Topic2 argument


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Topic2 argument

  1. 1. Management and Law Department (MLD)Centre for Foundation Studies and Extension Education (FOSEE) PCR0025 Critical Thinking All Foundation ONLINE NOTES FOSEE , MULTIMEDIA UNIVERSITY (436821-T) MELAKA CAMPUS, JALAN AYER KEROH LAMA, 75450 MELAKA, MALAYSIA. Tel 606 252 3594 Fax 606 231 8799 URL:
  2. 2. PCR0015 Critical Thinking Topic 3Topic 3: Argumentation• Argument is a claim put forward and defended with reasons.• Arguments are composed of: 1. Premises 2. Conclusion• Statement: A sentence that can sensibly be regarded as either true or false.• 2 things about statements: 1. A sentence may be used to express more than one statement. 2. Not all sentences are statements. 3. Consider the CONTEXT in which particular expression is used.Identifying Premises and Conclusions 1. Premise indicators • Since, for, seeing that, in view of the fact that, because, given that, being that, as, as indicated by. 2. Conclusion indicators • Therefore, hence, so, it follows that, that is why, wherefore, as a result, suggests that, thus, consequently, accordingly, for this reason, which shows that, implies that, we may infer that, proves that.• 2 types of arguments: 1. Simple 2. Complex• 5 types of nonarguments: 1. Reports 2. Unsupported statements of belief and opinion 3. Conditional statements 4. Illustrations 5. Explanations______________________________________________________________________________________MM 2/ 8
  3. 3. PCR0015 Critical Thinking Topic 3Reports• To convey information about a subject, not to offer reasons why one statement should be accepted on the basis of others.Unsupported statements of belief/opinion• No claim that these statements follow from or imply any other statements.Conditional statements• “if-then” statements.Illustrations• Intended to provide examples of a claim rather than to prove or support the claim.Explanations• Try to show why something is the case, not to prove that it is the case.Evaluating Arguments• 2 questions: 1. Are the premises true? 2. Can the premises provide “good reasons” for its conclusion?Are the premises true?• When is it reasonable to accept a premise?• It is true if: 1. it is supported by evidence or 2. it uses Principle of Rational Acceptance.• Principle of Rational Acceptance: 1. The claim does not conflict with personal experience 2. Does the claim conflict with our background beliefs? 3. Does the claim come from a credible source? • Good reasons to doubt the credibility of a source may incude: 1. The source is not a genuine expert or authority. 2. The source is speaking outside the area of his experience.______________________________________________________________________________________MM 3/ 8
  4. 4. PCR0015 Critical Thinking Topic 3 3. The source is biased/has motive to lie or mislead. 4. The accuracy of the source’s personal observations @ experiences is doubtful. 5. The source is a media source/internet source that is generally unreliable. 6. The claim made by the source is, in itself, highly implausible @ unlikely. Can the premise provide `good reasons’ for its conclusion? • 2 kinds of arguments: 1. Deductive 2. InductiveDeductive arguments • Try to prove that their conclusions with rigorous, inescapable logic. • Attempt to show that conclusions must be true given the premises asserted.Inductive arguments • Simply claim that conclusions are likely @ probable given the premises offered.Key differencesDeductive Inductive1. If the premises are true, then the 1. If the premises are true, then theconclusion must be true. conclusion is probably true.2. The conclusion follows 2. The premises follows probablynecessarily from the premises. from the premises.3. The premises provide conclusive 3. The premises provide good (butevidence for the truth of the not conclusive) evidence for theconclusion. truth of the conclusions.4. It is impossible for all the 4. It is unlikely that the premisespremises to be true and conclusion are true and the conclusion false.false.5. It is logically inconsistent to 5. Although it is logically consistent______________________________________________________________________________________MM 4/ 8
  5. 5. PCR0015 Critical Thinking Topic 3assert the premises and deny the to assert the premises and deny theconclusion (if you accept the conclusion, the conclusion ispremises, then you must accept the probably true if the premises areconclusion.) true.Common Patterns of Deductive Reasoning1. Hypothetical Syllogism Syllogism: A three-line argument, consists of exactly 2 premises and aconclusion. Several types: a) Modus ponens b) Chain argument c) Modus tollens d) Denying the antecedent e) Affirming the consequent2. Categorical syllogism 3-line argument in which each statement begins with the word all,some, @ no.3. Argument by elimination Seeks to logically rule out various possibilities until only a singlepossibility remains.4. Argument based on Mathematics The conclusion is certain, not mere likely @ probable.5. Argument from definition The conclusion is presented as being true by definition.Common Patterns of Inductive Reasoning1. Inductive Generalization An argument in which a generalization is claimed to be probably truebased on information about some members of a particular class.2. Predictive argument______________________________________________________________________________________MM 5/ 8
