The Great Courses Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, 2nd Ed. with Prof. David Zarefsky of Northwestern Univ.

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    May 06, 2019 3:02 AM GMT
    Beware of argumentation that is driven to audiences as opposed to being driven to the necessities of honesty.

    Conversation and argumentation can be rhetoric as opposed to edifying honesty.

    = = =

    Conditions for Argument:

    A disagreement or controversy exists.
    The controversy is nontrivial.
    Assent of the other party is desired.
    Assent is valued only if freely given.
    No easier or less risky way to resolve the disagreement.

    Pickup at Lecture 5: Argument Analysis and Diagramming, 1: 25
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    May 12, 2019 5:18 PM GMT
    Lecture 5 Continued

    How do you know if you should believe a statement?

    Statement 1
    In August 2005, George W. Bush was president of the U.S.
    Easily verified. Probably no argument.

    Statement 2
    The Teaching Company/The Great Courses sells this course for $49.95.
    Easily verified. Probably no argument.

    Statement 3
    The red tie is prettier than the blue one.
    A matter of taste. Probably no argument.

    Statement 4
    The city government is unsatisfactory.
    Further discussion required. Open to argument. Reasons are needed to justify the claim.

    Statement 5
    Capital punishment is murder.
    Further discussion required. Open to argument. Reasons are needed to justify the claim.

    Statement 6
    Congress ought to pass the President's budget.
    Further discussion required. Open to argument. Reasons are needed to justify the claim.

    Reasons accepted and people go along. Reasons not accepted and people do not go along.

    4 Types of Claims (with different proof requirements)
    Fact - description, high degree of consensus
    Definition - meaning, interpretation, high degree of consensus Capital punishment is murder, but murder is not a neutral term.|
    Without neutral terms, a rhetorical device, the claim has a headstart towards one consensus or another.
    Value - e-VALUE-ation, terminal value (in themselves) vs instrumental value (as they lead to something else)
    Policy - low degree of consensus (should or ought in the statement) What should we do (at the gov't level or the personal level)

    Advancing a Claim
    If the claim is not immediately accepted, produce evidence or reasons for the claim.
    Evidence/Reason leads (by inference) to the Claim.
    If not accepted, the evidence becomes a secondary claim needing its own evidence.

    One can challenge the evidence and one can challenge the inference (link).

    A claim needs evidence/reason.
    An inference/link needs a warrant or warrants.

    If a warrant is not accepted, it will need evidence/reason or a secondary warrant.

    Pick up at 21:43

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    May 13, 2019 5:25 AM GMT
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    May 14, 2019 4:02 AM GMT
    Lecture 5 Continued

    A warrant may appeal to historical evidence.

    Four Basic Parts of an Argument:

    Evidence for the claim
    Inference which links evidence and claim
    Warrant which authorizes/legitimizes making the inference

    Claim: The Economy is entering a recession
    The stock market is declining
    The unemployment rate is going up
    Ratings of consumer confidence is dropping
    More Evidence: polls and surveys
    Inference: the evidence points are signs/predictors of an impending recession
    Warrant: Accumulated historical experience

    Exceptions to the general rule of the inference:
    Other explanations (other than entering a recession) for stock market declining
    Other explanations (other than entering a recession) for unemployment rising and consumer confidence dropping

    The exceptions will invoke a qualification to the claim. The claim is changed from the economy is entering a recession to the economy is probably entering a recession.

    Pick up at Lecture 6
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    May 15, 2019 4:00 PM GMT
    Lecture 6

    Resolution (a complex argument)

    From Controversy to Resolution (Question to Answer)

    Inherent to the Controversy are Issues/Questions
    Claims answer the Issues/Questions
    The claims also feed into the success of the Resolution.

    1) Controversy, 2) Issues, 3) Claims, 4) Resolution or 1) Resolution, 2) Controversy, 3) Issues, and 4) Claims

    pick up at 6:20

    Arguments may be arranged in the following three patterns: series, convergence, or parallel.

    For example, if one did not analyze and diagram Secretary Colin Powell's speech to the U.N. on Iraq, the media played sound bites. Analysis allows one to appraise the quality of the argument.

