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To p i c 3

Argumentation
Part

1 of 2

Basics

The

Quotes to Ponder

Much that is taught in college


classes grows soon out of date, but the skills of correct reasoning

never become obsolete.


- Irving M. Copi & Carl Cohen

Hey!! Folks!! ALL smart people drink XXX!! I drink XXX all the time!! I am a smart person!! So, do you drink XXX??

Do you find his argument convincing? Why Not?

What is an

Argument

Argument?

Yes

&

No.

Analyzing Arguments
His condition has gotten worse since we bled him. Oh no, well have to bleed him again. We Teen need to pregnancy get rid of is up this those sex year. education classes! I havent sold a single ice water snorkeling kit on my site. You designed the site, its clearly your fault!

Are You Convinced? Why Not?

Analyzing Arguments
Definitions of Important Terms:

Argument
A claim put forward & defended with reasons.
Truth Value

Statement / Claim
A sentence that can sensibly be regarded as either true / false.

true false

Examples of Statements / Claims: ~ Red is a color. ~ Kuala Lumpur is in Singapore.

~ Ghosts do exist.

or

Youve got to be JOKING!!

~ Titanic is a better movie than Star Wars.

Statements are either premises or conclusions, depending on their role in an argument. inference
Premises
Statements which are used to support other statements.

Conclusion

Statements which are supported by other statements.

Crucial element that makes a group of statements an argument is an inference.

An inference is supposed to establish the truth of concluding statement.

Analyzing Arguments
Arguments composed of Conclusion Premise (s)
Statements claimed to provide evidence for another statement, the conclusion.

Argument

Premise (s)

Conclusion
Statement that the premises
are claimed

to prove / support.

Three things about statements:


1. 2. 3. 1. A sentence may be used to express more than one statement. Example,

Roses are red & violets are blue.

2. Not all sentences are statements.


Examples,
Truth Nonstatements have NO Value

Where is your house? (Question) Close your book! (Command) Let us study tonight. (Proposal) Insert your ID into the column. (Instruction) Oh, my goodness! (Exclamation)
true false

Please submit your assignment. (Request)

Nonstatements

Some sentences look like nonstatements, are actually statements & can be used in arguments. Here are two examples:
Alyssa, you should quit smoking. Dont you realize how bad that is for your health?
Rhetorical Question

Commencement address: Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly. (Mary Schmich) Ought Imperative

Exclusions to nonstatements

statements

Rhetorical Questions

&

Ought Imperative

Rhetorical Questions Looks like a question but actually assertions of good / bad.
E.g. Andy, you should quit smoking. Dont you realize how bad it is for your health?
Assertions something strongly believed

Exclusions to nonstatements

statements

Rhetorical Questions

&

Ought Imperative

Ought Imperative Looks like a command but actually assertions.


E.g. Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

(You ought or should not read.)

3. Consider context in which the particular expression is used.


Example, Dont cry. might be command in one context & ought imperative in another context.
ought judgment about what is good / bad or right / wrong.
Ought imperative: intended to assert a value or

Dont cry.
command

Dont cry.
ought imperative

Argument

Premises conclusions
&

Premise
Put forward as a truth, but which is not proven. Examples,

Conclusion
Statement you want others to agree. Drawn from premise (s).

It is hot in here. This is a very beautiful car. People of this town are angry.

We need to get out. You should buy this beautiful car. The factory should be built elsewhere.

Premises & Conclusions


Premise Indicators Conclusion Indicators
Since, for, seeing that, Therefore, it follows in view of the fact that, that, wherefore, as a because, given that, as, result, suggests that, as indicated by. thus, consequently, for this reason, so, which E.g. I would not agree shows that, that is why, with you seeing that accordingly, we may you have made the decision without my infer that, implies that, hence, proves that. concern.

Identifying

Premises & Conclusions


However, beware of these examples!!

Identifying

I havent seen you since last year. I wouldnt mind seeing that movie again.
Sometimes there is no indicator.
E.g. Cats are smarter than dogs. You cant get 8 cats to pull a sled through snow.

