philosophy 11 critical thinking 6

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  1. Hypothesis – a provisional explanation, or theory, tested by seeing whether a prediction that follows from it actually comes true
    • Example –
    • “If Lady Pamela is the murderer, then the button found next to the corpse should match those on the outfit she wore that night.” 

    Hypothesis – Lady Pamela is the murderPrediction – the button found next to the corpse matches those on the outfit she wore that night
  2. Confirm
    – true predictions confirm a hypothesis; confirm- ation is new information that increases the likelihood of a hypothesis’s truth, is reason to accept it
  3. Disconfirm
    – false predictions, predictions that don’t occur, disconfirm a hypothesis; disconfirmation is new information that decreases the likelihood of the hypothesis’s truth, is reason to reject it
  4. confirmation and disconfirmation
    can be incremental or partial, and that confirmation and disconfirmation are not the same as proof and disproof in any final sense.
  5. Hypothetico-deductive method – the way that hypotheses are confirmed and disconfirmed
    Version #1 –“To see whether a hypothesis is true, derive some prediction from it. If the prediction is true, then the hypothesis is confirmed. If the prediction is false, then the hypothesis is disconfirmed.”In the Lady Pamela case, if the button found beside the corpse does indeed match a missing button from the outfit she was known to have worn on the night of the murder, then the likelihood of the hypothesis that she’s the murderer is increased. If the button does not match those on her outfit and no buttons are missing from it, then the likelihood of the hypothesis that she’s the criminal is decreased.
  6. Galileo’s use of the hypothetico-deductive method:
    • P1 If the Copernican system is correct, then Venus will show phases when observed through a telescope
    • P2 Venus shows phases when observed through a telescope
    • C The Copernican system is correct

    Hypothesis – the Copernican system is correctPrediction – Venus will show phases when observed through a telescope
  7. Auxiliary hypotheses  unstated sentences, assumed to true, that are part of arguments of confirmation
    Example (Galileo’s argument, again)–If the Copernican system is correct, then Venus will show phasesVenus shows phasesThe Copernican system is correct

    One assumption this argument makes – that is, one auxiliary hypothesis it contains – is that observing Venus through a telescope is a reliable way to tell whether that planet shows phases.
  8. Hypothetico-deductive method – Version #2
    • P1 If the hypothesis is true – and if the auxiliary hypotheses are also true – then a certain observable prediction will occur
    • P2 The observable prediction occurred
    • C The hypothesis is true
  9. Alternative hypotheses – distinct, non-equivalent explanations that have the same observational predictions as the hypothesis that is being tested
    Back to Lady Pamela –“No!” someone says. “The maid who laid out Lady Pamela’s gown that night could have pulled off one of her ladyship’s buttons then and left it at the scene of the crime in order to make Lady Pamela, of whom the maid was insanely jealous, look guilty!”
  10. Prior probability
    the probability of an hypothesis’s truth before any test or observation has occurred; a theory’s belief-worthiness before it has been tested
  11. Prior probability – the probability of an hypothesis’s truth before any test or observation has occurred; a theory’s belief-worthiness before it has been tested
    • Some factors that affect an hypothesis’s prior probability
    • Its compatibility with already well-established views:
    • The authority of the person offering the theory
    • The similarity of a hypothesis to other hypotheses that are successful, for example, in terms of the causal mechanism they utilize: hypotheses that are similar to familiar and successful hypotheses have greater prior probability than those that are complete novelties
    • Our fund of savoir-faire about how things go in the world
  12. Hypothetico-deductive method Version #3
    • “The hypothesis is initially plausible. (It has some degree of prior probability.)
    • if the hypothesis and the auxiliary hypotheses are true, then the observable prediction is true.
    • The observable prediction is true.
    • No alternative hypothesis has as high a prior probability as the hypotheses that is being tested.
    • Therefore, the hypothesis is true.”
  13. Alternative hypotheses- distinct,
    nonequivalent explanations that have the same observational predictions as the hypothesis that is being tested
    Back to Lady Pamela –“No!” someone says. “The maid who laid out Lady Pamela’s gown that night could have pulled off one of her ladyship’s buttons then and left it at the scene of the crime in order to make Lady Pamela, of whom the maid was insanely jealous, look guilty!”
  14. Prior probability
    the probability of an hypothesis’s truth before any test or observation has occurred; a theory’s belief-worthiness before it has been tested

