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Philosophy Midterm Cheat Sheet by

everything you need for philos


Aims at Persuading us by showing that a claim is true/r­eas­onable
Aims at persuading us by relying on our non logical physio­logical traits
→ Use
→ Mention

Mention vs Use

using the word not mentioning the definition
CIA started to use waterb­oarding to refer to induced suffoc­ation in the late 70s
using the word to refer to the act
I don't see anything wrong with water boarding
→ Non Rhetorical
→ Rhetorical

Non Rhetorical VS Rhetorical

Non Rhetorical
Wants a direct answer
trying to make a point rather than get an answer
Three types of Rhetorical Strategies
→ Content Directed
→ Subject Directed
→ Rhetorical Fallacies

Premise examples

what is the unstated premise ?
Anyone who has seen the movie knows that it’s terrible. So, you should know that it’s terrible.
You have seen the movie
unstated premise
1. ? 2. Mark is a human being 3. Therefore mark is mortal
? = all human beings are mortal

Argument tips and hints

what is the unstated premise ?
Anyone who has seen the movie knows that it’s terrible. So, you should know that it’s terrible.
You have seen the movie
unstated premise
1. ? 2. Mark is a human being 3. Therefore mark is mortal
? = all human beings are mortal
example of an invalid argument
1. Some Wiscon­sinites are rich 2. Some Wiscon­sinites are republ­icans Therefore, some republ­icans are rich
Can we conclude from the fact that an argument is not sound that it is not deduct­ively valid?
No, from the fact that the argument is not sound we can conclude that either it is not valid or one of the premises is false.
Is it possible to have a sound argument and a false conclu­sion? Why or why not?
No. This is not possible. For an argument to be sound it must be (1) valid (if the premises are true then the conclusion must be true) and (2) it must have all true premises. (1) and (2) necess­itate that a sound argument has a true conclu­sion.
difference between inductive and deductive
While the conclusion of an inductive argument can only be likely, a conclusion of a deductive argument is certain.
Can we conclude from the fact that an argument is not sound that it is not deduct­ively valid?
No, from the fact that the argument is not sound we can conclude that either it is not valid or one of the premises is false.
Example of a Valid deductive argument that contains a false conclu­sion.
P1: If I go to the store, I will learn how to fly. P2: I went to the store. C: So I learned how to fly.
Example of a Sound argument
If a city is in Germany then it is in Europe. Cologne is in Germany. Therefore, it is in Europe. This argument is sound because: i) it is valid and ii) it’s premises are true.
you can have multiple conclu­sions for something

A valid Argument can have a false conclusion AND a false premise

(North America example)

Things that are not arguments

List of Claims
We are fifteen years into this new century. Fifteen years that dawned with terror touching our shores; that unfolded with a new generation fighting two long and costly wars; that saw a vicious recession spread across our nation and the world. It has been, and still is, a hard time for many. But tonight, we turn the page.
An argument in which the premises, if true, demons­trate or establish the conclu­sion.
Statement Format: "if - then - "
✤If you drink more, you’ll have a hangover tomorrow. ✤If he has been stealing, then he deserves to be fired
Casual Claims
Causal claims identify the cause of something. They explain why something is the case or happens.
Argument John must love kale because he eats it a lot. Casual Claim Because John loves kale he eats it a lot.
Step 1. Find the two events, states or facts that are related in the claim. Step 2. Determine which one of the events, states or facts is typically the cause and which one is typically the effect of the other one. Step 3. Find the premise indicator. Step4. If what comes after the premise indicator is the effect, the statement is an argument. If what comes after the premise indicator is the cause then the statement is a causal clai

words I don't know

Mixed rhetorical strategies
Rhetorical strategies that can be used both directly and indire­ctly. Examples of such strategies include hyperbole and rhetorical Analogy.
Parsimony Principles
Principles according to which views that are simpler and posit fewer entities should be preferred to more complex views.
Aristo­tle’s three modes of persuasion
Ethos: Persuasion by the speaker’s personal attributes (reput­ation, accomp­lis­hments, expertise, looks, charisma) Pathos: Persuasion by arousing emotions with a skillful use of rhetoric. Logos: Persuasion by rational arguments and reasoning.
Rhetorical Force
The rhetorical force of an expression is its ability or power to express and elicit emotional and other psycho­logical responses in the audience. Expres­sions can have almost identical literal meanings but different rhetorical forces.

Content Directed Strategies

Aims at supporting or underm­ining an idea by presenting its content in a smart way that makes it more likely that we will accept or reject it.

