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3answers
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What are the ways one can use to demonstrate that it's possible for something to exist?

Notice that I'm not talking here about the actual existence of something, but the possibility of existence. About such ways, I only know one that is argumentative (which is the kind I would like to ...
0
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1answer
35 views

soundness: how can one decide\know if premise is true or false

So I happened to read this article on wikipedia about soundness and there is this example of sound argument: An argument is sound if and only if The argument is valid. All of its ...
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2answers
50 views

Is there a word for a fallacy made by a listener instead of a speaker?

I've been thinking about misunderstandings that occur when people have philosophical discussions. Often somebody can make an entirely cogent argument, but then the other person misunderstands what has ...
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5answers
649 views

What is it called when you disagree with a position on the basis that it doesn't fix everything?

Suppose someone tells you that they are a vegetarian and ride a bike to work because they want to reduce their negative impact on the environment. In response you tell them that this is futile (or ...
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2answers
62 views

What's the difference between being in a simultion vs base reality

Having articles like Bostrom's "Simulation argument" gives us the probability that we are almost certainly living inside a simulation. Putting aside the emotional, intuitive discomfort about it, what ...
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5answers
536 views

What does Dawkins suggest, is the main flaw in Aquinas's these three arguments?

1 The Unmoved Mover Nothing moves without a prior mover. This leads us to an infinite regress, from which the only escape is God. Something had to make the first move, and that something we ...
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4answers
146 views

Invalid arguments with true premises and true conclusion [duplicate]

I'm am study some classical logic and I am having trouble with argument validity. I learned to think of validity as determined by the definition "If the premises are true, then the conclusion must be ...
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11answers
5k views

Dawkins's rebuttal to Aquinas's “The Argument from Degree”?

Let’s move on down Aquinas’s list. 4. The Argument from Degree We notice that things in the world differ. There are degrees of, say, goodness or perfection. But we judge these ...
2
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2answers
69 views

Is this a logical fallacy?

I overheard a conversation that went something like this: A: You could buy that for me. B: I can't afford that. A: Are you going to let money get in the way of friendship? Specifically, I like the ...
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1answer
55 views

How to rebut in this format of written argument under 550 words? [duplicate]

1 Conclusion 2 Arguments in favour of your conclusion (same source for ¶4) 3 Arguments against your conclusion 4 Explanations as to why the arguments in ¶3 fail. (Call these rebuttals) + ...
0
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1answer
34 views

Is it effective, helpful, and safe to narrow a given topic? [closed]

I ask in the context of preparing to write an essay test, with a time limit of 35 mins and a word limit of 550 words, that requires the choice of one of three essay questions on a range of subjects ...
0
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1answer
45 views

Rhetorical questions in argument

The author in this model essay never answers or presents counterarguments to his many rhetorical questions. So why would the author choose to conclude a paragraph and write this essay in the form of ...
1
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1answer
83 views

How can death matter to the dead person? - About the argument

I'm a mere beginner to philosophy and here, I'm not asking about philosophy or any abstraction about, but rather just the logic or strength of the argument for this essay topic: 'Does it matter if ...
1
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1answer
52 views

Equivocation Fallacy: When the context of similarity is not the context of the argument

I often hear or read statements that seem to have a similar type of fallacious reasoning about it. I want to know if there is a name this type of fallacy: Top women chess players have a lower draw ...
0
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2answers
54 views

What is 'fence sitting' in an essay context?

I asked about the propriety and validity of fence sitting here, but the many instructive answers now advance a new question: what is it exactly? It is fence-sitting only if you say that they do ...
3
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6answers
175 views

What is wrong with the argument “Had I not been born, I would not have done X, thus it is my mother's/father's fault”

What is wrong with the argument: Had I not been born, I would not have done X, thus it is my mother's/father's fault If you excuse the fact that I don't know how to phrase this better or in a ...
0
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1answer
32 views

When does inference become overreaching?

