Logic & Argumentation

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info.gif Argument: "A sequence of statements such that some of them (the premises) purport to give reason to accept another of them, the conclusion. Since we speak of bad arguments and weak arguments, the premises of an argument need not really support the conclusion, but they must give some appearance of doing so or the term ‘argument’ is misapplied. Logic is mainly concerned with the question of validity: whether if the premises are true we would have reason to accept the conclusion. A valid argument with true premises is called sound. A valid deductive argument is one such that if we accept the premises we are logically bound to accept the conclusion and if we reject the conclusion we are logically bound to reject one or more of the premises. Alternatively, the premises logically entail the conclusion. A good inductive argument -- some would reserve ‘valid’ for deductive arguments -- is one such that if we accept the premises we are logically bound to regard the conclusion as probable, and, in addition, as more probable than it would be if the premises should be false."

Audi, R. (Ed.). (1999). The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press

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    Beebe, James R.

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    Good and Bad Arguments

    "In one sense of the term, people argue all of the time. They disagree, they fight, they get mad at one another. In another sense of the term, however, people do not argue nearly enough. Much of what people say when they disagree with each other is simply the repeated assertion that the other person is wrong. They do not always offer reasons for thinking their assertions are true...One of the first things you should look for when examining someone else’s argument is whether you think the premises of the argument are true. If you see some dubious premises, argue against them. False premises, however, are not the only source of weak spots in an argument."
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    Cronk, George

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    Philosophy & Logic: The Process of Correct Reasoning

    "Logic is the art and science of correct reasoning. It includes the analysis, clarification, and evaluation of words, statements, and arguments. The Greek term logos (λογος), which is the root of 'logic,' means 'word.' The ancient Greeks thought of logic as the study of the meanings of words, of the ways in which words can be put together to form meaningful and true statements, and of the ways in which statements can be put together consistently to form sound arguments."