    Pick up at Lecture 7

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    May 21, 2019 5:44 PM GMT
    Lecture 7: Case Construction - Requirements and Options

    Choices of selection and choices of arrangements

    Choose claims and choose evidence

    Discover the Issues
    The text of the resolution
    What is going on out in the world
    What people are saying about the resolution

    Topoi (place) Places in the Mind
    Topoi for Resolutions of Fact: what are the criteria and are they satisfied
    Topoi for Resolutions of Definition: is the interpretation relevant and fair; and, how should we choose among competing interpretations?
    Topoi for Resolutions of Value: is the condition truly good or bad as alleged, has the value been properly applied, how do we choose among competing values?
    Topoi for Resolutions of Policy: Is there a problem, where is the credit or blame due, will the proposal solve the problem, on balance, will things be better off?

    Make your case prima facie. Meet your initial burden of proof.
    Your opponent has to respond to what you have said - their burden of rejoinder

    Choices of selection: is the argument strong enough and how many arguments should we include?

    How do we decide the strength of an argument?
    Will an audience accept the evidence?
    How relevant is an argument to the resolution?
    Arguments must pass the "So what?" test.
    To what degree is the evidence certain vs. speculative?
    To what degree does the claim rely on short-term urgent matters vs. distant considerations?
    To what degree is the claim consistent with common sense? (Ketchup in a vegetable? Really? No.)

    Present more arguments if the arguments do not make the resolution conclusive.
    Present more arguments due to the heterogeneity of the audience. Increase the amplitude of the argument in support of the resolution.

    A ketchup is a vegetable claim will make people wonder about some of the other claims.
    A ketchup is a vegetable claim will make people wonder about what sort of person would make such a claim.
    Too many arguments in rare cases makes the arguer come across as defensive.
    The more arguments the chance increases that one of the arguments will be inconsistent with another (audience may think both arguments cannot be true and the audience will dismiss both until there is an over-riding consistency)

    Series, Convergent, Parallel, or a Combination

    Convergent or Parallel - which argument comes first
    Scalia said put the strong argument first (primacy effect) to color the perception of the remaining
    or Put it last (recency effect) BUT DON'T PUT THE STRONGEST ARGUMENT IN THE MIDDLE.

    Should you, upfront, anticipate objections and answer them?
    If the audience is known to be opposed to the resolution, do so.

    Should you proceed from what is most familiar to what is least familiar?

    In a Parallel arrangement, each claim has to be effective, independently.

    Common organizational patterns: chronological, spatial/geographical, arrange in categories, cause to effect, problem to solution, compare or contrast

    Problem > Blame > Cure

    = = =


    The right to vote is a Constitutional right
    Significance increases as the speech progresses.

    Pick up at Lecture 8.
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    May 25, 2019 3:28 PM GMT
    Lecture 8: Stasis - The Heart of the Controversy

    Know what is in dispute.

    Stasis - both side have equal forces

    Assertion and Response
    Multiple Focal Points Multiple Points of Clash:
    Stasis of Conjecture - did an act occur
    Stasis of Definition - an act occurred but what should it be called
    Stasis in Quality - concerns whether the act was justified (mitigating circumstances)
    Stasis in Place - is this discussion occurring in the proper forum

    Stasis is progressive from Conjecture to Quality.

    Stasis and Resolutions of Policy (Not Legal Resolutions)
    Stasis in Place is not a concern for Policy discussions.

    = = =
    4 by 3
    Topoi (plural)
    Topos - Is there a problem
    Topos - Who is to blame
    Topos - Will the proposal work
    Topos - Are we better off

    by Conjecture Definition and Quality

    12 Possible Points (4 x 3 = 12)
    Know the whole matrix but do not discuss each and every one.
    Risk of not knowing what is important in the 12.
    = = =

    The Scopes Trial (1925)
    The Scopes Trial, also known as the Scopes Monkey Trial, was the 1925 prosecution of science teacher John Scopes for teaching evolution in a Tennessee public school, which a recent bill had made illegal.

