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Introduction to

Philosophy
Know thyself.
Socrates
Divisions of Philosophy
Metaphysics the philosophic study of ultimate
reality
Epistemology the philosophic study of
knowledge
Logic the philosophic study of correct
reasoning
Ethics the philosophic study of right and
wrong conduct
Metaphysics
Ontological problem what is there?
Philosophy of mind do we have a non-
corporeal mind?
Philosophy of religion does God exist?
Free will/Determinism Are we free?
Personal identity What am I?
Epistemology
What is knowledge?

Is knowledge possible?

Does reason provide us with knowledge
independently of experience or is experience
necessary for knowledge?
Logic

Does X follow from Y?

Is reasoning a matter of psychology?

Is the passage deductively valid?
Ethics (Moral Philosophy)
What is good? [metaethics]

Ought we take others interests into
consideration in deciding moral issues?
[normative ethics]

Why is it (not) morally permissible to abort
unborn fetuses? [applied ethics]


Philosophers Toolkit
Argument a set of statements in which one or
more propositions attempt to provide support
for the truth of another statement

Premises supporting sentences

Conclusion supported statement
Types of Arguments
Deductive Argument an argument in which
the conclusion necessarily follows from the
premises

Inductive Argument an argument in which the
premises make the conclusion likely
Deductive Arguments
Valid a deductive argument is valid when and
only when it is impossible for the premises to be
true and the conclusion to be false

Sound a deductive argument with true
premises
Example 1
1. All men are mortal
2. Socrates is a man
3. Thus, Socrates is a mortal

Sound and Valid
Example 2
1. Either Alcatraz is in Brooklyn or beer contains
barley
2. Beer does not contain barley
3. Therefore, Alcatraz is in Brooklyn

Valid and unsound
Explanation of Example 2
The example includes a disjunctive (either or)
statement in the first premise.

The second premise eliminates one of the disjuncts.

So, the other disjunct must follow.

The argument is unsound because beer does contain
barley (factual truth), and Alcatraz is not in Brooklyn
(factual truth).
Example 3
1. If the Bruins win the Stanley Cup, then the
Red Wings are terrible.
2. The Red Wings are terrible.
3. Thus, the Bruins win the Stanley Cup.

Is this argument valid?
Is it sound?
Explanation of Example 3
Argument form: If A, then B. B. Thus, A.

A is a sufficient condition for B when A is enough
to guarantee B. B is a necessary condition for A
when B cannot happen without A.

But, in example 3, the Red Wings can be terrible
without the Bruins winning the Stanley Cup. So,
the argument is invalid.
Example 4
1. Either Tommy Tuberville is a traitor or Eli
Manning is a quarterback.
2. Eli Manning is a quaterback.
3. Therefore, Tommy Tuberville is a traitor.

Is this argument valid?
Is it sound?
Inductive Arguments
Strong inductive arguments where the
premises support the conclusion

Weak inductive arguments where the premises
fail to support the conclusion

Cogent a strong inductive argument with true
premises
Example 5
1. Every previously observed human male has
died before the age of 200 years
2. Hence, Larry, a human male, will die before
reaching the age of 200 years

Strong and cogent
Example 6
1. I know of three people who died in traffic
accidents due to injuries sustained because they
were wearing safety belts
2. Ergo, it is safer not to wear a seatbelt while
driving

Weak and (cogent?)
Example 7
1. Every observed swan has been white.
2. Thus, all swans are white.

Is this a strong argument?
Is it cogent?
Example 8
1. The first time I threw the dice, they came up 10.
2. The second time I threw the dice, they came up 2.
3. Given that Ive thrown a 10 and a 2 on the previous
two tries, it is more likely that Ill throw a 7 or 11 (oh,
craps!).

Is this a strong argument?
Is it cogent?
Other Characteristics
Deductive arguments prove that a conclusion is
true, but it gives us no new information about
the world or particular subject matter

Inductive arguments can have true premises and
a true conclusion, but the premises may not
support the conclusion. Also, a cogent inductive
argument can have true premises and a false
conclusion, but remain cogent
Example 9
1. Leibchen is a cat.
2. All cats are animals.
3. Thus, Leibchen is an animal.

Is this a deductive or an inductive argument?
If deductive, is it valid?
If inductive, is it strong?
Example 10
1. Colder weather causes your furnace to run more
often.
2. A furnace that runs more often causes you to have a
higher gas bill.
3. So, Mother Nature should have to pay your gas bill.

Is this a deductive or an inductive argument?
If its deductive, then is it valid?
If its inductive, then is it strong?
Example 11
1. All Bostonians have funny accents.
2. Hence, we can suppose that the speech
therapists there are not very good.

Is this a deductive or an inductive argument?
If its deductive, is it valid?
If its inductive, is it strong?