2010 Fall Proseminar Study Guide for Philosophical Method Test

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Here are some links corresponding to each of the topics on the study guide.

1. Understand all basic terms from argument theory.


2. Be able to distinguish explanations from arguments, deductive from inductive arguments.

Structure in deductive and inductive reasoning

The difference between explanation and argument

3. Review concept of validity and the Principle of Induction

Principle of Induction Concept of Validity

4. Understand, distinguish, and give examples of different types of definitions.

Notes on Definition

5. Explain and exemplify three main assessment strategies for arguments.

3 Main Assessment Strategies

6. Review both lists of philosophical methods and develop a definition and example for each.

1. Philosophical Methods

2. Philosophical Methods for Philosophy Majors

Our previous examples in student work

I realize this is a little late for some but if you're looking for a last minute study guide its pretty organized... [1] --Lars

 Anyone who is interested in forming a study group for this and or Kries' We are meeting at 9 Monday at foley library
(email me at kkrossen@gmail.com or text (509)-230 4657).
 Hope this helps, 

Here is my study guide if this helps anyone else! 1. Understand basic terms from argument theory

    -Claim: A statement that can be evaluated as true/falst
    -Reason: a claim/premises
    -Premise: reasons given for a claim (also can be a claim about a claim)
    -Conclusion: a claim
    -Argument: reasons offered to help decide whether/not to believe a conclusion
    -Explanation: reasons for a claim to help understand how a fact/situation came about
    -Rationale: offering one claim as reason for another
    -Reflective Deliberative Context . . . sorry, haven't done much with this yet

2. Difference between explanations and arguments: (see definitions above)

    -Difference between deductive and inductive arguments
         -Deductive argument: an argument that attempts to show conclusion with absolute certainty
         -Inductive argument: an argument that attempts to show that the conclusion is probable

3. Review concept of validity and principle of induction

    -Validity: property of deductive arguments, guarantees that if the premises are true, the conclusion must be true, also needs formal structure
    -Principle of Induction: the assumption that nature is "uniform", assigning patterns to events

4. Understand/distinguish/give examples of different types of definitions:

    -Stipulative definitions: a meaning assigned to a symbol, cannot have a true/false meaning, used to reduce ambiguity
    -Lexical definitions: sometimes called "real definitions", reports the meaning the thing already has, can be 
    determined as true/false, also used to reduce ambiguity
    -Precising definitions: used to reduce vagueness . . . for some reason that's all i have right now . . . haha
    -Theoretical definitions: tries to make a theoretically adequate or scientifically useful description of objects to which the term applies
    -Ostensive definitions: also called "demonstrative definitions", refers to examples by pointing/gesturing
    -Persuasive definitions: used to resolve disputes by influencing attitudes or affecting emotions of others (eg for death penalty the pro is 
    "deserved justive for the victin and victim's family", con definition would be "legal murdering of a human being")
    -Extential meaning: denotation, examples of what the term signifies
    -Intensional meaning: connotation confines all shared characteristics of the objects the term refers to

5. Explain and exemplify 3 main assessment strategies for arguments

    -question the truth of premises (utilize internal critique)
    -question connection between premises and conclusion (utilize internal critique)
    -reframe the issue

I didn't make any examples for this yet, sorry 6. Review philosophical methods, give definitions and examples for each (I don't have examples for any of these)

    -Logical argumentation (not sure if this is what he means...)
    -Using the results of the natural sciences and arts to fuel speculative theory building (also not sure if this is what he means)
    -Case methods: looking at one case to make a generalization
    -Definitions (see above)
    -Questioning Presuppositions
    -Phenomenological reduction
    -Postmodern strategies (we didn't go over this as much, but things like deconstruction...)
    -Thought experiments: messing with people's minds to make them think (kindof) an example would be the bat thought experiment we read