    The Scopes Trial, also known as the Scopes Monkey Trial, was the 1925 prosecution of science teacher John Scopes for teaching evolution in a Tennessee public school, which a recent bill had made illegal. The trial featured two of the best-known orators of the era, William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow, as opposing attorneys. The trial was viewed as an opportunity to challenge the constitutionality of the bill, to publicly advocate for the legitimacy of Darwin’s theory of evolution, and to enhance the profile of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

    Claim: (defense): The theory of evolution was true.
    Opposing Claim (prosecution): The teaching of evolution was unlawful, therefore Scopes violated the law.
    No one is debating conjecture: the teacher did teach evolution.
    The prosecution is debating the stasis of definition: this act was unlawful.
    The defense is arguing quality.
    Quality concedes conjecture and definition; so, guess what? The defense lost because it conceded not only conjecture but definition, too.
    Choose the correct level of stasis.

    Failing to agree on the stasis can hijack the argument from clash and movement out of equilibrium.

    Pick up at Lecture 9

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    Jun 02, 2019 10:58 PM GMT
    Meet the Burden of Rejoinder
    by identifying the stasis.

    Refute: test and evaluate the arguments of the resolution.

    Respond to a Case (Attacks) - Selection and Arrangement

    Selection Choices:
    Which Arguments to Attack?

    "These attacks work at cross purposes: throw them both out."

    Have strong and relevant attacks.

    Given 1) evidence to 2) inference to 3) claim. [surrounded by the context]

    Attack the claim by defying the claim or offer a counter-claim.

    Attack the evidence.

    Attack the inference. (Ex: you haven't shown cause and effect)

    Attack the context/assumptions.

    What Type of Attack?
    Ask a question. (Not a good attack strategy.)
    Ask an unanswerable question. (That is a good attack strategy)
    Identify internal deficiencies.
    Identify inconsistencies.
    Identify cross-purposes.
    Label the opponent's argument strategy.
    Create a counter-argument.
    Recontextualize the argument. for example, from consumer convenience to national safety
    How many attacks to develop?

    3rd Debate between Kennedy and Nixon
    Nixon compared the Kennedy platform with the Nixon platform and found the Kennedy platform to be $10 bn more expensive
    Kennedy denies.
    Nixon wants Kennedy financial analysis since he disagrees with my figures

    Kennedy's Answers:
    1) I want a balanced budget except when there is an emergency or a recession (recontextualize--to I am fiscally responsible--instead of direct answer)
    2) Kennedy identifies some places where his budget would be less than Nixon's without responding to the bottom line comparison of budgets. (attack on evidence)
    3) we'll spend more money on housing and education and more wisely on the military even though we are spending more
    4) Nixon mis-states my figures

    pick up at Lecture 10

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    Jun 10, 2019 6:50 PM GMT
    Lecture 10

    2 Major Arrangement Choices

    Same way as the arguments presented (easier for the audience to follow)
    but you put yourself on the presenter's ground, on your opponent's ground

    How complete should the attack be developed?
    1) State the argument that you are going to attack.
    2) Explain the basis of your attack.
    3) Develop and support the attack.
    4) Explain the significance of your attack.

    Defending Arguments
    1) Demonstrate that the attack is inapplicable.
    2) Demonstrated the attack is trivial.
    3) Demonstrate the attack is inadequately established.
    4) Demonstrate the attack is in error.
    5) It does not outweigh the case

    Defend attack *and* re-enforce the original argument.

    Just repeating the inference does not overshadow an attack on the evidence.

    Don't let the attack run away with the argument.

    General Approaches to Refutation (for attack and defense)
    1) Reuctio ad absurdum Reducing to Absurdity (example: ketchup is a vegetable, therefore, a balanced meal can be made of condiments)
    2) Turning the tables (example: airline safety does not call for building more airports, it calls for more regulation)
    3) Pose a Dilemma: alternatives that are going to make enough difference
    4) Argument from Residues (used by LBJ in the Vietname War), pose final alternatives
    5) Argument a fortiori: what's true of the lesser is true of the greater
    6) Identify contradictions or inconsistencies - the opponent may not be able to clear his resolution of ambiguity

    Pick up at Lecture 11.
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    Jun 14, 2019 4:47 PM GMT
    Lecture 11: Language and Style

    Make vague terms precise.
    Invent new usage.

