced: prem-mi-sees). The statement we're arguing for is called the conclusion. So, Statement #3 is the conclusion. Often one argument may be composed of several smaller arguments. The conclusions of these "mini-arguments" are called sub-conclusions. The final conclusion of the argument is called the main conclusion. 1.3 But how do we get to the conclusion? How do we get from the premises to the conclusion? By a connection or a movement logicians called an inference. Suppose your significant other comes home, later and later each night. You notice lipstick smudges on your significant other's collar. You smell a fragrance on your significant other's clothing that is not yours. AHA! You have clues or reasons that lead you to believe that your partner is cheating on you. How did you reach this conclusion? Based on the clues you inferred the conclusion. What you've done is to draw an inference from the premises to the conclusion....
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- Spring '08