    Some factors that affect an hypothesis’s prior probability

    Its compatibility with already well-established views

     And behold! Allah will say: "O Jesus the son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of Allah.?" He will say: "Glory to Thee! never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, thou wouldst indeed have known it. Thou knowest what is in my heart, Thou I know not what is in Thine. For Thou knowest in full all that is hidden.117. "Never said I to them aught except what Thou didst command me to say, to wit, 'worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord'; and I was a witness over them whilst I dwelt amongst them; when Thou didst take me up Thou wast the Watcher over them, and Thou art a witness to all things.118. "If Thou dost punish them, they are Thy servant: If Thou dost forgive them, Thou art the Exalted in power, the Wise."119. Allah will say: "This is a day on which the truthful will profit from their truth: theirs are gardens, with rivers flowing beneath,- their eternal Home: Allah well-pleased with them, and they with Allah. That is the great salvation, (the fulfilment of all desires).120. To Allah doth belong the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is therein, and it is He Who hath power over all things.

    The similarity of a hypothesis to other hypotheses that are successful, for example, in terms of the causal mechanism they utilize: hypotheses that are similar to familiar and successful hypotheses have greater prior probability than those that are complete novelties

    Our fund of savoir-faire about how things go in the world 
  15. Hypothetico-deductive methodVersion #3
    “The hypothesis is initially plausible. (It has some degree of prior probability.)

    f the hypothesis and the auxiliary hypotheses are true, then the observable prediction is true.

    The observable prediction is true.

    No alternative hypothesis has as high a prior probability as the hypotheses that is being tested

    Therefore, the hypothesis is true.”
  16. absolute confirmation 
    this is when a hypothesis is so strongly supported by evidence that it regarded as almost certainly true. Experimenters may have even given up testing it.

    However… even when a hypothesis is regarded as absolutely confirmed, it can still be overturned. New evidence may appear that upsets even the most widely accepted views.
  17. The disconfirmation view of scientific hypotheses
    The idea that scientific hypotheses are never proven but only disproven. If you toss out all of the bad hypotheses, what you’ll be left with are the good ones.

    Example – If there were only twelve people in Claymoor Castle on the night of the murder and all but one of them, Lady Pamela, can be decisively ruled out as the criminal, what must be true?
  18. disconfirmation path
    If Galileo had taken the disconfirmation path, he could have argued as follows:If the Ptolemaic view is correct, then Venus will not show phasesVenus does show phasesThe Ptolemaic view is not correctThe first premise of this argument is a conditional sentence, that is, an “if-then” sentence where one thing, the “then” part, is said to depend upon another thing, the “if” part. The thing that does the depending, the “then” part of the sentence, is called the consequent, and the thing that is depended upon, the “if” part, is called the antecedent. Venus not showing phases depends upon Ptolemy’s view of the solar system being correct.
  19. the argument of disconfirmation:
    If the Ptolemaic view is correct, then Venus will not show phases

    Venus does show phases

    • The Ptolemaic view is not correct
    • has the same structure as the following argument:

    If it rained last night, then my car will be wet this morning

    My car is not wet this morning

    It did not rain last night

    This means that just as the second argument is deductively valid – if its premises are true then its conclusion must be true – the first argument is deductively valid as well.
  20. The ad hoc fallacy – arbitrary rejection of an auxiliary hypothesis to save the main hypothesis, aka, uphold- ing the truth of a hypothesis while rationalizing why an reasonable and expected prediction did not occur
    Example – Jane: “If you were as good a tennis player as you claim, then you’d at least be able to return my little patty-cake serves.”Joan: “I don’t think the ball we’re using is perfectly round and I suspect that the racquet you lent me isn’t properly strung.