    Persuasive Definition: A persuasive definition of a term is favorable to one argument or unfavorable to the other argument, but is presented as if it were neutral and well-accepted, and the listener is expected to accept such a definition without question.

    [Politicians and the media have spent time making up persuasive definitions (and using figures of speech).]

    The Heaps and Slippery Slopes

    The heap: you cannot identify the point of change
    When you go from 15,000 troops to 500,000 troops in small increments, at what point did it become our war?

    The slippery slope: a chain of consequences that cannot be stopped farfetched from where it starts
    Example: The Domino Theory

    You can use language less precise so as to not re-open wounds.

    Loaded language - for some people the word quagmire is loaded by its overuse in reference to involvement in the Vietnam War.

    Pick up at Lecture 12
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    Jul 14, 2019 3:36 AM GMT
    Lecture 12: Evaluating Evidence

    If the evidence is unacceptable, the argument cannot proceed.

    How do you know? - what do you have to go on?

    Contesting the evidence stops the argument.

    Direct observation is evidence but hearsay is not evidence.

    Lincoln 1860 Cooper Union - the speech that made Lincoln president.

    Five Categories of Evidence:
    1 Examples
    2 Statistics
    3 Tangible Objects
    4 Testimony
    5 Social Consensus

    pick up at 13: 25

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    Jul 17, 2019 2:12 PM GMT
    Five Categories of Evidence:
    1 Examples
    2 Statistics
    3 Tangible Objects
    4 Testimony
    5 Social Consensus

    pick up at 13: 25
    = = =

    -Raw numbers, Over 1700 soldiers died in Iraq
    -Percentages, Ratios, Index Numbers
    -Measures of Central Tendency: Mean (avg), Median (one in the middle) , Mode (most cited price)
    -Rate of Change
    -Probability Studies

    Tangible Objects (or Verifiable Pictures of Tangible Objects)
    -Words are tangible objects when they are in document form (contracts, diaries, emails)

    Testimony of Fact or Opinion
    -Credibility of the Source / Ethos /
    --Trustworthiness, Competent, and Dynamism
    Were you there to be an eyewitness?
    Background, training, expertise
    Track record

    To challenge credibility
    -Ask if the person is an authority on the specific subject
    -Is there a clear basis of how a person reached a conclusion
    -Is there a vested interest (eager evidence) vs reluctant evidence where a person stands to lose ...
    -Do credible sources, plural, agree?

    Social Consensus (could later be proven to be non-factual)
    -Common Knowledge
    -Shared Value Judgments
    -Shared Historical Understandings (maybe Shared Current Understandings, also)
    -Previously Established Conclusions
    -Stipulations (for the sake of argument)

    Standards: What a critical audience will accept (but how critical is an audience REALLY?)
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    Jul 30, 2019 4:00 AM GMT
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    Jul 30, 2019 4:12 AM GMT
    The previous post mentioned the movie Inception. Here's the Trailer.

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    Aug 05, 2019 4:38 PM GMT
    Lecture 13: Reasoning from Parts to Whole

    Inferences and the warrants (argument schemes) that support them

    Inference links evidence to claim (JUSTIFIED by warrant), not with certainty but with probability

    Know what the warrant is. Is it strong or weak?

    There are Six Major Inferential Patterns
    There are also hybrid patterns.

    In the middle of FDR's speech to declare war against Japan - the evidence is a listing of Japan's attack. The claim: Japan is making surprise attacks. What is true of the part is true of the whole. The warrant is that the examples are representative of Japan's intention for war.

    (Reminder from Zarefsky: Specific to General and General to Specific can be either deductive or inductive reasoning.)

