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PHL 201--Lecture 2: Conceptual Analysis/What is an Argument?
Instructor: Scott Dixon

There are many methods of philosophical inquiry. Our focus will be primarily on analysis;
    more specifically, conceptual analysis.

Conceptual analysis—an analysis of the function and uses of concepts.

Concepts—concepts are the jobs that words do. Notice the plural on 'jobs', words have more than one.
    For example when we speak of the concept of ‘can’ we look for various uses of the word.

Wilson on Conceptual Analysis

We need to distinguish three types of questions.

1) Questions of Fact
2) Questions of Value
3) Questions of Concept

Statements that are verifiable in experience or are potentially verifiable in experience answer
    Questions of Fact.

Verified in Experience
How many buildings does Cal Poly have on its campus?
Cal Poly has 33 buildings on its campus.

How many students are currently on campus?
There are 18,200 students on campus right now.

How old are you?
You are 21 years old.

How many Army bases are in California?
The U.S. Army has three bases in California.

Potentially Verified in Experience
How much Mercury is in the Earth's core?
The Earth's core consists of 72% mercury.

What is the Sun's exact temperature?
The Sun's exact temperature is 1,000,200,000 degrees.

Are there lakes on the dark side of Venus?
There are lakes on the dark side of Venus.

Questions of Value--These questions usually contain normative words like 'should', 'ought', 'good',
    'bad', 'desirable', 'undesirable', 'right', 'wrong', and others.

 Value-laden Statements

 Is it wrong to murder?
 It is wrong to murder.

 Is war desirable?
 War is undesirable.

 What is the right major for everyone?
 Philosophy is the right major for everyone.

Questions of Concept--These questions are about meaning and the uses of words.

 Is a truck an automobile?
     The answer depends upon what 'truck' and 'automobile' might mean.

 What is the difference between a 'bachelor' and an 'unmarried male'?
     The answer depends upon what 'bachelor' and 'unmarried male' might mean.

 Are all women female?
    The answer depends upon what 'women' and 'female' might mean.

Remember concepts do 'jobs' and we do not want to think of the words in single quotes as having only
    ONE meaning. We look for the uses of words and analyze the use given particular contexts.

For example: If the word 'woman' is used as an instance of a social role performed by certain members
of society and 'female' relates directly to certain members biological sex, then someone who is living
as a woman in society, yet is not biologically a female, would not answer the question with 'yes.'
(Biology and culture are different.)

However, if the word 'woman' is used as both a biological and a social instance of someone in society,
    then the answer would not be answered 'no.' (Biology and culture are the same.)

Notice in this conceptual analysis, we came to different conclusions based upon how the words might
be used. In other words, 'woman' and 'female' are doing different jobs. And we might ask, why? Because
the surrounding context determines the different jobs a word might do.

Conceptual analysis requires that one become self-conscious about the ways words are used. You need
to think about the ways you use words, and the more often you do it, the greater your analytical skill
becomes. We often go through life just using words with no reflection upon their uses.

By noticing the different types of questions asked; factual, normative, or conceptual, you can select the
right kind for analysis. You then start looking at the words in question and ask yourself how might they
be used given differing contexts. All of this requires self-conscious reflection upon the concepts and jobs
they do.

For example, I ask, "Is the Matrix a good movie?" We might first note that this appears to be a question
of value, but keeping with our theme of words not having just one meaning, 'good' is not being used in a
normative way. What job 'good' is doing here is something like, "…has a clear storyline…it is well-directed
…has great special effects…has professional acting…" So, we might rephrase the question with our
analyzed terms,

Is the Matrix a movie with a clear well-directed storyline, full of great special effects with acting on
    a professional level?

Our answer could be 'yes' or 'no'; however, what is important here is to understand how one conception
of 'good' relative to a particular movie can be analyzed. Another person's conception of 'good' in this
respect might include a completely different analysis. Where our conceptions are different allows us
to understand and enable us to communicate about the concept.

We want to be on guard for the hazards of conceptual analysis because they are all essentially features
of a lack of communication.