    ”The auxiliary hypothesis, or unstated assumption, that Joan is rejecting to save her view of herself as a good tennis player is that the two women are playing with normal equipment.
  21. Crucial test 
    a test that at the same time confirms one of two competing hypotheses and disconfirms the other, for example, Edward Jenner’s test of the cowpox hypothesis on James Phipps. His test both confirmed “Cowpox confers immunity to smallpox” and disconfirmed “Cowpox does not confer immunity to smallpox.”
  22. Some more fallacies of relevance
    Appeal to force – when the threat of force or force itself, rather than reasons, is the basis of persuasion.

    Appeal to pity – when you’re asked to act or to think in some way because of someone’s piteous circumstances rather than because of any reason that has been given. Example – student to professor: “I know I only have enough points for a C but if you don’t give me an A, I won’t get into Stanford and my life will be ruined! I might as well die!”

    Appeal to ignorance – the claim that some sentence must be true because no one has yet proven it false. Example – Alan: “I’m convinced that Dick Cheney was the real brains behind the Lincoln assassination.” Tony: “That seems farfetched to me.” Alan: “Well, can you prove he wasn’t ?” Tony: “No.” Alan: “Well, then it must be true that he was.”
  23. Some fallacies of presumption
    Fallacy of accident 

    Fallacy of bifurcation (fallacy of black-or-white thinking)

    Fallacy of the complex question, or of the loaded question – to build an assumption into a question such that it is not possible to answer the question without accepting the assumption. 

    Fallacy of the red herring – occurs when someone changes the subject in order to avoid talking about something he doesn’t want to talk about. Example – Father: “Didn’t I tell you not to mess with my power tools? Now you’ve broken my router!” Son: “I don’t feel good. I think I have a temperature.”

    Straw man fallacy – occurs when someone intentionally mischaracterizes someone else’s case, presenting it as either so extreme that it’s indefensible or so weak that it’s simply not worth of serious attention. Example – Joan: “I’m not sure that capital punishment is always wrong.” Jane: “So you think that the state sponsored murder of minorities and the poor is OK.”

    Begging  the question – when the writer or speaker assumes the truth of what he or she is trying to prove; where the argument’s conclusion just restates one of its premises. Example – “Depressions always follow wars because economic downturn consistently follows armed international conflicts.” 
  24. A few addition kinds of inductive argument –
    Risus sophisticus (Latin for “sophistical laughter”) – “destroying one’s adversaries’ seriousness by laughter and their laughter by seriousness” “(Gorgias of Leontini, c. 483-376 BC). Most commonly, undermining someone else’s position by making fun of it. 

    Limitation – that someone’s position or means of presenting it is, or can be made to seem, ridiculous does not mean that that position is false or ill-advised.On the other hand, humor can, sometimes, lead us directly to the truth.
  25. A few addition kinds of inductive argument –Some a fortiori arguments:
    If it’s inappropriate to go into that restaurant shirtless and shoeless, how much more inappropriate would it be to go in stark naked.

    If it is illegal to drive while talking on one hand-held cell phone, it is certainly illegal to drive while talking on two hand-held phones and watching TV.

    “Since [God] cares for the sparrows, he will not neglect reasonable creatures[,] who are far dearer to him” (Gottfried Leibniz).

    All three of these arguments work with the same idea: if weak evidence is enough to warrant a conclusion, surely strong evidence will be more than enough.
  26. A slightly different form of a fortiori argument
    is one claiming that if you already know that a strong conclusion is true, then it is reasonable to conclude that a weaker conclusion of the same type is true as well. For instance:

    If Tom can bench press 200 pounds, then he can certainly bench press 150 pounds.“He who can do more can do less.”“A man who will murder will not hesitate to lie.”
  27. A few addition kinds of inductive argument –
    Risus sophisticus (Latin for “sophistical laughter”) – “destroying one’s adversaries’ seriousness by laughter and their laughter by seriousness” “(Gorgias of Leontini, c. 483-376 BC). 

