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PHIL 1010 CRITICAL THINKING LECTURE 2

Statement

– A sentence that makes a claim that can be either true of false (cf. proposition). An
argument has at least two statements (premise and conclusion). All statements are
either true or false.

Pay attention.

Guernica is the best painting of the 20th century.

Does God exist?

Argument

– an attempt to provide reasons (or support) for thinking some statement is true.

Conclusion

– a statement that the argument is intended to support.

Premise

– a statement intended to support the conclusion.

T/F? “Shows that” is an indicator phrase for a premise.

T/F? “Because” is an indicator word for a premise.

Enthymeme

– an argument with an unstated premise or an unstated conclusion.

Explandum

– the thing to be explained.

Explanans

– the thing doing the explaining.


First steps in standardizing and argument

1. Put all the statements into declarative sentences and remove all pronouns.

2. Insert any unstated premises and any unstated conclusion.

3. Number each statement.

4. Place the premises before the conclusion.

5. Indicate the conclusion with the word “therefore”.

This yields the following form:

1. Premise goes here

2. Premise goes here

Therefore,

3. Conclusion goes here

Example: Inglorious Basterds will probably be good since Quentin Tarantino is a


good film director.

Conclusion: Inglorious Basterds will probably be good.

Premise: Quentin Tarantino is a good film director.

Standardization:

(1) Quentin Tarantino is a good film director.

Therefore,

(2) Inglorious Basterds will probably be good.

Linked arguments
When the premise of one argument is the conclusion of another argument, the two
arguments are called “linked arguments”. Linked arguments are not one argument
but a set of two arguments.

Example (from last time):

(1) The Federal Reserve has indicated that interest rates will rise.

(2) If the Federal Reserve indicates that interest rates will rise, then
interest rates will rise.

Therefore,

(3) Interest rates will rise.

(1) Interest rates will rise.

(2) If interests rates rise, then stock market prices will fall.

Therefore,

(3) Stock market prices will fall.

Main Argument: the last argument in the standardization of a set of linked


arguments.

Subargument: Arguments used to support premises of other arguments.

Unlinked Argument:

Argument in which (1) no premise is the conclusion of another argument, and (2)
the conclusion is not a premise in another argument.

Another definition for Argument (p. 46):

Two or more statements in which the truth of one statement (conclusion) is claimed
to follow from the truth of the other statement (premise).

IN CLASS EXERCISE

In-class practice: Exercise C – 9, p. 49 (edited).

Peter Singer thinks that humans and animals ought to be treated in similar ways. He
claims that there are no morally relevant differences between some non-human
animals and some severely mentally impaired human beings. If the reflective,
communicative, emotional, or social abilities of such impaired humans are not any
greater than that of a pig or a primate, then we must treat all these beings in
similar ways.
Conclusion:

Humans and animals ought to be treated in similar ways.

Premise:

If the reflective, communicative, emotional, or social abilities of such impaired


humans are not any greater than that of a pig or a primate, then we must treat all
these beings in similar ways.

Premise:

There are no morally relevant differences between some non-human animals and
some severely mentally impaired human beings.

Standardization:

(1) If the reflective, communicative, emotional, or social abilities of such


impaired humans are not any greater than that of a pig or primate, then we
must treat all these beings in similar ways.

(2) [Unstated] Morally relevant differences between humans and other animals
would be differences in reflective, communicative, emotional, or social
abilites

(3) There are no morally relevant differences between some non-human animals
and some severely mentally impaired human beings.

Therefore,

(4) Humans and animals ought to be treated in similar ways.

HOMEWORK

1.1 Sections B and D due next class.