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Questions tagged [argumentation]

The construction, deconstruction and presentation of arguments for a position;

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24 votes
2 answers
29k views

What fallacy dismisses problems by presenting "bigger" problems?

Wasn't really sure how to phrase this, but I'm thinking of an instance in which someone diminishes a problem by presenting one of larger scope - as a rather shoddy example, "x political problem in ...
user2871915's user avatar
3 votes
7 answers
677 views

Is it plausible to believe in the existence of other minds if all arguments have been criticized?

I believe that other people also have minds. To believe in other minds, arguments are needed. All arguments in favor of the existence of other minds are subject to strong criticism. So it turns out ...
Johnny5454's user avatar
7 votes
6 answers
1k views

Is it a logical flaw to blame someone for an event if they were simply its causal factor?

I would ask if this is a logical fallacy, but I don't think you can consider wrongful attribution of blame to be a logical fallacy, because attributing blame is a normative claim, not a descriptive ...
Bridgeburners's user avatar
3 votes
15 answers
2k views

Proof for the absence of free will?

EDIT (17/08/2022): I have answered this question with an evolution of the argument. See accepted answer below. There are a number of arguments which aim to prove the impossibility of free will. The ...
Futilitarian's user avatar
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6 votes
5 answers
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What fallacy dismisses a conclusion because supporters give invalid arguments for it?

A person dismisses an otherwise valid argument, because some of its proponents support it for the wrong reason. How is this fallacy called? EDIT: Here is an example. A person defends the idea that ...
martinkunev's user avatar
4 votes
10 answers
4k views

Can logic be used to prove any belief?

I have witnessed a lot of debates and arguments of different beliefs, and noticed that each side uses logic to prove its point. So, can any belief be proven by logic regardless of its nature (...
Mohammed Hussain's user avatar
3 votes
6 answers
955 views

Is the use of inconsistent definitions a logical fallacy?

I am not asking for a defense of or pro/con of the existence of an omnipotent (or multiple omni-x) being, or for the existence of square-circles or any other similar thing. These arguments are well ...
LightCC's user avatar
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3 votes
8 answers
436 views

What are some arguments against insulting being illegal

Yesterday I had a conversation with my friend, and the topic about insulting being illegal (=> fined or even up to 1 year prison) came up (Germany). He was arguing that it is good to punish those ...
Battle's user avatar
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12 votes
10 answers
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Why do people who subscribe to self-refuting skeptical philosophies still argue with others?

The belief that everything is relative is obviously self-refuting, because it holds to an absolute. However, in my experience, people who believe this (or some form of it) such as some Buddhists and ...
ErikE's user avatar
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12 votes
10 answers
5k views

Dawkins on God: What are the strongest counters to his argument?

But the candidate solutions to the riddle of improbability are not, as is falsely implied, design and chance. They are design and natural selection. Chance is not a solution, given the high levels of ...
user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
269 views

Does science have any separate arguments for the existence of other minds?

For example, there is an argument of the best explanation in favor of the existence of other minds. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/other-minds/#BestExpl Is this argument used in science or is this ...
Johnny5454's user avatar
15 votes
5 answers
3k views

Is there a point to arguing about the meaning of words?

Firstly, I should mention that I am not sure, whether this the right place to ask such a question, but I am trying it anyway. Furthermore, one could say I come from a mathematics background and I am ...
Stefan Perko's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
149 views

How to rate philosophy essays?

I might end up teaching philosophy in Finnish lukio/gymnasium. I will not get an opportunity to practice teaching it - I do get to practice teaching mathematics a fair deal, though. (The situation is ...
Tommi's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
729 views

Can there be true conclusions without assumptions?

I was thinking of the sentence "I think therefore I am", which I had for a long time considered indisputable because it's self-evident. Then I considered the hypothetical situation where my ...
musedpony's user avatar
22 votes
10 answers
5k views

Is it a fallacy to say that a sane person cannot apply rational thought to the motivations of the insane?

A common argument in today's news is that: Someone commits a heinous crime by shooting a bunch of people. Anyone who commits a heinous crime must be insane. Sane people cannot apply rational thought ...
YPCrumble's user avatar
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9 votes
3 answers
4k views

Why is the darapti syllogism invalid?