    Generalization (Statistical or Anecdotal)
    Specific to Whole
    Inference from 4 examples to a claim which was a generalization

    I buy 4 cars of one make and they are all lemons, therefore all cars of that make are lemons.

    statistical generalizations are subject to specific tests
    - sample size
    - representativeness

    anecdotal generalizations are subject to specific tests
    - number of examples
    - range of examples
    - presence/absence of significant counter examples
    - representativeness Don't use an unrepresentative sample
    - a generalization should not have the fallacy of composition

    The Fallacy of Composition involves taking attributes of part of an object or class and applying them to the entire object or class. It is similar to the Fallacy of Division but works in reverse.

    The argument being made is that because every part has some characteristic, then the whole must necessarily also have that characteristic. This is a fallacy because not everything that is true about every part of an object is necessarily true of the whole, much less about the entire class that the object is part of.

    A country's nuclear weapons capacity can give it a dominant position in world politics.
    More countries should have a dominant position in world politics?
    This is a fallacy of composition because a different outcome is composed: instead of more countries at the table world politics also creates a higher risk mutual destruction. This is why we have treaties. What's true for one country is not true for all countries.

    Pick up at 19: 12.
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    Aug 30, 2019 2:53 PM GMT
    Picking up at 19:12

    Reasoning from the Whole to the Part - Classifications
    Warrant: what's true of the classification is true of the part

    But there are outliers, exceptions.

    Tests for Classification:
    Is x really part of the category?
    Is x atypical or an exception?
    Are you avoiding the Fallacy of Division?

    Fallacy of Division

    The fallacy of division is the reverse of the fallacy of composition. It is committed by inferences from the fact that a whole has a property to the conclusion that a part of the whole also has that property. Like the fallacy of composition, this is only a fallacy for some properties; for others, it is a legitimate form of inference.

    An example of an inference that certainly does commit the fallacy of division is this:

    (1) Water is liquid.
    (2) H2O molecules are liquid.

    This argument, in attributing a macro-property of water, liquidity, to its constituent parts, commits the fallacy of division. Though water is liquid, individual molecules are not.

    Lecture example:

    A city block is worth $2 million to a prospective grocery store developer.
    Someone owns 25% of the block and thinks his property is worth half a million.
    No: that 25% may keep the block from getting the zoning the grocery store developer needs, especially if the 25% is residential.

    Pick up at Lecture 14.
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    Sep 06, 2019 4:40 PM GMT
    Lecture 14: Reasoning with Comparisons

    Comparisons and Resemblances

    Houston resembles Phoenix in a lot of respects.
    Something that worked in Phoenix will probably work in Houston.

    Was the new United States more like France at that time or more like Britain at that time?

    Was the second Iraq War a Vietnam?
    Was Stalin like Hitler?

    There are literal analogies which are judicial analogies (judging by precedent, apply a precedent case to a new case).

    Another literal analogy: Argument a fortiori (super analogy--even moreso, or even less so)

    What is true of the lesser is even more true of the greater, and vice versa.

    If a company is concerned about missing office supplies, it should be more concerned about missing cash.

    If the senate is going to filibuster about lower court judges, they have even more reason to filibuster about Supreme Court judges.

    If he is not going to pay for an extended warranty for his car, he is not going to pay for an extended warranty for his DVD player.

    Literal Analogy (between things) vs. Figurative Analogy (not between things themselves)

    Privatizing Social Security is like Burning Down a Hen House to Kill a Fox
    The remedy is far disproportionate than the problem.

    A is to B as C is to D. (Theme less familiar and Phoros more familiar with)
    Privatizing SS (we don't know what is going to happen if we do that) is the theme and burning down the hen house is the phoros.

    Pick up at 22:40.

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    Sep 23, 2019 4:26 PM GMT
    Lecture 14: Reasoning with Comparisons (Continued)

    Test our understanding of relationships.
    Term A is to Term B as ...
    Be able to reason analogically.

    Figurative Analogy Example: Abraham Lincoln's House Divided Speech
    Argue by Figurative Analogy - Workmen and Framed House
    Lincoln could not prove his case directly so he applied figurative analogy

    FDR Example: preserving neutrality and giving aid to Britain - Lend Lease
    If my neighbor has a fire and I have a garden hose, lend the neighbor your hose that can reach
    I do not sell the hose, I lend him the hose.
    Permit Britain to use the old destroyers and give them back.