 1) Hopelessly Lost--Analyzation never goes anywhere concrete thus it is of little value.
 2) Too Easy--Analyzation reaches simple conclusions showing too much analyzation yields little.
 3) Too Much--Over-analyzation of too many concepts.
 4) Hopelessly Silent--Not saying anything leads to mental constipation.
 5) Too Hasty--Failing to recognize the necessary subtleties and in the process placing to much
    emphasis on the obvious.
 6) Unnecessary Motivations--Analysis requires a special kind of objectivity that demands one divorce
    him/her self from other motivations--political or personal. Instead of analyzing the concept of 'abortion',
    a person preaches about its evils or good.

The Use of Cases

If we feel particularly lost in a conceptual investigation, we can use a few methods.

Model Cases--Pick a case where there is no doubt a concept applies to it. In this instance, you are
    looking for similarities between the model case and the concept in question.

For example in our woman case, a clear instance would be someone like Jennifer Lopez. There is no
    doubt that she is a woman and that she is female.

Contrary Cases--Pick a case where there is no doubt that a concept does not apply to it. In this instance,
    you are looking for differences between the contrary case and the concept in question.

For example in our woman case, a clear instance would be Sylvester Stallone. There is no doubt that
    he is not a woman, nor a female.

Related Cases--Pick a case that shares similar conceptual connections. In this instance you might try
    and apply, 'girl' and 'boy'.

Borderline Cases--Pick a case where you are not sure what concept would apply. Consider the case
    of a hermaphrodite--someone born with both sex genitalia, yet has female breasts and appears
    female in every other respect. This is a case where a person might be a woman, but not necessarily
    female, or might be a woman and considered female with some additional things.

Bringing it All Together

"As we have noticed, our use and understanding of a word are closely related to our concept of a thing.
A) We form concepts by learning the uses of words, and it can be seen what concepts we have formed
by seeing what we understand by words: putting it another way our use and understanding of language
act both as guides to forming concepts, and as tests of concepts when formed. Thus we could truly say
that the logical limits of a concept may be the same as the limits to the range of meaning of a particular
word: for instance, the limits of a man's concept of justice are the same as the limits within which he uses
and understands the word 'justice'. B) This is not to say that the concept and the meaning are identical:
but it is to say that they are, as it were parallel to each other, or that they cover the same logical area.
So long as we are only concerned with the logical range of a concept, then the best possible guide is the
logical range of the word with which the concept is normally associated." 57-58

Translated: (A) We learn concepts through diagnostic investigation for the most part. We go about the
world assimilating information and when something doesn't fit into our general understanding we go about
diagnosing the situation asking, "What's that?" or "What caused that?" or "Why did that happen?"
Consider our case of the hermaphrodite. Suppose you came across one and asked, "Are you a woman?"
and she replied, "Of course." Your concept of woman would then be expanded, and your range of using the
word 'woman' would be increased, thus expanding your logical limits.

(B) The range of the word and the concept are parallel to each other but not identical. The concept
can be much broader given other diagnostic investigations and we need to be careful not to limit the
possible meanings and uses. Nevertheless, the logical range of a concept is the logical range of the
word, which means in principle, the concept contains all of the known (and possibly unknown) uses
of a word.

Summary: Conceptual analysis is a method for understanding what is contained in a concept.
We understand this containment by looking at the use and understanding of the words being analyzed.
We need to be careful and separate out matters of fact and matters of value from matters of concept.
We also need to be careful about the hazards in communication. We can look to specific case forms
as providing insight into an analysis. These cases can show other meanings of the word in question
and clarify what we are not trying to analyze. Finally, we need to understand that the range of all of the
uses of a word are parallel to that concept.

What is an Argument? An Introduction to Reasoning and Logic
(Adapted from Wright's Critical Thinking, Wall's Thinking Critically About Philosophical
Problems,Salmon's Introduction to Logic,  and Wisdom/LeBlanc's Deductive Logic.)

Logic is the study of the proper methods of argument.

What we are going to do then is analyze different words in this definition beginning with 'argument.'

The goal of an argument is rational persuasion--an attempt to convince someone that the conclusion is true
and follows from the premises.

An argument is a group of statements, one of which is called a conclusion and the rest are called premises.