In none of these examples does the term in red function as an indicator word.

I havent seen you since high school.


Thus far everything has been great. It was so cold that even the ski resorts shut down. There is water on the floor because the sink overflowed.

Exercises
2.1 Statement / Non-Statement. 2.2

premises & conclusions.

Identify

2.1 Statement / Non-Statement.


1. 2. 3. 4. Capital punishment is wrong. Statement Can vegetarians eat animal crackers? Non-Statement Ali is the greatest striker in football history. Statement What do you say we stop at the next stop?
Non-Statement Statement

5. Lee was the first prime minister of Singapore. 6. Lets party! Non-Statement 7. Great! Statement 8. Keep off the grass. (sign) Non-Statement 9. If Sally calls, tell her Im at the library. Non-Statement 10. I hope Peter likes his new job. Statement

2.2 Identify premises & conclusions. 1. Since light takes time to reach our eyes, all that we see really existed in the past. 2. Life changes when you least expect it to. The future is uncertain. So seize this day, seize this moment, & make the most of it. 3. Take care of a good name: for this shall continue with thee, more than a thousand treasures precious & great.

2.2 Identify premises & conclusions.


3. There is no definitive way to prove any one set of religious beliefs to the exclusion of all others. For that reason religious freedom is a human right. 4. Science is based on experiment, on a willingness to challenge old dogma, on an openness to see the universe as it really is. Accordingly, science sometimes requires courageat the very least the courage to question the conventional wisdom. 5. Do not play your sound system loudly as you may not be able to hear warning sirens from emergency vehicles. In addition, hearing damage from loud noise is almost undetectable until its too late.

Class Activity Make your own statements & arguments. Ask other students to identify the premise (s) & the conclusion .
premise conclusion

2 Types of Arguments
Simple Has only a single conclusion. No sub conclusions.
E.g. This is a beautiful car. You should buy this car.

Complex Contain at least 1 sub conclusion to support a single main conclusion.

2 Types of Arguments
Example of a complex argument,
Robber!!

Therefore, B committed the robbery.

sub conclusion

We know that either A or B committed the robbery. But A couldnt have committed the robbery because he was in prison when the robbery was committed.

Mr. A

Mr. B

What is NOT an Argument?


2 conditions for Arguments:
1. A group of 2 or more statements
&

2. One of those statements (conclusion) is claimed or intended to be proved or

supported by others (premises).

What is NOT an Argument?


5 Types:
1. Reports 2. Unsupported statements of belief or opinion 3. Conditional statements 4. Illustrations 5. Explanations

What is NOT an Argument?


Reports To convey information
REPORT Name: Susan Birth: 20 / 06 / 80 Hometown: Muar Hobby: Reading Ambition: Doctor

about a subject, not to offer reasons why one statement should be accepted on basis of others.
E.g. Susan was born in 1980, in Malaysia. She grew up in a small town, Muar & .

What is NOT an Argument?


Unsupported statements of

belief or opinion or Assertion


Example (1/2), God is the One who created us & we will return to Him once we die.

Belief: I believe in God.

What is NOT an Argument?


Unsupported statements of

belief or opinion

Example (2/2),
who think they are free are hopelessly nave. People are no more able to control their own destinies than are ants, & its just anti-scientific to say so.

Opinion: People are not free. Those

What is NOT an Argument?


Conditional Statements if-then statements
Examples,

If it rains, then the picnic will be cancelled. You must speak French if you grew up in Quebec.

Bonjour!!

What is NOT an Argument?


Illustrations
Intended to provide examples of a claim rather than to prove or support claim.
Examples,
Many children like to engage in private speech. E.g. 3 year-old Susan sometimes talk to herself when she plays with her doll. Illustration: People are not free; just look at how many abusers were abused as a child.

What is NOT an Argument?


Explanations Try to show something is the case,

not to prove it is the case.