Indirect Content Based Strategies

use words to help: (A) Protect a statement from criticism by weakening it. While (B) hoping the audience will still believe the stronger version *common terms: up to, some, perhaps, possibly
loose up to 37 pounds in 28 days
speaker tells you something is the case but cleverly uses language to implicitly undermine its signif­icance
Ex: mary has a mere high school diploma Ex: karl is a “profe­ssor” of mathem­atics
Loaded Question
Asking a question to make you believe it is true (humans are more likely to believe something when it is implied)
Why does the president hate immigr­ants? Explicitly asks: why does the president hate immigr­ants? Implies: the president hates immigrants
Indirect Hyperbole
make an exagge­rated or non exagge­rated claim which gives it persuasive force
Ex: I would kill myself before i eat at this restaurant again. You are saying something directly but you want people to believe what you are indirectly saying (I Don't want you to believe i want to kms I want you to believe that the food is bad.) OR She cooked so much food for her party; there was enough for an army!
says something explicitly but they also want you to believe something else that is NOT weaseling, downpl­aying, indirect hyperbole or prepos­ition (more indirect - stressing certain words)
Example 1
What do you think is being implied by the innuendo in this dialogue? In other words, how are things going for B? A: “How’s it going?” B: ” …it’s going.” (Answer things are not going well)
Example 2
What do you think is being implied by the innuendo in this dialogue? Cicero: “[Marc Antony] is here now, in your hands. I am merely stating facts; I am not suggesting any particular course of action…” Brutus: “I will not take the course of action you’re not sugges­ting.” (answer killing Marc antony)

Direct Content Based Strategies

Positive expression used in place of a negative expression with the same literal meaning in order to persuade the audience of a claim
The fear that the new admini­str­ation might reintr­oduce enhanced interr­ogation techniques is unjust­ified.
negative expression used in place of a positive expression with the same literal meaning in order to persuade the audience of a claim
Its wrong to give tax breaks to the obscenely rich
Direct Hyperbole
one exagge­rates a claim hoping that the audience will be more likely to accept the exagge­rated claim saying something explicitly is what you want them to believe
Cable news has gone round the bend: the only thing you hear on Fox News is right-wing rant, and the only thing you hear on MSNBC are left-wing rants.
Proof Surrogates
support a claim by suggesting that there is agreement about it or that there is agreement about it or that there is strong support for it when there is not much agreement and existence of support is in dispute
Example common phrases: widely accepted, recogn­ized, it's obvious that, as we all know studies show
The Great Depression of the 1930s was needlessly prolonged by government policies now recognized in retrospect as foolish and irresp­ons­ible. OR Obamacare is a disaster; you know it; I know it; they know it.

Arguments and Main components

Series of statements that aim at proving rational reasons for believing in a claim
any sentence that is true or false
Rational Reasons:
Reasons that show that a claim is true or more likely to be true
Non-Ra­tional Reasons:
Reasons that are causes, Reasons that do not indicate the truth
statements that are given in support of the conclusion
indicators : come before the premise Since, For, In view of, Because
Claim that the argument supports
Indica­tors: Thus, Therefore, Conseq­uently, Hence, So, This implies that
Deductive reasoning:
no new info in the conclusion premise = true -> conclusion true
argument is valid when it is impossible for the premises to be true and the conclu­sions false
argument is valid if premises are true
new inform­ation is in the conclusion If premise is true conclusion might not

Subject Directed Strategies

aim at suppor­tin­g/u­nde­rmining an idea by suppor­tin­g/u­nde­rmining the proponents of the idea or the group that the idea is about


Beliefs about a groups attributes that are often false, over-s­imp­lified, over-g­ene­ralized or highly exagge­rated
→ Non Rhetorical
assenting to a stereotype ( i agree w the genera­liz­ati­on/just commenting on the stereo­type)
new yorkers are rude, Jews are successful in business, Illegal immigrants are criminals, Only tree huggers believe in climate change.
→ Rhetorical
Supporting a claim about indivi­duals by placing them within a stereo­typed group to make a conclusion
I'm sure johns mom will be waiting outside she's a helicopter mom, Better hide the bottle before John arrives. He's irish! April is a study freak so I bet she got an A on the test
Not all genera­liz­ations are stereo­types

Some rules
Often have socio-­pol­itical implic­ations
these are part of the explan­ation for why stereo­types exists
Most scientific genera­liz­ations are not stereo­types
Often essent­ialize feature that they attribute to a group

You don't have to have knowledge on whether something is false - but if it looks like a scientific claim it is less likely to be a stereo­type.