I found the following exposition of darapti on wikipedia: All squares are rectangles. (MaP) All squares are rhombuses. (MaS) ∴ Some rhombuses are rectangles. (SiP) As far as I can see, this is ...
Five σ's user avatar
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9 votes
4 answers
417 views

Is there (or does something exist that is close to) a theory of arguments?

I'm looking for any extensive work on a framework for "arguments", that works something along these lines: When two parties are debating, they are making assertions on a particular domain, D. Those ...
wsgeorge's user avatar
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9 votes
10 answers
3k views

Does mathematics always need axioms?

To do mathematics, one obviously needs definitions; but, do we always need axioms? I was thinking that a statement like For all prime numbers, there exists a strictly greater prime number. cannot ...
goblin GONE's user avatar
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9 votes
5 answers
4k views

Why bother with anything else besides Aristotle's syllogistic logic?

Disclaimer: this a "devil's advocate's question", meaning I know a lot of the answer, but for the sake of playing the Q&A game, I won't self-answer right away. The main reason I'm ...
against very long user names's user avatar
9 votes
4 answers
6k views

Why is Modus Ponens valid?

I am having trouble understanding what defines Entailment operator. On Mathoverflow I posted this question on what I perceive to be paradox of entailment. Consider: Modus Ponens: P therefore Q P ...
Sniper Clown's user avatar
8 votes
6 answers
2k views

Is "Don't blame me; I voted for ___" a bad argument?

Is there a fallacy in the argument, "Don't blame me; I voted for ..."? Or is a voter's entire responsibility for their contribution to whatever current state of political affairs they experience ...
xuinkrbin.'s user avatar
8 votes
6 answers
4k views

Why are French postmodern philosophers (like Baudrillard) so hard to read/understand?

I've read my fair share of philosophers. Now I won't say that proper philosophical texts are ever easy to understand, but it seems that French postmodern philosophers like Baudrillard are extremely ...
vkjb38sjhbv98h4jgvx98hah3fef's user avatar
7 votes
5 answers
8k views

What is the difference between mathematical reasoning and philosophical reasoning?

Please see question in title. Why isn't philosophy considered to be a branch of mathematics? Is study of anything not a branch of mathematics, vague and imprecise?
John Sonderson's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
16k 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 ...
learner's user avatar
  • 51
4 votes
2 answers
209 views

Are retorsion arguments in epistemology generally problematic?

An retorsion argument consists in pointing out how a claim is self-defeating. Of course, I accept that there are sound arguments of this type that don't misrepresent the original position. But they ...
viuser's user avatar
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4 votes
4 answers
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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 ...
Nat's user avatar
  • 163
3 votes
9 answers
3k views

What is the burden of proof? Has this principle ever been challenged?

I have been surprised to find that some people doubt this principle. Onus probandi incumbit ei qui dicit, non ei qui negat - the burden of proof lies with the speaker, not with the one who negates. I ...
Meanach's user avatar
  • 2,385
2 votes
2 answers
174 views

Is the following considered an argument or just a set of statements? If it is an argument what would be the premises and conclusion?

In every age, philosophers have compared the human mind to the latest technological gizmo. Currently we use computers as models of our minds. Seventy-five years ago, our minds were compared to ...
Peachy's user avatar
  • 31
1 vote
4 answers
237 views

How is this specific type of argumentation called, is it a fallacy?

I often encounter this type of argumentation in discussions about scientific discoveries with layman. For example when discussing GMO (genetically modified organisms) an argument that is often made is ...
CuriousIndeed's user avatar
16 votes
6 answers
3k views

Is formal logic unsuitable for philosophical reasoning?

I'm taking a course at university about philosophical reasoning / argumentation. The professor came up with an example where formal logic was wrong: If Dave is in London, then he is in England. (p: D....
scravy's user avatar
  • 675
8 votes
5 answers
2k views

What are some arguments for the golden ratio making things more aesthetically pleasing?

What are some (not necessarily good) arguments that painters, architects, designers, musicians, etc. basing their work on the golden ratio φ makes their work more aesthetically pleasing? I think these ...
Michael Smith's user avatar
8 votes
5 answers
4k views

What does Dawkins suggest is the main flaw in these three arguments from Aquinas?

