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Sound and cogent arguments

So far we have talked about the kind of support that can be given for conclusions: deductive and non-deductive. We defined an argument as being valid if it’s a deductive …

Counter-examples

How do you show that an argument is invalid or weak? Remember that an argument is valid if it’s impossible for the premises to be true and the conclusion false, …

Good and bad reasoning

An argument is good if it succeeds logically (that’s what we learnt last week) and if the premises are true. Otherwise, it’s bad. By the end of the week, you …

Summary of Week 4

So what have we done so far? You now have all the tools required to evaluate arguments, which makes you part of the elite of critical thinkers. What you have …

Critical thinking: the principle of charity

Simply put, the principle of charity tells you to treat other people as intelligent people. If you treat people as being intelligent, you will do a better job at evaluating …

The validity and strength of arguments

When evaluating arguments, we have two main questions to ask: Do the premises provide enough logical support for the conclusion? Are the premises true? In this segment, we’ll discuss how …

Deductive vs non-deductive arguments

Not every argument is offered with the same intention. Sometimes arguments are offered to prove that something is definitely the case; other times they are offered to show that something …

Summary of Week 3

So what have we done this week? We’ve introduced you to the principle of charity: to be charitable is to treat others as intelligent. This is most important if you …

Logic and arguments

In arguments, premises are offered to provide support for the conclusion. Logic is about whether or not the support is adequate. If the logic is not adequate, it doesn’t matter …

Missing parts

Sometimes when people give you arguments, they will leave out parts of the argument. This may be because those parts are things that we all know, or maybe they think …

Non-arguments

You can think of arguments as ways to gather information and to acquire new beliefs. But information is not always given in the form of arguments. It might be that …

Pohutukawa tree case study

This video was inspired by a letter to the Editor that Lisa Prager published in The Ponsonby News, in February 15, 2015: Again the Auckland Council has failed in its …

What is the standard form of an argument?

The standard form of an argument is a way of presenting the argument which makes clear which propositions are premises, how many premises there are and which proposition is the …

Summary of Week 2

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. …