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Summary of Week 2

The importance of using standard form when evaluating arguments.

So what have we done in this week?

We’ve defined an argument as a group of statements, some of which, the premises, are offered in support of others, the conclusions. Very often these may be presented clumsily, with missing information, rhetorical moves, or ambiguous sentences. That’s why we have learnt to put arguments in standard form:

(begin{array}{ll} text{P1} & text{Premise 1} text{P2} & text{Premise 2} text{P3} & text{And so on for as many premises as there are in the argument.} &text{Therefore,} text{C} & text{Conclusion} end{array})

To put an argument in standard form can be a difficult task but we hope you see the importance of having a systematic way of presenting arguments. When you have to evaluate arguments, your first task will always be to put it in standard form – as well as its sub-arguments. And now that we have this in place, we can start showing how to go ahead and evaluate arguments. We’ll do that in the following two weeks.

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Logical and Critical Thinking

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