Example, I fell down because the floor was slippery (Explanation). versus Capital punishment should be abolished because innocent people may be mistakenly executed (Argument).

Arguments or Exercise: Non arguments


I speak English because my parents sent me to a boarding school in Kuala Lumpur.
Explanation

If Ali comes to the party, then Alice will come to the party. Conditional Statement Earth was much drier in the distant past than it is now, & there were large deserts in inland areas. There were no flowering plants they evolved much later. The most common trees were conifers. Report

Arguments or Exercise: Non arguments


How can you say that Manchester United is a better football team than Chelsea? Wake up you fool! No current English football team is ever better than Chelsea, not even Liverpool in the 70s! a fan Unsupported statement of belief or opinion
The smart school program deserves to be supported with more money. Not only does this program develop the talents of our students, it also leads to more hard-working students. Furthermore, at current funding levels the program cannot be implemented in many schools. a school teacher

An argument

Exercise 2.4
Determine which of the following passages c o n t a i n argu ments & which do not.

Evaluating Arguments
To evaluate arguments, ask 2 questions: 1. Are the premises true? 2. Can the premises provide good reasons for its conclusion?

Evaluating Arguments
Overview
Are the premises true?
Evidence Principle of Rational Acceptance

good reasons
for its conclusion?

Can premises provide

Deductive
arguments

Inductive

arguments

To evaluate

Are the Premises True?

To evaluate, ask 2 questions: 1. It is true if it is supported by evidence.

2. It uses the Principle of

Rational Acceptance.
3 points

Principle of Rational Acceptance


Point

1. The claim does not conflict

with personal experience &

observations.

Be aware that sometimes our interpretation of our observation & experience is not accurate .

Principle of Rational Acceptance


Point

2. Does the claim conflict with our background beliefs? Background beliefs:

network of conscious & unconscious beliefs we use as a framework. Make sure our beliefs are accurate & well grounded. Never believe without sufficient evidence & never believe more strongly than evidence warrants.

Principle of Rational Acceptance


Point

3. Does a claim come from a credible source?

We should accept a claim on authority if it comes from a credible source that we have no good reason to doubt.

Principle of Rational Acceptance


Good reasons to doubt the c r e d i b i l i t y include: 1. Source is not genuine expert or authority. 2. Source is speaking outside the area of his experience.
Expert?

Principle of Rational Acceptance


Good reasons to doubt the credibility include: 3. The source is biased / has motive to lie or mislead. 4. Accuracy of the sources personal observations or experiences is doubtful.

Principle of Rational Acceptance


Good reasons to doubt the credibility include: 5. Source is a media or internet source that is generally unreliable.

6. Claim made by source is in itself, highly implausible / unlikely.

To evaluate

Good Reasons for its Conclusions? 2 kinds of arguments:

Can the Premise provide

Deductive Inductive
All arguments are (categorically) either

Deductive or Inductive.

Deductive

Inductive

Inductive Deductive arguments try to arguments try to

prove their
conclusions with rigorous, inescapable logic.

show their
conclusions are plausible or likely given the premise (s).

Deductive & Inductive arguments


Deductive argument
All men are mortal. (premise) Gandhi was a man. (premise) Gandhi was mortal. (conclusion)

Inductive argument
Gandhi was Indian. (premise) Most Indians love curry. (premise) Gandhi possibly loved curry. (conclusion)

Deductive Arguments (1/3) Attempt to show conclusions


given the premises asserted.

must be true

Pet X
All mammals have hair. Pet X is a mammal.

Conclusion???

Deductive Arguments (2/3)


Example,

1) All humans are not perfect.


Your parents are humans. Therefore, your parents are not perfect.
(So love them without condition)

Deductive Arguments (3/3)


Example,

2) If a student lives in Regal Park, then he is an MMU student.


M M U

The student does live in Regal Park. So, he is an MMU student.

Deductive Arguments
If hes rich, he will order expensive wine.

He IS rich. So, he will order expensive wine.

Waiter!!! Wine year 1911 !!!

