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We are talking about "Appeal to law" fallacy. When following the law is assumed to be the morally correct thing to do, without justification, or when breaking the law is assumed to be the morally wrong thing to do, without justification. It could also be taken as special form of appeal to authority or argumentum ad verecundiam fallacy, in which the ...


24

How to think about "P ⊃ Q" in plain English In propositional logic, P ⊃ Q is what is called a material implication. It doesn't mean that P and Q mean the same thing (they might not have the same truth value); all that it is, is a claim that if P is true, then Q is also true — without making any more claims than this. An alternative ...


23

I think what you are looking for is called Legal Interpretivism, which, unlike Legal Positivism (which asserts that laws are distinct from morality), asserts that laws are based on morality, and that there is no separation between law and morality, so there must be an interpretation for why such and such is legal or illegal. In which case, the statement if ...


20

There is some instability in the terminology here. Many authors use Reductio Ad Absurdum (RAA) as meaning the same as proof by contradiction and indirect proof. More careful authors distinguish them, taking both RAA and indirect proof to be a species of proof by contradiction. In what follows, I use P and Q for propositional meta-variables, ∧ for ...


16

In the absence of context, this is definitely a semantic debate. Is anyone who ever played a note on a musical instrument a musician? Is anyone who has ever written a word on paper a writer? Clearly not, for most intended purposes of those terms. When we speak of someone as "a philosopher", we are usually intending someone whose dominant activity has ...


16

Quantifiers in connection to AND and OR In the most common forms of predicate logic, ∀ and ∃ act like a sort of logical conjunction (AND) across all objects, and logical disjunction (OR) across all objects, respectively. Connection between ∀ and 'AND' Consider an argument in which the only 'objects' are Scottish people, and let EPP(x) =...


14

As far as I am concerned, the two terms are completely equivalent. Formally, "ethics" is the branch of philosophy that addresses questions about justice and morality. Thus, one could also label that branch "moral philosophy" and still refer to the same. In colloquial usage, "ethics" is often used to mean applied ethics, which is really only a branch of the ...


13

The classification of a definition might refer to What is defined (an entity, a tangible thing, a word etc...) How is it defined In terms of what, in brief (since it's not directly relevant to the question but it's important in order to understand what follows) a definition may be: Realistic: When it defines a tangible being in the sense that the ...


13

These are all terms that one frequently reads in texts on Cognitive Science. I will try to find some exemplary definitions: Consciousness: Many philosophers have argued that consciousness is a unitary concept that is understood intuitively by the majority of people in spite of the difficulty in defining it. Others, though, have argued that the level of ...


13

The conditional/implication (→), as you said, is a function on statements/propositions (sentences that can be true or false). Consequence/entailment (⊨) is a relation between sets of statements and a statement. From the classical bivalent point of view, the distinction can be characterized as follows: Implication. (φ → ψ) is true iff (...


12

At the most basic level, I would argue that the distinction is primarily one of morality. That is, utilitarianism aims to establish the moral worth of an action, where pragmatism's sole intention is to assess the normative truth of a statement or idea. The original American pragmatists (Charles Sanders Peirce and William James) seemed to be primarily ...


11

While their colloquial meaning do significantly overlap, I would argue for a sharp distinction between the two in terms of their philosophical implications. Morality relies on a transcendent good-evil distinction. Very generally it means a set of constraining rules (a code) consisting in judging actions by relating them to universal values. Morality ...


11

If they are wealthy then they don't worry about money they don't worry about money Then they are wealthy. This is "affirming the consequent" fallacy. 1) If P, then Q. 2) Q. 3) Therefore, P. An argument of this form is invalid, the conclusion can be false even when statements 1 and 2 are true. Since P was never asserted as the only sufficient condition for ...


11

An axiom is simply a primitive sentence of a language system. It's often used in two different contexts: Context 1. Sentence s is an axiom if and only if ∅ ⊢ s. Context 2. Sentence s is an axiom if and only if ∅ |= s. The first context is that of syntactical language systems (i.e. proof systems). There, the main logical ...


