Philosophy & Logic: A self-paced course

Professor Austen Clark
University of Connecticut
Storrs, CT 06269


Some appendices to Unit 1

Slides from the lecture on 2/2/2000: deductive validity.

Unit 1: Starting an Argument. Study guide

1. Technical definitions. You will be asked to give the technical definitions for three or four key concepts. Many are explained in sections 1.2 and 1.3. Pay particular attention to:

statement
true statement
argument
inference
premise
deductively valid
inductively strong
valid logical form
sound

Your definition is correct if and only if it is logically equivalent to the correct definition. Try exercise 1.1 to get a sense of what this means. At this stage (before you learn how to test for "logical equivalence") it might be simplest to memorize the technical definitions.

 2. The trickiest of the new notions are:

relation of support
validity
logical form

Understanding why validity is not the same as the truth of the conclusion is probably the hardest part of unit 1. There will roughly ten true-false questions probing your understanding of this notion. Try exercises 1.5, 1.6, 1.7.

3. Learn a number of "premise indicators" and "conclusion indicators". You’ll be asked to list some of each. See exercise 1.2.

4. Identifying arguments. You will be given some passages which might or might not be arguments. You will be asked whether it is an argument; and if it is, to identify the premises and conclusion. This depends on identifying the premise indicators and conclusion indicators. Try exercises 1.3, 1.4, 1.8.