Inductive Arguments (1/2) Simply claim that conclusions are likely or probable given
the premises offered.
Example,
Every previous Malaysian Prime Minister has been a man. XY Therefore, it is likely the next Malaysian Prime Minister will be a man.

Inductive Arguments (2/2)


Every ruby so far discovered has been red. So, probably all rubies are red.
All Harry Potter novels have been good. Therefore, the next Harry Potter novel will likely be good.

Key differences (1,2,3) Deductive Inductive


If premises are true, then the conclusion must be true. Conclusion follows necessarily from premises. Premises provide If premises are true, then the conclusion is probably true. Conclusion follows probably from premises. Premises provide good (but not conclusive) evidence for truth of the conclusion.

conclusive

evidence for truth of the conclusion.

Key differences (4,5) Deductive Inductive


Impossible for ALL the premises to be true & conclusion false. Logically inconsistent to assert the premises & deny the conclusion (if you accept the premises, then you must accept the conclusion.) Unlikely that the premises are true & conclusion false. Although logically consistent to assert the premises & deny the conclusion, conclusion is probably true if the premises are true.

Conclusion
A good argument has the following: 1. All the premises are true.
2. Premises provide good reasons to accept conclusion. Deductively sound & inductively cogent argument. 3. Meet standards of critical thinking discussed in Topic 1. Clarity,

Precision, Accuracy, etc

Deductive
Arguments Valid* Invalid (ALL are unsound)

*Valid: so constructed that if premises are jointly asserted, the conclusion cannot be denied without contradiction.

Inductive
Arguments

Sound**

Unsound

Strong Weak **Sound: having no defect, sensible, valid. (ALL are uncogent) ***Cogent: convincing or believable because Cogent*** Uncogent it is clear.

Conclusion
Good Argument does NOT mean: Agrees with my views Persuasive argument Well-written or well-spoken argument

Exercise

Deductive

or

Inductive?

Deductive Reasoning
Hypothetical Syllogism Categorical Syllogism Argument by Elimination Argument based on Mathematics Argument from Definition

Common Patterns of

Hypothetical Syllogism
Syllogism three-line-argument that consists of exactly 2 premises & a conclusion. Premise 1 (Major Premise) Premise 2 (Minor Premise)
Conclusion

Hypothetical syllogism syllogism that contains at least 1 hypothetical or conditional (if-then) premise.

Hypothetical Syllogism
Conditional Statement / Premise

If
Antecedent
in

then
Consequent
in

Logic - conditional element Logic - second member of a conditional proposition, as in a proposition, as Caesar conquered Gaul, Caesar was a great general If Caesar conquered Gaul, he was a great general. Consequent

*Caesar was a great general if he conquered Gaul.

If Caesar conquered Gaul, he was a great general. Antecedent

Hypothetical Syllogism
Example, (1)

Modus Ponens If A, then B. (from ponere , to A. Therefore, B. affirm - affirming


the antecedent)

If I want to get the scholarship, then Id better study hard. I do want to get the scholarship. Therefore, Id better study hard.

Hypothetical Syllogism
Example, (2)

Chain Argument

Chain arguments consists of 3 conditional statements linked together in the following way.

If A, then B. If B, then C. Therefore, if A, then C. A B

B C

Hypothetical Syllogism
Example, (2)

Chain Argument

If I dont study hard now, I will not pass the subject. If I dont pass the subject, Ill be under probation. Therefore, if I dont study hard now, Ill be under probation.

Hypothetical Syllogism
Example, (3)

Modus Tollens

(Denying the consequent)

If A, then B. Not B. Therefore, not A. If were in FOSEE, then were in Melaka. Were not in Melaka. Therefore, were not in FOSEE.

Hypothetical Syllogism
Example, (4)

Denying the Antecedent If A, then B. Not A. Therefore, not B.

Not reliable!!

If you are the one who sends those flowers, you are a lovely person. You are not the one who sends me those flowers. Therefore, you are not a lovely person.