 Premise 1
 Premise (n +1)

 P1--If Scott is in the classroom, then he is awake.
 P2--If he is awake, then his eyes are open.
 C--If Scott is in the classroom then his eyes are open.

An alternative picture of argument:

We give reasons for a view that we hold. Reasons function in two different ways.

 1) Reasons as reasons. In this capacity reasons
  simply try to persuade us that something is

 2) Reasons as explanations. In this capacity
  reasons function in explaining something we
  already know to be true but that we didn't
  previously understand.

Thus, the distinction between 1 and 2: as reasons they are trying to persuade us that something is true
and as explanations they are trying to explain something we already know to be true but did not understand.
For example,

 (RR) Reasons as Reasons
 P1--If Scott is in the classroom, then he is awake.
 P2--If he is awake, then his eyes are open.
 C--If Scott is in the classroom then his eyes are open.

 (RE)Reasons as Explanations
 P1--The car sputtered to a stop.
 P2--The gas gauge reads empty.
 P3--I don't remember filling up recently.
 C--The car is out of gas.

Notice the differences in the Premises of RR and RE.

The Premises in RR are simply allowing you to infer the truth from them to the conclusion--they don't
explain anything we already know to be true. The Premises in RE do explain what we know to be true
and in the process give reasons for the conclusion to be true.

Premises may be of three kinds depending on how their truth or falsity is ascertained.

Statements of Fact--The Earth is round, Scott is currently speaking, and You are at Cal Poly.

Conclusions of Other Arguments--Arguments often support other arguments through
 chains of reasoning. Conclusions are often reached and used as premises in another
 argument, thus the conclusion of one argument becomes the premise in another.

 P1--If Scott is in the classroom, then he is awake.
 P2--If he is awake, then his eyes are open.
C(P3)--If Scott is in the classroom then his eyes are open.
 P4--His eyes aren't open.
 C--Therefore, he is not in the classroom.

 Tautologies--Statements true by definition.

  Triangles have three connected sides.
  All bachelors are unmarried males.
  All material bodies are extended in space.

Continuing with our analysis of 'argument' we now note two different types of arguments:
 deductive--if the premises are true, the conclusion must be true.
 inductive--the likelihood or probability of the conclusion being true is related to the strength
  of the premises.

Deductive Arguments
 Deductive arguments have a structure that has certain properties. If the premises are true, the conclusion
    must be true because the structure guarantees it. '-->' is read as 'if...then...', ' v ' is read as '...or...',
    and '~' is read as 'not.."

 A--Cal Poly is a school.
 B--It is in California.

 Modus Ponens

 Modus Tollens

 Disjunctive Syllogism
 A v B

 Hypothetical Syllogism

A deductive argument is valid if it satisfies the correct deductive structure. The structure guarantees
the preservation of truth from premises to conclusion. Thus our definition of validity,
  if the premises are true, the conclusion must be true.

A deductive argument is sound if it is valid and the premises are true.

The differences between valid and sound. Validity is a syntactic idea. Soundness is a semantic idea.
Think of this in relation to a sentence. For something to be a sentence, it must satisfy a particular
structure, i.e., it must have a subject and a predicate (verb). The basic structure of a sentence is its syntax.

 Scott is a teacher.
 The underlined is the subject and the italicized is the predicate.

 Scott is a student.
Both sentences share the same syntax, but the content is different. The difference in content is semantic
or difference in meaning.

Our definition of validity says that if the premises of an argument are true, then the conclusion must be true.
However, it does not say that they ARE actually true. Soundness says that they are actually true, thus it
gives an additional meaning to the premises.

P1--If Osama Bin Laden is American, then George Bush is Lebanese.
P2--Osama Bin Laden is American
C--George Bush is Lebanese.

 The argument is an example of Modus Ponens. It is valid, but not sound.

 P1--If Osama Bid Laden is Saudi Arabian, then George Bush is American.
 P2--Osama Bin Laden is Saudi Arabian.
 C--George Bush is American.

 The argument is an example of Modus Ponens. It is sound.

We know that an unsound argument is one where the premises are not true or the argument is not valid.
But what is an invalid deductive argument?