    Lend-Lease Program
    Jan 10, 1941 On this day in 1941, Franklin Roosevelt introduces the lend-lease program to Congress. The plan was intended to help Britain beat back Hitler’s advance while keeping America only indirectly involved in World War II.

    As Roosevelt addressed Congress, the Battle of Britain was in its full destructive swing and Hitler seemed on the verge of invading Great Britain. The cash-strapped Brits desperately needed airplanes, tanks and ships to fight Hitler’s imminent invasion. For months, Britain’s prime minister, Winston Churchill, had begged Roosevelt for help, but the president was committed to abiding by Americans’ wishes to stay out of another bloody world war.

    The lend-lease program provided for military aid to any country whose defense was vital to the security of the United States. The plan thus gave Roosevelt the power to lend arms to Britain with the understanding that, after the war, America would be paid back in kind.

    Pick up at Lecture 15: Establishing Correlations
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    Oct 03, 2019 9:36 PM GMT
    Change in plans:
    Chapter 19: Validity and Fallacies I

    Validity is derived from form only. A valid argument needs truth.

    Syllogism: an instance of a form of reasoning in which a conclusion is drawn from two given or assumed propositions (premises), each of which shares a term with the conclusion, and shares a common or middle term not present in the conclusion
    All dogs are animals. [Premise - the term dogs is in the conclusion]
    All animals have four legs. [Premise - the term four legs is in the conclusion; the middle term animals is not in the conclusion]
    Therefore all dogs have four legs. [Conclusion]

    Categorical syllogism
    All doctors are courteous.
    All lawyers are courteous.
    Therefore all doctors are lawyers.
    I would say this is a different construction. In the first example dogs are a type of animal but in the second example, the argument does not describe the second term of the first premise, i.e., All courteous people try to be pleasant in their interactions with others.
    The professor's disagreement is that you can draw a population circle of all courteous people and the sub-circles of layers and doctors do not have to overlap.
    This categorical syllogism is NOT VALID.

    A categorical syllogism is invalid if the middle term is undistributed.
    A categorical syllogism is invalid if either of the end terms is distributed only once.

    If/Then Syllogism [conditional syllogism]
    Valid if the antecedent is affirmed OR if it denies the consequent.
    Invalid if the antecedent is denied but the consequent is affirmed.

    Do not take a true conditional statement and invalidly infer its converse.
    If the lamp were broken, the room would be dark.
    Then say,
    The room is dark, so the lamp is broken.
    because the room would be dark has more than one antecedent, for example, the lamp may not be switched on, it may not be plugged in.

    Converse errors are common in everyday thinking and communication and can result from, among other causes, communication issues, misconceptions about logic, and failure to consider other causes.

    Disjunctive Syllogism
    The basic form of the disjunctive syllogism is: Either A is true or B is true.
    Thus, if A is true, B is false, and if B is true, A is false.
    A and B cannot both by true.
    The breach is a safety violation, or it is not subject to fines.
    The breach is not a safety violation.
    Therefore, it is not subject to fines.
    A or B
    A, then -B
    or as in the example
    A or B
    -A, then B.

    = = =

    All arguments are not formal arguments. In informal reasoning, there still needs to be a reasoning process.

    In logic, an inference is the process of deriving logical conclusions from premises known or assumed to be true.

    An inference is said to be valid if it's based upon sound evidence and the conclusion follows logically from the premises.

    = = =

    Inferences can be made from examples, analogies, sign, cause, commonplaces, and forms.

    = = =

    Pick up Lecture 19: Validity and Fallacies I at 6 minutes and 31 seconds.
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    Oct 10, 2019 4:32 PM GMT
    15. Establishing Correlations

    The focus of this lecture is on inferences from sign. Sign inferences establish the relationship between two factors so one can be predicted from knowledge of the other. Sign arguments are used to infer the unknown from the known, to predict outcomes, and to rely on the judgment of expert authorities. The lecture concludes with pitfalls to avoid in making sign inferences.

    Sign Warrants

    Asking intelligent questions is a sign of being an intelligent person.