Hypothetical Syllogism
Example, (5)

Affirming the Consequent If A, then B. B. Therefore, A.

Not reliable!!

If it is a banana, it is a fruit. It is a fruit. Therefore, it is a banana.

Categorical Syllogism (1/2)


Three-line argument in which
each statement begins with the word All, Some or No.
Example (1/3),
whale

All whales are mammals. All mammals are animals. So, all whales are animals.

gorilla cow

lion

Categorical Syllogism (2/2)


Example (2/3),

All bats are nocturnal animals. No salamanders are nocturnal animals.

No salamanders are bats.


Example (3/3),

No tennis players are short. Some adults are short. Some adults are not tennis players.

Argument by Elimination
Seeks to logically rule

various possibilities until only a single possibility remains.


Example, Either Susan went to the library or she went to class.

out

But Susan did not go to the library.

Therefore, she went to class.

Argument based on
Math

Mathematics
93 million miles

Example,

186,000 miles per second.


The sun is more than 93 million miles distant from the earth. Therefore, it takes more than eight minutes for the suns light to reach the earth.

Light travels at a rate of

Argument from Definition


The conclusion is presented as being true by definition.
Example,
Pediatrician = doctor

Peter is a pediatrician .
Therefore, he is a doctor.

Inductive Reasoning
Six common patterns,
Inductive generalization Predictive argument Argument from authority Causal argument Statistical argument Argument from analogy

Common Patterns of

Inductive Generalization (1/2)


An argument in which a generalization is claimed to be probably true based on information about some members of a particular class. All, most.
Example,
Konnichiwa!!!

Ive met 4 Japanese people, & they were hardworking. Therefore, probably, most Japanese people are hardworking.

Inductive Generalization (2/2)


Example,

All dinosaur bones so far discovered have been more than 65 million years old.

Therefore, probably ALL dinosaur bones are more than 65 million years old.

Predictive Argument
A p r e d i c t i o n that is defended with reasons.
Example, Must hurry!!!

Amy always come late to class. Therefore, probably, she will come late today.

Argument from Authority


Asserts a claim & then supports claim by citing some presumed authority or witness who has said claim is true.
Example,

My friend told me that he saw a ghost on the 23rd floor. Therefore, probably there is a ghost on the 23rd floor.

Causal Argument
Asserts or denies that something is
the cause of something else.
Examples,

I cant log in the MMLS. The server is probably down. Rashid isnt allergic to peanuts. I saw him eat a bag of peanuts on the flight from Langkawi.

Statistical Argument
Rests on statistical evidence.
Example,

70% of MMU students

drive to the campus. Rosie is an MMU student. Most probably, she drives to the campus.

Air-Rosie

Argument from Analogy


Conclusion is claimed to
depend on analogy (a comparison of similarity ) between 2 or more things.

Basic logical pattern: These things are

similar in such-and-such ways. Therefore, theyre probably

similar in some further way.

Analogy

Example,

Ali

May

Venu

~ Ali is a graduate of MMU University, & he is bright, assertive & polite. ~ May is a graduate of MMU University, & she is bright, assertive, & polite. ~ Venu is a graduate of MMU University. ~ Therefore, most likely (or probably),

Venu is bright, assertive, & polite.

Deductive Validity
versus

Inductive Strength

Deductive
Arguments Valid* Invalid (ALL are unsound)

*Valid: so constructed that if premises are jointly asserted, the conclusion cannot be denied without contradiction.

Inductive
Arguments

Sound**

Unsound

Strong Weak **Sound: having no defect, sensible, valid. (ALL are uncogent) ***Cogent: convincing or believable because Cogent*** Uncogent it is clear.

Deductive Validity
Valid does not mean true. Valid means that the argument is well reasoned

Valid? Invalid?

Deductive Validity
Valid deductive argument:

logically re liable
deductive argument

(The conclusion really does follow necessarily from the premises). Premises
Leads to

Conclusion

Deductive Validity
3 conditions:
1. If premises are true, conclusion must be true. 2. The conclusion follows necessarily from the premises. 3. It is impossible to assert all the premises as true & deny the conclusion.