An invalid deductive argument is one that does not satisfy a particular structure guaranteeing the
preservation of truth from the premises to the conclusion. We call these types of arguments formal fallacies.

 Denying the Antecedent


 If Napoleon was in a train accident, then he is dead.
 Napoleon was not in a train accident.
 Napoleon is not dead.

 The premises are both true but the conclusion is false. Remember our definition of validity and notice how
    this structure goes against it.Thus, the argument is invalid based upon its structure.

 If formal fallacies are based upon a flawed structure, then informal fallacies are based upon
    flawed semantics or content.

 Ad Hominem--attacking a person instead of his or her reasons.

 "Of course you believe that, you're a woman."

 Summary: Deductive arguments are ones where the conclusion necessarily follows from the premises.
If the argument satisfies a particular structure it is valid, and if in addition to it being valid, the premises
are also true, the argument is sound. Flawed argument structures are formal fallacies, flawed argument
content are informal fallacies.

Inductive Arguments

Remember our definition: inductive--the likelihood or probability of the conclusion being true is related to
the strength of the premises. The stronger the premises the greater the likelihood.

We will be concerned with five types of inductive arguments:

1. Inductive generalizations--a number of things have been observed and the conclusion states that all
things of that type have the observable property.

 I have observed 7 Hondas with the "H" emblem on the hood; thus, all Hondas have the "H" emblem
    on the hood.

2. Restricted Inductive Generalizations--a qualified generalization that limits the confidence one has in the
    claim being made.

 Most Hondas have an "H" emblem on the hood, thus there is a good chance that my Mom's Honda has
    one as well.

 Notice the difference in conclusions between 1 and 2. In 1 a stronger generalization is made than in 2;
    thus making two a restricted or limited claim.

3. Causal Inductive Arguments--usually of the form, A causes B. Cause versus correlation.
    A causing B is not the same as A and B simply being associated together.

 Cause--A brings about B
 HIV weakens the immune system allowing other
  diseases to harm the body.
 AIDS is a number of associated diseases.
 --Cause: HIV causes AIDS.

 Correlation--A and B are associated.
 HIV weakens the immune system…..
 AIDS is a number of ….
 San Francisco has the highest incidence of AIDS.
 ---Correlation: San Francisco causes AIDS.

 Clearly, San Francisco does not cause AIDS, however it could be a correlation between types of events
    and activities. Thus, one needs to be careful not to simply associate conjoined events as having a
    causal relationship.

4. Inductive Arguments from Analogy
 Two things are analogous when they are partly the same and partly different. We call the two things
    being compared, analogs.

 P1--Males are like females as both have DNA.
 P2--Females have feelings.
 C--Males have feelings as well.

5. Abduction--inference to the best explanation. The stronger the explanation, the stronger the argument.
We explain something that we can observe to something we cannot or did not observe.

 P1--The ground is wet.
 P2--The weather person said it would rain.
 P3--There are dark clouds in the sky.
 C--It rained.

Evaluating Inductive Arguments

1. Premises must be relevant to the truth or falsity of a conclusion.
2. Premises must be true or reliable. False premises do not provide the kind of support necessary to
    make a strong inductive argument.
3. Premises must be sufficient; that is, there must be enough of them to support the conclusion.


Some Broader Logical Implications

We need to be concerned with what goes on when we judge one theory superior to another.
    A theory is a set of interrelated beliefs that explain particular facts.

Universality--a good theory should explain all of the appropriate facts and also enable to predict future events.
    For example, our theory of gravity explains why something will fall when dropped and it will allow us to
    predict that in the future things will fall as well given this theory.

Consistency--Two types: internal--a theory does not contain statements that are inconsistent or
    contradictory; external--a theory must be consistent or comport with the generally accepted facts
    of science and common knowledge.

Simplicity--a good theory should be as theoretically simple as possible. Ockham's Razor, never multiply
    entities beyond what are necessary for explanation. You want the fewest items in your explanations
    that comport with the facts.

Summary: There are five kinds of inductive arguments. You should pay particular attention to the arguments
    from analogy and abduction as we will be using these more than others. If you familiarize yourself with
    these concepts, the rest of the course will go much easier.