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33 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
What is an argument?
The philosopher's answer:
Any attempt to give reasons in support of a claim.

Reasons = premises, warrants, etc.
Claim = conclusion, a proposition, opinion, thesis, theory, hypothesis, etc.
Study/Theory of Knowledge.
What is philosophy?
No accepted definition. JR's short answer: Philosophy is that subject that is devoted to answering the embarrassing questions.
What is a fact?
Fact = a state of affairs.

(There are objective and subjective facts/states of affairs.)
What is a truth?
Truth: property of statements or propositions, including premises/reasons and claims/conclusions.

A Truth = One theory: a truth is a statement that corresponds to the facts.

(There are objective and subjective truths.)
What is the Epistemic sense of “objective”?
Epistemic sense of “objective”: refers to those statements that are true (or false) independently of beliefs, feelings, preferences, attitudes, points of view, etc., of makers and hearers of statements (persons, knowers, observers, etc.).
What is the Epistemic sense of “subjective”?
Epistemic sense of “subjective”: refers to those statements whose truth depends essentially on the beliefs, feelings, preferences, attitudes, points of view, etc., of the makers and hearers of the statements.
What is the Ontological sense of “objective”?
Ontological sense of “objective”: attributes a mode of existence to facts (or states of affairs) that is independent of any mental state. including experiences, beliefs, feelings, attitudes, preferences, points of view, etc.
What is the Ontological sense of “subjective”?
Ontological sense of “subjective”: attributes a mode of existence to facts (or states of affairs) that is dependent on an individual's mental states, including experiences, feelings, beliefs, attitudes, preferences, points of view, etc.
An Objective Fact =
a state of affairs that exists independently psychological states (beliefs, feelings, attitudes, experiences, points of view, etc.). Often, when we speak of "facts" we are implicitly making claims about objective facts. For example, it is apparently a(n objective) fact that the earth is a sphere, that 2 +2 is 4, etc. This is the ontological sense of objective.
A Subjective Fact =
a state of affairs whose existence depends on someone's psychological states (beliefs, feelings, attitudes, experiences, points of view, etc.). It is common to identify such subjective facts. For example, it is a subjective fact that I like baseball. Pleasure and pain are subjective facts, as is the experience of the colour red. This is the ontological sense of subjective.
An Objective Truth =
a statement that is true independently of what anyone happens to believe or feel (etc.) about that statement. The statement “the earth is a sphere” is arguably one whose truth is independent of what anyone happens to believe or feel about that statement. This is the epistemic sense of objective.
A Subjective Truth =
a statement (or judgment or proposition, etc.) whose truth depends on the psychological states (beliefs, feelings, attitudes, experiences, points of view, etc.) of the makers and hearers of the statement. The statement “Britney Spears is cool” is arguably one whose truth depends on the feelings and attitudes of those who make such statements. This is the epistemic sense of subjective.
What is Protagorean Relativism?
"Man is the measure of all things."

"Whatever anyone believes is true for that person. What I believe is true for me. What you believe is true for you."
How does Protagoras defend relativism?
Protagoras's argument seems to be:

i) wind (or water) can feel cold to me, warm to you.

ii) Water or wind cannot be absolutely cold-feeling or warm-feeling in itself; and ice cream cannot be sweet in itself. It is its appearance to us that determines whether wind/water is cold/warm.

iii) Each person is the measure, for that person, of the way the wind feels/ice cream tastes for that person.

iv) Therefore, however things appear to someone, that is the way that they are to that person; or each person is the measure how things are to that person.

v) Beliefs about what is true are claims about how the world appears to someone.

vi) Therefore, no belief is ever false because each belief simply says how that subject's world appears/seems to that person, and how the world appears/seems to each person is how the world is to that person.

vii) Therefore, what I believe is true for me; what you believe is true for you.
What are the main objections to P.Relativism?

i) Disagreement would be impossible (if each persons beliefs were true for that person).

ii) Would the notion of truth have any place?

iii) We think the world has public objects in addition to private sensations. (Has P given us any reason to reject the former?)

iv) What would Protagoras's world be like?
What is the difference between Global and Non-global Relativism?
Relativism involves two claims:

i) there is no objective or absolute truth about beliefs about X.**

ii) truth is relative to each person's (or perhaps a group's) beliefs about X; hence, whatever a person (a group) believes about X is true for that person (or that group).

** where "beliefs about X" = a) some belief(s), or sphere of beliefs, about X; or
b) beliefs about anything; all spheres of belief/any beliefs.

Therefore, there are two general types of relativism:

a) = A type or types of Particular or Non-global Relativism (NGR)
b) = Global Relativism or Protagorean Relativism (GR or PR)
What is does philosophy mean?
from the Greek, philos, love + sophia, wisdom
Four views that are sometimes confused with PR:
i) All beliefs are equally uncertain; no belief is ever justified. (Skepticism)

ii) Different people can be justified in holding different beliefs, even contradictory ones.

iii) Different people can hold contradictory beliefs because each is aware of a different aspect of the same reality (Wood pp.4-5)

iv) Falliblism. (We might be mistaken in what we believe.)
What is a deductive argument?
is the kind of reasoning in which the conclusion is necessitated by, or reached from, previously known facts (the premises). If the premises are true, the conclusion must be true. This is distinguished from abductive and inductive reasoning, where the premises may predict a high probability of the conclusion, but do not ensure that the conclusion is true. For instance, beginning with the premises "All ice is cold" and "This is ice", you may conclude that "This is cold".