    X is a sign of Y.
    X is not necessarily a cause of Y.

    GDP is a sign of the health of an economy.

    Predictable pattern.

    Fallible Sign and Infallible Sign

    Infer the unknown from the known

    Bundling up in winter is a sign of staying healthy and avoiding colds

    Credentials can be a sign of expertise and expertise can be a sign of accuracy.

    Signs can be fallible.

    do the sign and the thing it stands for usually appear together
    Prosperity can be a sign of increasing tax revenue [unless a Republican congress cut taxes or overspending outpaces prosperity]

    +1 correlation
    -1 not correlated
    0 random

    Are there counter-signs?
    Increasing stock market can be a sign.
    New home starts can be a sign.
    If you have stock market going up and home starts decreasing you have a sign and a counter-sign.

    3rd question: can a sign signify two opposing conclusions
    Stock prices have fallen so the economy is not doing well
    Stock prices have fallen but that is just a correction of speculation not a sign the economy is not doing well

    Pick up at 25:59

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    Oct 16, 2019 8:50 PM GMT
    So we cannot be sure what the sign stands for.

    4th Question Do we have a basis for thinking the relationship between two things is coincidence?
    Ex Presidents born in a year ending in 0 died in office and Reagan had an assassination attempt.
    But those were coincidences.
    A causal relationship does both: points (is a sign) to a relationship and accounts for a relationship.
    Most signs are fallible.
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    Nov 04, 2019 9:57 PM GMT
    Lesson 16: Moving from Cause to Effect
    Causal inferences assert that one factor has influence over another. Influence must be inferred because it cannot be observed. The lecture will consider meanings of the concept of causation, purposes for which causal arguments are used, and methods that have been used to infer the existence of causal influence. The lecture will conclude by discussing factors that can undermine a causal inference.
    = = =
    Causal relationships both predict and explain whereas signs can only predict

    Competing explanations are fighting for future policies.

    Post Hoc fallacy:
    Post hoc ergo propter hoc (Latin: "after this, therefore because of this") is an informal fallacy that states: "Since event Y followed event X, event Y must have been caused by event X." It is often shortened simply to post hoc fallacy.

    Multiple causes for a single effect?

    Single cause for multiple effects?

    pickup at Lecture 17 (Remember, Lecture 19 was already started.)

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    Nov 14, 2019 9:32 PM GMT
    Lecture 17: Commonplaces and Arguments from Form
    This lecture considers inferences based on social knowledge and inferences that resemble deductions but are not. Commonplaces are beliefs or judgments that an audience generally accepts as being true. Often these come in pairs of seemingly opposed terms with each term sometimes being preferred. Dilemmas, arguments from hypothesis, and arguments from probabilities are examples of inferences that are not deductive but gain their power from a form that resembles deduction.

    Commonplaces (social knowledge)
    places to go for warrants
    "Govt bureaucracies are inefficient" can function as a warrant in an argument.
    "We should do what's principled or pragmatic" can, too.

    Enthymeme: an argument in which one premise is not explicitly stated.
    Example: Where there's smoke, there is fire. // The premise not explicitly stated is: Fire causes smoke.

    But beliefs can be contested.

    Beliefs can be at odds with others.

    Freedom of individual choice vs Benefit to society.

    Shared Beliefs
    Don't put off until tomorrow what can be done today. > [which might be used to justify/warrant a claim such as:]
    We shld fix Social Security before it goes bankrupt.

    The US has a special mission in the world. >
    We must be an active player for peace in the Middle East.

    All humans deserve respect. >
    Society has an obligation to people without means as well as to those who are well off.

