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 Whenever people offer reasons or evidence for the truth of a statement, they are advancing an argument.

In this part of our logic course, we investigate some of the ways that logical inferences can be evaluated.

In sum, logic is a study of sorting valid or reliable arguments from invalid or unreliable ones in accordance with specific rules.

Much of ordinary discourse is not argumentative. 

From a logical point of view, the expression of strong feeling is termed emotive discourse, not argumentative discourse. So the definition of "argument" in this course is considerably narrower than its lexical definition indicates.

 

  Links to Lecture Notes

THE STRUCTURE OF ARGUMENTS

  • Philosophy and Logic
    The subjects of philosophy and logic are broadly characterized.
  • The Nature of Logic
    Some of the uses of logic are illustrated, and deductive arguments are briefly distinguished from inductive arguments.
  • The Structure of Arguments
    The concept of an argument is discussed together with the related concepts of premise, conclusion, inference, entailment, proposition, and statement.
  • Diagramming
    The representation of the structure of arguments by means of diagrams is explained and illustrated.
  • Explanations and Nonarguments
    Several kinds of nonargumentative discourse are characterized, illustrated, and distinguished from argumentative discourse.
  • Deduction and Induction
    Deductive and inductive arguments are characterized and distinguished in some detail.
  • Truth, Validity, and Soundness
    The foundation-concepts of deductive logic are explained — truth, validity, and soundness.

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