Critical Thinking, Chapter 2 - Two Kinds of Reasoning
Arguments: General Features- a premise is used to support or prove a claim.
Conclusions used as premises- conclusions can be used as a new premise, if A then B, if B then C, since A therefore C. each step conclusion may need defending.
Unstated premises and conclusions- premise, incomplete explanation of thought process, if A then B, therefore B. conclusion, provides reasoning implying conclusion, if A then B. A.
Two kinds of arguments
Deductive arguments- prove the conclusion.
Must be valid- isn’t possible for the premise to be true and the conclusion false.
Sound argument is also true
Inductive arguments- supports conclusion
Like evidence in court, gives reasonable consideration toward conclusion
Beyond a reasonable doubt- somewhat lower standard than deductive proof
Deduction, induction, and unstated premises- in real life arguments, use context and content to determine the unstated premise to be ‘usually’ vs ‘always’. Usually (inductive) states a situation to be more likely. Always (deductive) gives 100% probability to their conclusion.
Techniques for understanding arguments- first must be able to understand it. Can find conclusion, then work backward to find “why?”. May be difficult to find for complexity or within extra information or with arguments which do not seem sound.
Clarifying an argument’s structure- understand the different elements, premises and conclusions and conclusions used as new premises, can chart the whole argument as each conclusion and supporting information.
Distinguishing arguments from window dressing- Writings may be difficult to understand because the writer already understands. If arguments are unclear, as “what are they trying to prove?” it may not be an argument at all.
Logic- argument either demonstrates or supports conclusion
Truth- are the premises true? Or conflict with...
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