Deductive reasoning is dependent on its premises. That is, a false premise can possibly lead to a false result, and inconclusive premises will also yield an inconclusive conclusion.
What is a soundness?
A logical argument is sound if and only if

1. the argument is valid
2. all of its premises are true.

Suppose we have a sound argument (in this case a syllogism):

All men are mortal.
Socrates is a man.
Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

The argument is valid and since the premises are in fact true, the argument is sound.

The following argument is valid but not sound:

All animals can fly.
Pigs are animals.
Therefore, pigs can fly.

Since the first premise is actually false, the argument, though valid, is not sound.
What is validity?
Validity: A property of deductive arguments. It simply means IF the premises were true then the conclusion must be true.

In logic, the form of an argument is valid precisely if it cannot lead from true premises to a false conclusion. An argument is said to be valid if, in every model in which all premises are true, the conclusion is true. For example: "All A are B; some A are C; therefore some B are C" is a valid form.

A formula of logic is said to be valid if it is true under every interpretation (also called structure or model). See also model theory or mathematical logic.

A tautology, or tautologous formula, is truth functionally valid. Not all valid formulas of quantificational logic are tautologies. See also truth table.

[edit] Example

Consider the following argument form in which the letters P, Q, and S represent unanalyzed or uninterpreted sentences.

All P are Q
S is P
Therefore, S is Q

The validity of an actual argument can be determined by translating it into an argument form, and then analyzing the argument form for validity. (The argument form above is valid; see syllogism.)

If (all P are Q) and (S is P), then (S is Q).
What is falsity?
Falsity is a perversion of truth originating in the deceitfulness of one party, and culminating in the damage of another party.

Counterfeiting money, or attempting to coin genuine legal tender without due authorization; tampering with wills, codicils, or such-like legal instruments; prying into the correspondence of others to their prejudice; using false weights and measures, adulterating merchandise, so as to render saleable what purchasers would otherwise never buy, or so as to derive larger profits from goods otherwise marketable only at lower figures; bribing judges, suborning witnesses; advancing false testimony; manufacturing spurious seals; forging signatures; padding accounts; interpolating the texts of legal enactments; and sharing in the pretended birth of supposititious offspring are among the chief forms which this crime assumes.
What is question begging or circular reasoning?
The following argument is a standard example of begging the question: "The Bible says God exists, and the Bible must be right since it is the revealed word of God, so God exists." Obviously enough, no one who doubts the conclusion has any reason to challenge the second premise, which presupposes it. This is, of course, a blatant example meant solely to illustrate the fallacy; less contrived instances may be much more subtle. David Hume's argument against the occurrence of miracles, as articulated in Of Miracles is often criticized as a more subtle example of petitio principii.

It is important to note that such arguments are logically valid. That is, the conclusion does in fact follow from the premises, since it is in some way identical to the premises. All circular arguments have this characteristic: the proposition to be proved is assumed at some point in the argument. This is why begging the question was classified as a Material fallacy rather than a Logical fallacy by Aristotle, and similarly, is classified as an informal fallacy today.

Formally speaking, the simplest form of begging the question follows the following structure. For some proposition p:

* p implies p
* suppose p
* therefore, p.

However, the following structure is more common:

* p implies q
* q implies r
* r implies p
* suppose p
* therefore, q
* therefore, r
* therefore, p.
What is a non-deductive argument?
We can produce arguments that increase (or
amplify) our information only by giving up the
deductive guarantee.

Example: polling.


asking everyone some question and recording their

asking some of the population that question and
recording their answers

In the second case, what do we know about what the
whole population thinks?

No guarantee – but a lot less work!
Non­deductive arguments
What are objective facts?
What are objective truths?
what are subjective facts
What are subjective truths?
Standardizing Arguments
Presenting arguments in a narrow sense involves “standardizing an argument.” This involves:

(1) Identification of the reasons (premises) and conclusion. Typically, these are numbered.

(2) Elimination of irrelevant information from the argument. Hence, standardized arguments tend to be more economically stated than arguments in the broad sense.

(3) Inclusion of implied reasons or conclusions. Reasons or conclusions can be implied (that is, not stated explicitly but suggested nevertheless) in the reasoning of the author(s)/speaker(s), so these must be included among the reasons or conclusions that are identified.

(4) Place the conclusion at the bottom of the list and separate it by a horizontal line. (Sometimes, two lines are used to represent non-deductive arguments.)

(5) There can often be more than one way to standardize an argument accurately.
Abduction Differs from Induction. How?
Abduction differs from Induction by trying to explain WHY certain phenomena occur. Induction simply says certain phenomena will occur based on past observations.
Abduction Differs from Deduction. How?
Here is the form of the abductive argument:



If T, then O


Therefore T

Is this valid? That is, can you deduce T from O?
Surprise Principle Summarized:
A theory/hypothesis is strongly supported by predictions, if:

i) makes no false predictions

ii) discriminates among competing hypotheses by including some further true predictions that we would expect only if that theory/hypothesis were true and its (current) competing hypotheses were false.