  6. 6. PCR0015 Critical Thinking Topic 3 A prediction that is defended with reasons.3. Argument from authority Asserts a claim and then supports that claim by citing some presumedauthority @ witness who has said that the claim is true.4. Causal argument Asserts or denies that something is the cause of something else.5. Statistical argument Rests on statistical evidence.6. Argument from Analogy The conclusion is claimed to depend on comparison between 2 @ morethings.DEDUCTIVE VALIDITYValid deductive argument: Logically reliable deductive argument (theconclusion really does follow necessarily from the premises)Invalid deductive argument: The conclusion does not follownecessarily from the premises.INDUCTIVE STRENGTHStrong inductive argument: Logically reliable inductive argument. Theconclusion is probably true if the premises are true.Weak inductive argument: The conclusion is not probably true even ifthe premises are true.Conclusion • Good Argument is when: 1. All the premises are true 2. The premises provide good reasons to accept the conclusion 3. Meet the standards of critical thinking discussed in Topic 1.______________________________________________________________________________________MM 6/ 8
  7. 7. PCR0015 Critical Thinking Topic 3LOGICAL FALLACIESLogical fallacy: An argument that contains a mistake in reasoning.2 major groups: 1. Fallacies of relevance 2. Fallacies of insufficient evidenceFallacies of Relevance• Mistakes in reasoning that occur because the premises are logically irrelevant to the conclusions. 1. Personal Attack 2. Attacking the motive 3. Look Who’s Talking (Tu Quoque) 4. Two Wrongs Make a Right 5. Scare Tactics 6. Appeal to Pity 7. Bandwagon Argument 8. Straw Man 9. Red Herring 10. Equivocation 11. Begging the QuestionPersonal Attack• When we reject someone’s argument/claim by attacking the person rather than the person’s argument/claim.Attacking the Motive• Error of criticizing a person’s motivation for offering argument/claim, rather than examining the merit/worth of the argument/claim itself.Look Who’s Talking (Tu Quoque)• When we reject someone’s argument because the person fail to practice what he preaches.Two Wrongs Make A Right• When an arguer attempts to justify a wrongful act by claiming that some other act is just as bad or worse.______________________________________________________________________________________MM 7/ 8
  8. 8. PCR0015 Critical Thinking Topic 3Scare Tactics• When an arguer threatens harm to someone if he/she doesn’t accept the arguer’s conclusion, and this threat is irrelevant to the truth of arguer’s conclusion.Appeal to Pity• When an arguer inappropriately attempts to evoke feelings of pity @ compassion from his listeners/readers.Bandwagon Argument• The arguer tries to play on a person’s desire to be popular, accepted, @ valued rather than appealing to logically relevant reasons/evidence.Straw Man• When an arguer distorts an opponent’s argument/calim to make it easier to attack.Red Herring• When an arguer tries to sidetrack his audience by raising an irrelevant issue to settle the original issue.Equivocation• When a key word is used in 2 @ more senses in the same argument and the apparent success of the argument depends on the shift in meaning.Begging the Question• When arguer states/assumes the point to be proven.Fallacies of Insufficient Evidence• Mistakes in reasoning in which the premises, though relevant to the conclusion, fail to provide sufficient evidence for the conclusions. 1. Inappropriate appeal to authority 2. Appeal to Ignorance 3. False Alternatives 4. Loaded Questions 5. Questionable Cause 6. Hasty Generalization______________________________________________________________________________________MM 8/ 8
  9. 9. PCR0015 Critical Thinking Topic 3 7. Slippery Slope 8. Weak Analogy 9. InconsistencyInappropriate Appeal to Authority• Citing a witness or authority that is untrustworthy.Appeal to Ignorance• Claiming that something is true because no one has proven it false or vice versa.False Alternatives• Posing a false either/or choiceLoaded questions• Posing a question that contains an unfair or unwarranted presupposition.Questionable Cause• Claiming without sufficient evidence, that one thing is the cause of something else.Hasty generalization• Drawing a general conclusion from a sample that is biased or too small.Slippery slope• Claiming, without sufficient evidence, that a seemingly harmless action, if taken, will lead to a disastrous outcome.Weak analogy• Comparing things that are not really comparable.Inconsistency• Asserting inconsistent or contradictory claims.______________________________________________________________________________________MM 9/ 8