51_Midterm_study_guide

51_Midterm_study_guide - Midterm questions 1 What is an...

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Midterm questions. 1. What is an argument?  What makes it a) valid/invalid b) sound/unsound, c) “true”? 2. What is the good for man according to Aristotle?  Why?  How is it achieved? 3. Does the New Testament "fulfill" the law or the prophets or change them?  Explain. 4. Explain how Plato uses the City of Pigs (book II) and the allegory of the cave (book  VII), to argue for a theory of justice. 5. Choose one and explain:  Sophocles’  Oedipus the King  demonstrates a) a man who  cannot change his destiny; b) What happens when someone has the tragic flaw  (hubris) of pride.     1.  What is an argument?  What makes it valid/invalid, sound/unsound, good/ bad,  “true”? In philosophy, law, science, an argument is not a squabble based on gaining the  upper hand through loudness or rhetorical devices, it is an effort at logical rigor.  Basically, it is a series of sentences, some premises and a conclusion meant to persuade  someone of the truth of a conclusion.  An argument has an indefinite number of premises  (as many as you need), but needs, of course, at least one conclusion.  If this conclusion  serves as the premise for another argument, then you can have arguments within  arguments. Logic is a method of precising what we do in natural language and in thought.  Some say it is the rules of thought, but I don’t think so, since there are an indefinite  number of ways of creating a logic.  For example, you could use more than two truth  values, T, F and $, maybe.  How can there be an indefinite number of rules of thought? The most rudimentary way of thinking of arguments is in terms of “good” and  “bad.”  An argument is good if the premises give a large amount or logically infallible 
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reasons for believing the conclusion.  It is bad if it gives little or no reason for believing  the conclusion. For example (All Texans are idiots) George B is a Texan --------------------------- George B is an idiot. Or, If we can help someone without harming someone else we ought to do so.  MP Transplanting T’s organs will help other children without harming her.    FP We should or ought to transplant T’s organs (Rachel’s example).  MC The first argument is obviously bad, the second good.  But that doesn’t help much in  explaining  why .  We need a more rigorous analysis if we are going to be able to evaluate  other people’s arguments and make ours as immune as possible from refutation.
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