I realise that this is a broad abstract question, so please allow this example, from which I hope to learn the general lesson and bigger picture. Some vital community goods, such as defence, ...
1
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1answer
65 views

Why does Justice Breyer say himself that his is not a logical argument?

At the 1 hr 10 mins 0 secs instant, Justice Stephen G Breyer says: I obviously have not convinced you. [laughter] I’m just trying to acquaint you with the arguments on the two sides. I forgot one ...
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2answers
63 views

On Kant's Universalisability

Yes, I have read the other questions on Universalisability - mine is quite different. The question is: if the action in question were hypothetically universalised (i.e everyone could do it), would ...
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4answers
219 views

Rebuttal for modus ponens

Saw this (WP:"What the Tortoise said to Achilles") on the internet. A summary is as follows. The common argument is: A: If p then q B: p C: Therefore q. This raises the following question: what if ...
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1answer
37 views

Does the alleged answer overinfer? - Test 2, Q21, p 113, by Mark Shepherd [closed]

The passage is exactly this. 21 It is implied that public opinion has changed most on which issue in recent years? (a) Unmarried heterosexual couples (b) Gay couples (c) Neither (d) Both (e) There is ...
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1answer
33 views

Doesn't this passage state the word 'gay' prevails? - Test 1, Q9, p 74, by Mark Shepherd

The word ‘gay’ is commonly used as an insult in British playgrounds. With homophobia on the increase in schools, should teachers be doing more to stop such name- calling? Calling something, or ...
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1answer
70 views

Cultural relativism - Test 1, Q19, by Mark Shepherd

Cultural relativism is the view that all ethical truth is relative to a specifi ed culture. According to cultural relativism, it is never true to say simply that a certain kind of behaviour is right ...
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1answer
73 views

Malthus's argument on population - Test 1, Q14, by Mark Shepherd

I took a practice test for a law exam and am having difficulty with understanding the logic behind a question. Apologies for the length, but I included the whole question and details for completeness. ...
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0answers
43 views

Conviction about a system from pseudo-proofs of its truths

I vaguely recall a description about manifestations of the truths offered by a system being pseudo-proofs for that system to be right, in a context in which logical certainty is not possible. Consider ...
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5answers
104 views

Is fence sitting ever admirable and valuable?

This quote is from a website for an undergraduate law admissions test of 40 minutes: Don’t sit on the fence. Don’t say that each side in an argument has a point unless you go on to say which point ...
1
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4answers
109 views

Tu quoque and scientific anti-philosophy [closed]

Unless I misunderstood this recent thread, the scientifically minded can legitimately only believe in science (not philosophy), and what is "robust and reliable", it's just that they don't prove it's ...
0
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3answers
156 views

Visciously circular arguments against philosophy

Science seeks to explain natural events with natural causes. The Turing hypothesis does this. Beyond the bounds of science, there is no objective argument for anything really, just ...
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3answers
100 views

What sense does Pascal's wager take on after God has died?

What would a Nietzschean wager look like? Can we imagine such a thing? I'm not asking about the eternal return (unless you can include mention of Pascal in your answer.)
3
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1answer
126 views

How have philosophers tried to argue for qualia?

What is the difference between the intuition that there is something it is like, qualitative experience, and faith in it? Is it possible to convince someone who doesn't believe there is something it ...
0
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0answers
32 views

Is “do as caesar does” a fallacy?

Is there a name for the fallacy that to do something one has to do it as its most famous / powerful proponent does? I'm thinking about Marxism.
4
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2answers
86 views

Is it ever appropriate or reasonable to use pejorative expletives in public discussion?

This is a vague question as stated, and I'm afraid I can only narrow it down by throwing together what I think are related ideas: that there may be a differential use of "f*** you" in a particular ...
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3answers
114 views

Thought experiment: Argument whose life is more valuable organic or mechanical? [closed]

Let's consider the following scenario: There is a really important mission consisting of a team of two individuals: a sentient, artificially intelligent robot and a human. If the mission fails, ...
3
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2answers
157 views

Is this a ridiculous argument: “If the land contains Chinese-made products many thousand years ago then that land belongs to China's territory”? [closed]

Ok, let see this argument: If A then B, A therefore B Look at the picture below, do you see the red line? & do you see many small islands inside the red line? For thousands years these ...
3
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3answers
421 views

Why is argument by analogy invalid?