    A fortiori arguments  (“a fortiori” is Latin for “all the more” or “with greater force”) – comparison of two cases, a lesser and a greater, followed by the claim that if from the lesser case one can properly draw a conclusion, one can even more properly draw the same conclusion in the greater, or stronger, case. 

    Limitation – each use of an a fortiori argument will need to be looked at individually because circumstances can affect such arguments’ cogency.
  28. A few addition kinds of inductive argument –
    A fortiori arguments (“a fortiori” is Latin for “all the more” or “with greater force”) – comparison of two cases, a lesser and a greater, followed by the claim that if from the lesser case one can properly draw a conclusion, one can even more properly draw the same conclusion in the greater, or stronger, case.

    Argument by sign – an argument claiming that two things are so intimately related to one another that the presence of one is a reliable indicator of the presence of the other, whether the second is immediately apparent or not. For instance, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” or, “That coolness in the air and the falling leaves mean that winter is near.”
  29. A few addition kinds of inductive argument –Issues that come up when reasoning by sign:
    Is there really a sign relationship between the two things being considered? Smoke may be a sign of fire, but is diplomatic recognition a sign that one country approves of another’s political practices? 

    Is the relationship between the two things – the “sign” and what it is supposed to be a sign of – inherent? That is, is the sign sometimes a sign of one thing and sometimes a sign of something entirely different?

    Is there a cumulative dimension to the sign relationship? That is, is one factor merely a possible sign of something else but many factors a more belief-worthy sign?
  30. A few addition kinds of inductive argument –
    Argument by sign – an argument claiming that two things are so intimately related to one another that the presence of one is a reliable indicator of the presence of the other, whether the second is immediately apparent or not. For instance, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” or, “The coolness of the air and the falling leaves mean that winter’s near.”

    Argument of waste – the claim that since you’ve already started a task and made sacrifices to get to this point, sacrifices that would be wasted if you give up now, you should continue and finish the task. For instance, “Don’t give up on college now or all the time, money, and effort you’ve put in up ‘til now will just be wasted!”
  31. A few addition kinds of inductive argument –Some other versions of argument of waste:
    • But if you don’t take over your family’s business, you’ll be throwing away what it took four generations to build up!”
    • “You’re just wasting your height by not playing basketball.”
    • “Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to save big on gel-foam mattresses!”All such arguments rest on a simple idea: it is a good thing to round off, or perfect, a nearly completed whole.
  32. A few addition kinds of inductive argument
    • Argument of waste – the claim that since you’ve already started a task and made sacrifices to get to this point, sacrifices that would be wasted if you give up now, you should continue and finish the task. 
    • Argumentation by sacrifice – the claim that if someone will trade something of known, and high, value for something else of unknown value, that something else must be really valuable. This is actually a type of argument from authority.
    • Limitation – while such arguments can be persuasive when a known, and small, amount of additional effort will produce a predictable, and good, result, sometimes additional effort no matter how great will not guarantee, or even make likely, a good result. In other words, sometimes the alternative to wasting past effort is not achieving a valued goal but wasting past effort plus wasting future effort and achieving nothing.
    • Example – “If you have any doubts about the value of our political system, just think of the staggering sacrifices that have been made to defend it!”
  33. A few addition kinds of inductive argument –
    Argumentation by sacrifice – the claim that if someone will trade something of known, and high, value for something else of unknown value, that something else must be really valuable. This is actually a type of argument from authority.

