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Study Guide 1. Argument, premise, conclusion. 2. Numbering premises. What is this and why do we do it? Be prepared to read a paragraph and reconstruct its argument with numbered premises, making sure it is valid. 3. Validity vs. soundness vs. persuasiveness 4. Truth vs. reasonableness/justification 5. McBrayer’s criticisms of the fact-opinion distinction 6. Self-defeat. What is this and why is it bad? Be able to write an example of a self-defeating statement. 7. What is the argument from many religions? 8. In what way does the argument from many religions rely on a self-defeating premise? 9. What are the three types of ad hominem? List and explain them, creating examples of each. (See my essay “The Ad Hominem Fallacy”.) 10. Why is ad hominem is a poor excuse for an argument? 11. What does ‘fallacy’ mean? 12. The three valid forms: modus ponens, modus tollens, disjunctive syllogism 13. The two formal fallacies: denying the antecedent and affirming the consequent. 14. Be able to formalize arguments using symbolic notation such as “ ” for “if-then” and “v” for “or”. I may ask you to assign letters as variables to whole statements. So, you would write “if John goes to the beach, he will get a sunburn” as “B S”. The particular letters chosen are arbitrary. 15. The conditional statement and it parts: antecedent and consequent 16. The three steps of an inference to the best explanation (IBE). 17. Explain the fine-tuning argument as an IBE. I don’t expect you to regurgitate a bunch of physics. But you will need to understand the basic phenomenon of fine tuning, and the multiverse hypothesis as a rival to the God hypothesis. 18. Explain the argument from human rights. Why must human rights be grounded in something? What are the three desiderata for an account of human rights? Why must capacity accounts fail? Why does the imago dei account do better (allegedly)? Index of readings: For items 1-2: Numbering Premises For item 3: Valid and Sound For items 4-5: McBrayer’s essay For items 6-8: Austen Cline’s essay and my response For items 9-11: The Ad Hominem Fallacy For items 12-15: The forms & fallacies reference sheet—See below For item 16: Inference to the best explanation For item 17: The fine-tuning argument Forms & Fallacies Reference Sheet valid forms modus ponens modus tollens p→q p ___ q p→q ~q ___ ~p disjunctive syllogism pvq ~p ___ q fallacies affirming the consequent denying the antecedent p→q q ___ p p→q ~p ___ ~q some terms Conditional statement: any if-then statement, such as “if snoopy is a dog, then snoopy is a mammal.” Conditionals have the form: p → q. In a conditional, the stuff after “if” is the antecedent. The stuff after “then” is the consequent. So a conditional always contains an antecedent and a consequent. The order doesn’t matter. Notice that if p, then q = q, if p. For example, if it snows, then school will be canceled is the same as school will be canceled if it snows. It follows the antecedent in a conditional is not the statement that comes first, but rather the statement that implies the other. Being an antecedent is a matter of function, not sequence.
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