Source: p 100-101, The God Delusion, By Richard Dawkins 1. The Unmoved Mover. Nothing moves without a prior mover. This leads us to an infinite regress, from which the only escape is God. ...
user avatar
8 votes
11 answers
4k views

What is the logical distinction between “the same” and “equal to?”

We all understand that Given A = C, and B = C, Then A = B. However, A is not “the same as” B. Example: A is the question, “What animals have feathers and can fly?” B is the question, “What was the ...
Vogon Poet's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
303 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 ...
user avatar
6 votes
7 answers
3k views

What are philosophical arguments for the position that Intelligent Design is nothing but "Creationism in disguise"?

I would like to start this question quoting one of the comments to this answer to the question Does Intelligent Design (ID) entail an infinite regress of designers, and if so, is that problematic?. ...
Mark's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
3k views

How does one differentiate epistemological and ontological claims?

I'm taking an introductory philosophy course and I find it fascinating. I can't really figure out an assignment though because I'm a bit foggy on what the difference between ontological and ...
Annie's user avatar
  • 61
6 votes
1 answer
9k views

The difference between argument, inference, deduction and proof?

I am trying to distinguish argument, inference, deduction and proof. First, let's look at the distinction between argument and inference (if there is one). This online source states: An argument ...
EthanAlvaree's user avatar
5 votes
6 answers
618 views

What constitutes evidence in philosophy?

I have noticed an apparent confusion when posing and answering questions as to what constitutes evidence in philosophy. Especially in scientifically-related areas, I often cite scientific evidence ...
Meanach's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is it possible to appeal to emotion without commiting a fallacy?

People often make arguments from authority, and not all of them are fallacious. If the given authority is an expert on the discussed field, if there is a consensus among the experts of that field, and ...
Alexandre Pinho's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
379 views

Which fallacy: Thinking everything someone does in a discussion that's wrong is a fallacy?

There are a lot of questions about which fallacy something is on this site. Many times, the argument in the question is not actually a fallacy, but something that the questioner doesn't like/agree ...
Josef's user avatar
  • 153
5 votes
5 answers
12k 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 ...
abnry's user avatar
  • 396
4 votes
1 answer
876 views

An Argument against Descartes's radical doubt

Reflecting on Descartes's evil genius, I came up with an argument to use against his radical skepticism, that is, when he doubts even the basic laws of logic and basic mathematics (3 + 2 = 5). The ...
Zeruel017's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
584 views

Why is Diogenes the Cynic's solution to Zeno's Dichotomy Paradox insufficient?

According to Wikipedia's discussion of Zeno's Dichotomy paradox (emphasis mine), According to Simplicius, Diogenes the Cynic said nothing upon hearing Zeno's arguments, but stood up and walked, in ...
Robert Columbia's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
4k views

If "All S is P" is true, does it contradict "No non-S is non-P"?

I have a problem I encountered in a logic textbook that I cannot figure out after multiple tries. Say we assume that "All S is P" is true. Does this allow us to conclude the truth value of "No Non-S ...
KohLP's user avatar
  • 91
4 votes
2 answers
451 views

Information paradox: the more we know, the less confident we are

I've been studying critical thinking and come across what looks like a paradox. Let's say we have the following argument: P1) If a person is A, then it's likely that that person is also B. P2) This ...
Vlad's user avatar
  • 53
3 votes
4 answers
313 views

Money and Friendship - 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 ...
John Schmitt's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
532 views

What makes an argument objectively more "compelling"?

If person A gives an argument to person B in order to convince them about the truth of claim X, how can B determine how compelling A's argument is in a way that is as objective as possible (i.e. in a ...
user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
288 views

Is there a logical fallacy that considers a position false because a non-authority agrees with it?

This seems similar to Argument from authority but is an "opposite" in the sense that an argument is discredited because it comes from a non-authority on a subject. To give you an example this video ...
James P.'s user avatar
  • 385
3 votes
9 answers
597 views

How can we decide which view to accept concerning our ultimate justification of our knowledge (Münchhausen trilemma)?

I recently came across the Münchhausen trilemma, which I think helps to explain my question. Basically, according to the trilemma, we have three options for explaining the ultimate justification of ...
Chris's user avatar
  • 296
3 votes
7 answers
3k 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 ...
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