    • Obviously, the greater the sacrifice and the prestige of the person making it, the more power such arguments will have in establishing the value of the thing they sacrificed for.
    • Apparent sacrifice and real sacrifice may not be the same things – large charitable donations may not establish the importance of a charity’s work but of the donors’ desire for tax breaks
    • The person making the sacrifice may be suspected of having poor judgment – he may have stupidly traded something better for something worse

    • There is such a thing as useless sacrifice
    • Limitations – Apparent sacrifice and real sacrifice may not be the same things – large charitable donations may not establish the importance of a charity’s work but of the donors’ desire for tax breaks

    The person making the sacrifice may be suspected of having poor judgment – he may have stupidly traded something better for something worse

    There is such a thing as useless sacrifice
  34. A few addition kinds of inductive argument –
    Argumentation by sacrifice – the claim that if someone will trade something of known, and high, value for something else of unknown value, that something else must be really valuable. This is actually a type of argument from authority.

    Argument of reciprocity – arguments resting on the idea that cases that are relevantly and importantly alike should be treated alike; what’s sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander.

    Example – “Since everyone else is taking a 5% pay cut so that no one has to be laid off, it’s only right that you take a 5% pay cut too.”

    Limitation – It’s often controversial when cases that are claimed to be alike really are alike.
  35. A few addition kinds of inductive argument –
    Argument of reciprocity – arguments resting on the idea that cases that are relevantly and importantly alike should be treated alike; what’s sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander.Pragmatic arguments

    – arguments claiming that policies or actions are good if they produce good results and bad if they produce bad results; consequences determine the value of the methods used to achieve them.

    Example – “Lying to her was the right thing to do since it spared her the terrible pain of learning the truth about him.” In other words, the lying was all right because it produced a desirable result.
  36. A few addition kinds of inductive argument –
    Pragmatic arguments – arguments claiming that policies or actions are good if they produce good results and bad if they produce bad results; consequences determine the value of the methods used to achieve them.

    Argument by dilemma – as a positive argument, the claim that there are two, and only two, possible courses of action; both are bad, but the one I recommend is less bad than its alternative (or, both are good but the one I recommend is better than its alternative).

    Example – “In a word, fellow Athenians, you must not lose sight of this fact: you have the choice between attacking Philip in his own land or being attacked by Philip in yours. Is it necessary to show the difference between making war in his land and in yours?” – Demosthenes (4th century BC)

    Example – “Amnesty for the undocumented will not solve our immigration problems; it will aggravate them by providing an incentive for further illegal immigration.”
  37. A few addition kinds of inductive argument –
    Pragmatic arguments – arguments claiming that policies or actions are good if they produce good results and bad if they produce bad results; consequences determine the value of the methods used to achieve them.

    Argument by dilemma – whether used as argument or as counter-argument, argument by dilemma’s chief hazard is that the alternatives presented may not lay out all the alternatives that really exist; there may be a third (or fourth, or fifth) alternative than captures both the benefits and avoids the hazards of the possibilities being discussed. That is to say, the dilemma presented may be a false one.
  38. Autophagia (from the Greek for “self-eating”) – to assert that another’s argument or position is an autophagia is to assert that that position enunciates a principle which, if applied universally and consistently, destroys, subverts, or annuls itself: eats itself up.
    Examples – “Never generalize;” “All rules have exceptions;” “Everything changes” “All those driving over 65 MPH must be apprehended and punished immediately;” well, how about the police who enforce that rule? Are they to be apprehended and punished?

    Limitation – there is always the question of whether a position really is an autophagia, and if it is it may be easily reparable by simply modifying it with a clause, e.g.,

    “Except for police personnel engaged in their professional duties, all those who drive over 65 MPH must be apprehended and punished immediately.”
  39. Argument from contraries – the claim that the relationship between a known pair of contraries will be paralleled by a similar relationship between another pair of contraries.
    Examples – “If I’m unmarried and unhappy, then getting married will make me happy;” “If war is the cause of our present trouble, peace is what we need to put things right again” (the second example is from Aristotle’s Rhetoric).

    Limitation – this form of argument treats opposites in language as if they invariably reflected opposites in reality. Being unmarried may indeed make you unhappy but it doesn’t follow from that that getting married will make you happy; it may simply make you unhappy in new ways.

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