Assignment: Fallacies of Relevance

Assignment: Fallacies of Relevance

Assignment: Fallacies of Relevance

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The Concept of Relevance 119 Fallacies of Relevance 121

Personal Attack (Ad Hominem) 122 Attacking the Motive 123 Look Who’s Talking ( Tu Quoque) 124 Two Wrongs Make a Right 125 Scare Tactics 127 Appeal to Pity 128 Bandwagon Argument 128 Straw Man 129 Red Herring 130 Equivocation 131 Begging the Question 132

CHAPTER 6 Logical Fallacies—II 140

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Fallacies of Insufficient Evidence 140 Inappropriate Appeal to Authority 140 Appeal to Ignorance 144 False Alternatives 145 Loaded Question 146 Questionable Cause 147 Hasty Generalization 149 Slippery Slope 150 Weak Analogy 151 Inconsistency 154

CHAPTER 7 Analyzing Arguments 164

Diagramming Short Arguments 164 Tips on Diagramming Arguments 169

Summarizing Longer Arguments 175 Paraphrasing 176

Contents vii

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Finding Missing Premises and Conclusions 180 Summarizing Extended Arguments 182 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Standardizing Arguments 187

CHAPTER 8 Evaluating Arguments and Truth Claims 195

When Is an Argument a Good One? 195 What “Good Argument” Does Not Mean 195 What “Good Argument” Does Mean 196

When Is It Reasonable to Accept a Premise? 198 Refuting Arguments 203 Appendix: Sample Critical Essay 219

CHAPTER 9 A Little Categorical Logic 225

Categorical Statements 225 Translating into Standard Categorical Form 230 Categorical Syllogisms 237

CHAPTER 10 A Little Propositional Logic 252

Conjunction 253 Conjunction and Validity 256 Negation 261 Deeper Analysis of Negation and Conjunction 265 Disjunction 271 Conditional Statements 276

CHAPTER 11 Inductive Reasoning 285

Although much technical and philosophical attention has been given to relevance logics, the notion of relevance itself is generally left at an intuitive level. It is difficult to find in the literature an explicit account of relevance in formal reasoning. In this article I offer a formal explication of the notion of relevance in deductive logic and argue that this notion has an interesting place in the study of classical logic. The main idea is that a premise is relevant to an argument when it contributes to the validity of that argument. I then argue that the sequents which best embody this ideal of relevance are the so-called perfect sequents—that is, sequents which are valid but have no proper subsequents that are valid. Church’s theorem entails that there is no recursively axiomatizable proof-system that proves all and only the perfect sequents, so the project that emerges from studying perfection in classical logic is not one of finding a perfect subsystem of classical logic, but is rather a comparative study of classifying subsystems of classical logic according to how well they approximate the ideal of perfection. Assignment: Fallacies of Relevance

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