Deductive Validity
Valid arguments can: 1. Have obviously false premises, & false conclusion. squares circles
Example,

All squares are circles. All circles are triangles. triangles Therefore, all squares are triangles.

Deductive Validity
2. Have false premises, & a true conclusion.
Example,

All fruits are vegetables. Cauliflower is a fruit. Therefore, cauliflower is a vegetable.


cauliflower

Deductive Validity
3. Have true premises, & true conclusions.
Example,

If youre reading this, you are alive.

Youre reading this. Therefore, youre alive.

Deductive Validity
However, valid arguments CANNOT have ALL true premises, & a false conclusion.

All true premises


CANNOT

False Conclusion

Deductive Validity
Invalid deductive argument: the conclusion does not follow necessarily from the premises.
Examples,

Denying the antecedent, Affirming the consequent.

Not reliable!!

Denying the Antecedent

Not reliable!!

Argument of following form is invalid :

If A then B. Not A, therefore, Not B.

Example,
If youre hit by a car when youre 6 then youll die young. But you were not hit by a car when you

were 6. Thus, you will not die young.

(Of course, you could be hit by a train or a piano or at any other age after six or die of other causes!!)

or

or

or

Affirming the Consequent If A then B, B therefore, A.

Not reliable!!

Argument of following form is invalid: Examples


A B

If I am in Melaka, then I am in Malaysia. I am in Malaysia, thus, I am in Melaka. (Of course, even though the premises are true, I might be in Johor, or any other state in Malaysia.)

If the factory is polluting the river then we see an increase in fish deaths. And fish deaths have increased. Thus, the factory is polluting the river.

Deductive Validity
CONCLUSION

Valid doesnt mean good or true argument. Valid means argument is well-reasoned,
has a logically reliable

pattern of reasoning.

Deductive
Arguments Valid* Invalid (ALL are unsound)

*Valid: so constructed that if premises are jointly asserted, the conclusion cannot be denied without contradiction.

Inductive
Arguments

Sound**

Unsound

Strong Weak **Sound: having no defect, sensible, valid. (ALL are uncogent) ***Cogent: convincing or believable because Cogent*** Uncogent it is clear.

Deductive Validity
If argument is valid + premises true sound deductive argument (good argument).

Invalid, or have at least 1 false


(bad argument).

premise, or both unsound deductive argument

Quotes to Ponder
Valid deductive arguments are like steel traps.
Once a person walks into the trap by accepting the premises,

there is no escape; the conclusion follows necessarily.


- Kathleen Dean Moore

Inductive Strength
Weak

Strong

Inductive Strength
Strong inductive argument: conclusion follows probably from the premises.
Example,

Most models are thin & slim. Susan is a model. Probably, she is thin & slim.

Inductive Strength
Weak Inductive argument:

the conclusion is not probably true even if the premises are true.
Example,

All Malaysian PM has been a man. Therefore, probably, the next Malaysian PM will be a woman.

Inductive Strength
Strong inductive argument can:
1. have false premises, & a probably false conclusion. 2. have true premises, & a probably true conclusion. 3. have false premises, & a probably true conclusion.

Inductive Strength
Strong inductive argument

CANNOT?? have true premises, & a probably false conclusion.

Deductive
Arguments Valid* Invalid (ALL are unsound)

*Valid: so constructed that if premises are jointly asserted, the conclusion cannot be denied without contradiction.

Inductive
Arguments

Sound**

Unsound

Strong Weak **Sound: having no defect, sensible, valid. (ALL are uncogent) ***Cogent: convincing or believable because Cogent*** Uncogent it is clear.

Inductive Strength
Strong inductive argument + true premises cogent argument

(good argument)
Weak, or has at least 1 false premise or both uncogent argument

(bad argument)

Quotes to Ponder

The Aim of Argument,


should not be victory, but progress.
- Joseph Joubert
or discussion,