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BASIC CONCEPTS OF ARGUMENTS

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Title: BASIC CONCEPTS OF ARGUMENTS Author: Cheng Kam Yuen Last modified by: kycheng Created Date: 4/5/2007 4:17:39 AM Document presentation format – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: BASIC CONCEPTS OF ARGUMENTS


1
BASIC CONCEPTS OF ARGUMENTS
2
What is an Argument?
  • To justify or defend a claim is to give reasons
    or arguments to support it.
  • Reasoning (or inference) is a psychological
    process.
  • When we express this process into words, we have
    arguments.
  • An argument is set of STATEMENTS (or
    propositions) composed of PREMISES and
    CONCLUSION such that the former supports the
    latter.

3
What is an Argument?
  • A STATEMENT is a sentence that is either T or F.
  • So questions, commands, requests are not
    statements.

4
What is an Argument?
  • The structure of an argument
  • Premise 1
  • Premise 2
  • Premise 3
  • Premise n
  • -----------------
  • Conclusion

5
What is an Argument?
  • Example of argument
  • Either CY Leung was speaking the truth or he was
    lying.
  • He was not speaking the truth.
  • ---------------------------------
  • Therefore, he was lying.

6
What is an Argument?
  • Example of argument
  • Most new students took DSE.
  • He is a new student.
  • -------------------------------------------------
    -------
  • He took DSE.
  •  

7
What is an Argument?
  • Conclusion indicators therefore, hence, thus,
    so, as a result, wherefore . .
  • Premise indicators since, for , because, as,
    given that, owing to . . .

8
What is an Argument?
  • SUB-CONCLUSION
  • Sometimes, one or more of the premises of an
    argument support a conclusion as a statement that
    in itself serves as a premise in the argument for
    the final conclusion. Such a statement is a
    sub-conclusion of the argument.

9
What is an Argument?
  • E.g.
  • 1. Leon is a genius. (premise)
  • 2. Geniuses are weird. (premise)
  • 3. Therefore, Leon is weird. (sub-conclusion)
  • 4. All weird people have problems in social
    relation. (premise)
  • 5. Therefore, Leon has problems in social
    relation. (conclusion)

10
What is an Argument?
  • IMPLICIT (OR UNSTATED) PREMISE
  • An implicit premise of an argument is a statement
    that is assumed but needs to be added to the
    premises if they are to support the conclusion.

11
What is an Argument?
  • E.g. What is the implicit premise in the
    following argument?
  • All murder is immoral.
  • Therefore, mercy killing is immoral.

12
  • E.g. What is the implicit premise in the
    following argument?
  • Using pirate software violates the inventors
    property rights.
  • Therefore, it is wrong to use pirate software.

13
Passages Similar to Arguments
  • EXPLANATIONS
  • They have the same structure of arguments but the
    reasons given in an explanation are not used to
    prove a claim. Instead, they are used to make
    sense of a claim that has already been well
    accepted.
  • E.g., I am late because there is a traffic
    congestion."

14
Passages Similar to Arguments
  • Conditional propositions
  • They state that something will happen if certain
    conditions are fulfilled.
  • E.g., "if you work hard, you will pass the test."

15
Passages Similar to Arguments
  • Statements of belief
  • They simply express someone's beliefs without
    providing any evidence to support those beliefs.
  • E.g., "I believe that he is guilty and should be
    put to jail."

16
The Logical Strength of an Argument
  • The logical strength of an argument is the
    measure of how its premises, assumed to be true,
    support its conclusion.
  • We divide arguments into two types according to
    their logical strength
  • Deductive arguments
  • Inductive arguments

17
The Logical Strength of an Argument
  • Deductive argument
  • If all its premises are true, its conclusion is
    logically impossible to be false.
  • I.e. The truth of its premises guarantees the
    truth of its conclusion.
  • E.g. Either Albert or Bill is late. Albert is
    not late. Therefore, Bill is late.

18
The Logical Strength of an Argument
  • Inductive argument
  • If all its premises are true, its conclusion is
    likely to be true but still possible to be false.
  • I.e. The truth of its premises makes it
    reasonable to hold that the conclusion is true.
  • E.g. Most people who are infected with HIV will
    develop AIDS, and he is infected with HIV.
    Therefore, he will develop AIDS.
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