There is a well known fallacy called the "argument by analogy" fallacy. As I understand it, the fallacy occurs in a situation where someone makes a reasonable comparison between two situations and ...
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1answer
180 views

Is it Unethical to Use Sarcasm?

I am trying to find an ideal example of when it is best to use Sarcasm. It seems that sarcasm in general is a rude, and disrespectful approach to talk to someone. I can see how it may be used to prove ...
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14answers
3k views

Does hypocrisy invalidate an argument?

I was listening to a political podcast and David Poltz (one of the presenters) said of an argument that he was unconcerned whether the argument was hypocritical. I found that attitude jarring, ...
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2answers
84 views

What are the rules of postulating?

When a person wants to postulate something, what are the rules and best practices he can adhere too? How should the idea one is trying to express be formulated?
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3answers
77 views

Does brevity justify using neologisms whose meaning is obvious (e.g. quality of being a dog = doghood) in philosophical writing

Philosophers seem to use more neologisms than most other academics. Novel permutations of morphemes seem especially prevalent. I suspect most people apprehend the meanings of words like ...
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10answers
4k views

Gun Control vs. Drunk Driving

I just read "Is 'guns don't kill people people kill people' a good argument?" and it reminds me of another argument. I would like your opinion on whether or not it is a good argument. Gun Control ...
3
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4answers
307 views

How to point out argumentation fallacy in “real life”

I often come up discussing (peacefully!) with people on a wide spectrum of topics, and equally often I have to debunk flawed arguments, in logic sense (see for example this question). However I can't ...
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13answers
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Is 'guns don't kill people people kill people' a good argument?

I'm hearing the argument X doesn't do Y people do Y in quite a few guises. For instance in it's original form guns don't kill people; people kill people Presumably, therefore guns are OK ...
3
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2answers
104 views

Does this reduction to the absurd bastardize the technique?

I have a small-claims matter pending with the courts in my state. Here, self-represented parties are required to attend an information session, which I attended today. During this session the ...
4
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4answers
277 views

Computational counter-argument for solipsism

First let me elaborate the argument. Take a calculator (wolframalpha, google or other software tools may serve as well). Perform some very complex operation. Write down the operation and the result ...
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2answers
271 views

What are the better discussion sites for moral philosophy?

I'm looking for mailing lists, web forums and other discussion sites. I hope to participate myself, so the sites must be more-or-less openly accessible. The topic that interests me is moral ...
1
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2answers
120 views

What fallacy/fallacies are present when a person discredits another person's arguments, by claiming they are not arguing for their own position?

Example: Person A argues that skipping breakfast has no effect on a person likelihood to gain weight. Person B takes the position opposite that breakfast in fact curves hunger and chances of putting ...
3
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1answer
129 views

How to teach meta level discussion about controversial topics

I had a very heated discussion lately about a video of a Rap Battle. Of course, in such a battle the language is extremely rude. I am talking about the lowest, harshest and most discriminatingly evil ...
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0answers
54 views

Argumentum ab ignavia

As a follow on from this question. How do you counter to argument, which I will nickname “Argumentum ab ignavia” which goes along the pseudo Socratic lines of: “I have no real evidence on your ...
3
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3answers
136 views

Is argument that two theories are equally valid because I am not an expert “argument ad ignoratum”

I am trying to get to grips with an argument with a friend, whereby he argues that because he does not have the full facts or because one theory is not 100% proven means that both competing theories ...
1
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1answer
466 views

Sound and Unsound arguments?

I've been taking this Philosophy courses at my college and I got stuck at these homework. It asks to identify in the given paragraph which arguments is sound or unsound, and if it is unsound, I have ...