PHILO1200LecNotes0121 - Philosophy 1200 Wednesday, January...

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Philosophy 1200 – Wednesday, January 21 st Causal Mistakes Today: 1. Review 2. Causal Confusions 2a. Mistaken Relevance 2b. Mishandling Multiple Factors 2c. Coincidence and Cause 2d. Chronology and Cause Test #2: Short Answers instead of definitions – 10 marks 1. Last time. We started by identifying the four factors that will normally contribute to, or detract from, the strength of an analogical argument. a. The greater the number of relevant similarities, the stronger the analogical inference. b. The greater the relevant dissimilarities, the weaker the argument c. The greater the number of relevant comparisons, the stronger the argument. d. Diversity among cases – if we can find diversity amongst cases that do not defeat the relevant similarity, the argument is stronger. After finishing up our look at analogical induction, we proceeded with an introduction to causal reasoning. There are two relevant and preliminary points made about causal arguments: a. A causal argument is not a formal description of an argument (in the same manner that ‘enumerative’ and ‘analogical’ describe forms of inductive arguments). To call an argument ‘causal’ is to refer to the substance of the argument in question… it is an argument that something is the cause of an effect of interest.
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b. Causal arguments are unavoidably inductive… as Hume observed, it is not possible for us to measure/verify every instance of an effect to ensure it always has the same cause. The implication of Hume’s observation is that any argument about a cause has to be inductive because there is no logical guarantee about empirical assertions. I can’t imagine a universe in which triangles have more than three sides (so
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This note was uploaded on 10/23/2011 for the course PHILOSOP 1200 taught by Professor Viger during the Fall '09 term at UWO.

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PHILO1200LecNotes0121 - Philosophy 1200 Wednesday, January...

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