11

Attributes, for Aristotle, scholastics, Descartes, and Spinoza alike, are the non-accidental qualities/properties expressed in language by predicates, as substances are expressed in it by subjects, to which they are predicated. Taken together, they make a substance what it is, hence they are essential (unlike accidental properties), constitute its essence. ...


10

A definition (in the mathematical context) is simply the granting of a new name. When we define pi to be the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle, we are not making a claim of any kind; we're simply agreeing to use a given greek letter to substitute for a given notion. A proposition, on the other hand, attempts to add new information (...


10

Philosophy comes from the Greek words philo (loving) and soph(ía) (wisdom). Philosophers are thus—in a very liberal sense—simply "lovers of wisdom". However, I would imagine virtually everyone loves wisdom; at least in some way we all want to be "wise", and thus the term would apply to everyone and not really be of any real value. In the modern sense, it is ...


10

The "intension" of a concept is its meaning, whereas the "extension" of the concept is the set of the things that fall under that concept. The most helpful way to see the distinction is with a pair of concepts that have the same extension, but different intensions. For instance "renate" (="having kidneys") and "cordate" (="having a heart"). Everything that ...


10

On the prevailing extensional interpretation of modality the difference between possibility and probability is the diffference between quality and quantity, possibility is the quality quantified by probability, see Probability Distributions Over Possible Worlds by Bacchus. This interpretation can be traced back to Leibniz's determinate possible worlds, but ...


9

I think Wittgenstein is very illuminating in this respect. Some relevant quotations, dealing with some aspects of the question (PI stands for Philosophical Investigations): PI§109 [...] Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of our language. PI§126 [...] One might also give the name "philosophy" to what is ...


9

Jostein Gaarder gave the explanation which I have found most satisfying in his book, Sophie’s World. I have pieced together several excerpts below. Existentialism is a collective term for several philosophical currents that take man’s existential situation as their point of departure. Sartre said that “existentialism is humanism”. Existentialists start ...


9

"Epistemic closure" is a term used in epistemology. An agent satisfies closure when she satisfies the following conditional: If the agent knows P and knows that P implies Q then the agent knows Q. Here's an example of an agent failing to satisfy closure: Sally knows that it is Tuesday. She also knows that "If it's Tuesday, then it isn't the weekend". ...


9

Modernism is characterized by a loss of faith in the "transcendental signified"—or a kind of generalized loss of faith—yet unlike postmodernism is still somewhat nostalgic for the time when that faith was intact. Postmodernism is further decentered. While modernism blurs the distinction between high and low art, postmodernism rejects it. However, in an ...


9

Some critics, such as Annie Dillard in her book Living By Fiction, argue that post-modernism (in literature) is actually just "contemporary modernism", and that there are no significant differences between them. Note that, for example, most of the points raised in the answer by @jbpjackson above would apply to Joyce's "Ulysses", which is sometimes ...


9

My sense is that you are referring to a form of relativism that takes the specific form of morality by convention. Or at least that the social attitude you describe can be set out in these terms. It is capable of development beyond the banalities of prevailing forms of relativism. I develop this below, just slightly, but it may be that this is not at all ...


8

Philosophy is the practice of discovering new ideas and analyzing claims. The two parts can't themselves claim to be "philosophy" on their own since the very name means lover of wisdom. Can the collector of first editions who never reads them be considered a lover of books? What about the woman who reads every book she finds at the library, but never owns ...


8

The law of identity provides a logical expression of the notion that a thing (x) is the same entity as itself (x=x). It establishes a simple two-way relationship of equality that serves as a basic presupposition of any formal logic. My understanding is that the law of identity is somewhat more technical than simply a rule for calling two things "the same"; ...


8

Congratulations, you've found one of the major problems with Anselm's Ontological argument. We can easily say "Imagine a perfect circle", as we have a clear notion of what the essential properties of a circle are, and can recognize the actual circles we come across daily as approximations of some imputed ideal. If, on the other hand, we say "Imagine a ...


8

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronological_snobbery A logical argument (and usually when thus termed, considered an outright fallacy) describing the erroneous argument that the thinking, art, or science of an earlier time is inherently inferior to that of the present, simply by virtue of its temporal priority.


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