    We find commonplaces in presidential rhetoric because they are trying to speak to and for the entire nation.
    President Reagan:
    Why shouldn't we be optimistic about the future; after all, we are Americans.
    Commonplace: Americans can do whatever they set their minds to do.
    President Johnson:
    Is a new world coming? We welcome it. And we will bend it to the hopes of man.
    Shared Belief: we are in control of our destiny and can subdue forces external to ourselves.
    President Kennedy:
    United, there is little we cannot do.
    Commonplace: Unlimited possibilities.
    President Bush, after 9/11:
    Freedom and fear are at odds and God is not neutral between them.
    He did not know the will of God: he was appealing to the Commonplace: There is divine order, there are divine preferences (for freedom, not fear).
    = = =
    Pragmatism: We should decide between choices on the basis of consequences--the better result
    Principle: We should decide on enduring values without regard to their consequences in particular circumstances.
    Examples from 2003: We should go to war against Iraq on principle vs We should not go to war against Iraq due to the consequences.

    As analysts of argument, we ask
    - Has the situation been accurately described?
    - Is there a countervailing (an offset of equal force) consequence
    - Do other considerations outweigh the ones that have been stated

    Pick up at 16:16

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    Apr 28, 2020 8:43 PM GMT
    Commonplaces (continued)

    As analysts of argument, we ask
    - Has the situation been accurately described?
    - Is there a countervailing (an offset of equal force) consequence
    - Do other considerations outweigh the ones that have been stated


    We discussed Principle v. Pragmatism, now let's discuss Quantity vs. Quality.

    Quantity - the greatest good, for the greatest number, at the least cost
    Quality - the value of the unique

    Example: School Boards

    Basic instruction will do the most for the most students at the least cost
    Honors Programs - unique opportunities

    Which is more applicable to the case at hand?
    Is it principle or pragamatism, quantity or quality?

    Inferences from Form or "Quasi-Logical" Arguments
    Relies on the structure, a seeming resemblance to deduction
    They reflect probabilities and require a warrant

    Type 1: A dilemma
    We can either stay in Iraq or get out.
    Indefinite commitment or leave behind anarchy
    (There really are more than two alternatives. > False Dilemma > It is not a disjunctive syllogism)

    (logic) A logical argument of the form that if there are only two possibilities, and one of them is ruled out, then the other must take place.

    Type 2: Argument from Hypothesis looks like the Conditional Syllogism (If > Then)
    But the hypothesis is not certain, here.

    Type 3: Reasoning from Comparisons
    Are you better off than you were four years ago?
    There is no precise way to answer this because it is subjective.

    If Team A is better than Team B and Team B is better than Team C, is Team A better than Team C?
    The situation itself is not conducive to a transitive relationship because any of these teams can be one of the other teams on a given day.

    Example: Argument from Sacrifice
    Of course you have to give me an A on this paper: I worked 20 hours on it.
    Reward is not relative to sacrifice/effort.

    = = =

    Conclusion: 1) Commonplaces and 2) Arguments from Form both resemble deduction but are not deduction.
    They depend on interpretation and agreement that they apply to a given situation.

    = = =

    pick up at Lecture 18: Hybrid Patterns of Inference
    Reminder: Lecture 19 will be Validity and Fallacies I and Lecture 20 will be Validity and Fallacies II
    There are only 24 Lectures in this program.

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    Jun 25, 2020 10:24 PM GMT
    Lecture 18: Hybrid Patterns of Inference
    This lecture will examine three hybrid patterns
    1 reasoning with rules
    2 reasoning about values, and
    3 dissociation

    Prof. David Zarefsky
    Argument Schemes

    Reasoning with rules (if then statement)
    Form: if conditions X arise, then Y is required, permitted, or forbidden
    Example: If you drive faster than the speed limit, you might get a ticket.

    The rule functions as a commonplace.
    The statement of facts is used analogically.
    Reasoning with Rules is a hybrid of Commonplaces and Analogies.
    It facilitates case-based reasoning.

    Brown v Ed
    Segregated schools are unconstitutional.
    Rule: if a practice violates equal protection, it must be changed
    Facts: Schools were legally segregated on the basis of race
    Claim: Unconstitutional
    Warrant: segregated schools have conditions that the 14th Amendment was trying to prevent

    Application of the rule to the facts of the case need judgment calls.
    Is the case like that of the rule?
    Do the essential similarities outweigh the essential differences?
    Is the rule being applied unthinkingly or with a misplaced literalism: have we exalted the letter over the spirit?

    Pick up at 9:49