Ad Hominem

rejecting a persons claim or position by attacking them
Accusation of Incons­istency
You tell me it’s dangerous to text when I’m driving but I have seen you doing it! (incon­sis­tency between claim and behavior) You tell me that it’s dangerous to text while driving but just last week you were saying it isn’t! (incon­sis­tency between claim and behavior)
Questi­oning ones motivation
li: What do you think about Betsy DeVos’ idea that replacing public schools with charter schools and the voucher system will help improve education? Kyle: Of course it’s a terrible idea! Didn’t you know that the DeVos family has made a lot of money by investing in K12, a company that manages charter schools?
Personal Attack
Mary: Dad says it’s dangerous to stay out after 11pm? Jack: It’s not. Dad’s just a control freak!
OR "­Jerry is just an idiot"
Refuting By Associ­ation
Using stereotype to dispro­ve/­refute claim
Bob: You think banning guns will reduce gun violence? That sounds like what those left-wing university professors would say. Banning guns would actually make us less safe.
*Do not confuse a personal attack with an ad hominem that uses a personal attack.
Just a personal attack: Mark is a liar!/ Personal attack ad hominem Jasmine: Mark says he didn’t steal the car. Peter: He’s a liar! Of course, he did.

Ad Hominem notes

What Makes It an Ad Hominem? When are motiva­tions, incons­ist­encies, personal attributes or associ­ations completely irrelevant to the evaluation of a claim and when are these factors relevant? Provide an example to explain your reasoning.
Motiva­tions, incons­ist­encies, personal attributes or associ­ations are releva­nt/­irr­elevant depending on the conclusion we are supposed to draw. When motiva­tions, incons­ist­encies, personal attributes or associ­ations are reasons to doubt the source of the claim or the claim itself, the ad hominem attack can be considered a reason to be cautious about accepting the claim.

Diagra­mming Arguments

Diagra­mming represents the logical structure of an argument (what supports what)
Step 1:
find and label components of argument Use numbers (compo­nents are premises and conclusion )
Step 2: represent the rational components
using arrows
Does Blank get support from the previous statements and does it provide support for any of the arguments
connecting what premises give support to the previous statements and what statements provide the conclu­sions in the argument

Points on Diagra­mming

Structure vs. shape
The structure of the diagram matters not the shape ( straight line vs weird pentagon - same thing)
Embedded arguments
Some complex arguments are embedded in other arguments
One conclusion many arguments
A complex argument can have multiple different arguments for a single conclusion
One premise many conclu­sions
One premise can be a reason for multiple conclu­sions
co -operation
Premises can work together
Ambiguous structures
Arguments can have ambiguous structures more than one way to get to a conclu­sion) diff arguments are divided by a line)
Opposing reasons
Some components can be reasons against other components Some things don't support anything in the argument (these are hashed out)
Lines are only used for + when using two arguments for a conclusion - not a deep meaning

Rhetorical Fallacies

claim is false by misrep­res­ent­ing­/di­sto­rting it to make it vulnerable to attack­/easy to refute
Alex: “I believe that some of the money for the defense budget should be reallo­cated to education spending.” Becca: “I can’t believe that you want to cut the paycheck of the brave men and women who fight to defend our countr­y!"
Line Drawing
since there is no one way to define a concept or line between concept & opposite it should not be used
It’s not clear how many people the planet can support. We should stop worrying about overpo­pul­ation.”
assumes only available option is ideal or perfect
“I don’t think we should sign him up for football. The odds of him getting into the NFL are slim to none.”
False Dilemma
assumes you only have two options
You can either be straight edge or an addict, so you better not try any drugs or alcohol.
Misplacing the burden of proof
there is no proof for claim -> we should reject the claim
Obviously, Clinton was lying about her emails. Can you prove she wasn't? •Since there is no proof that she wasn't lying, she was lying. •Since there is no proof that guns shouldn’t be outlawed they should be outlawed •Since there is no proof that ghosts don’t exist, they do exist.
who has burden of proof
legal princi­ples, change, inherent credib­ility, parsimony principles (in cases of contro­versy both parties have burden of proof)
begging the question
offers a reason that is repacking the claim into a question
The superi­ority of the Aryan race is proved by the inferi­ority of the other races, That God exists is proved by scripture because scripture is the word of God and thus cannot be fa
THIS IS NOTHING (it j kept showing up) “I refuse to draw a line between your side of the room and mine. We should just respect
each other’s stuff!”

Rhetoric by Omission

Persuading someone to believe something by omitting necessary inform­ation
sometimes inform­ation can change bc of definition changes, think aids example; more people weren't getting aids than before the definition was more inclusive to all types of aids


A figure who exploits prejudice, fear and ignorance among the public in order to achieve and further his/her goals
CORE Rhetorical Strategies
Dividing people into in-groups and out-groups and viewing or treating the members of the out-group as inherently different from the members of the in group
Nazis otherized jews, the Roma and homose­xuals
Repres­enting someone or members of a group as inherently evil or wicked in character.
Nazi's demonized jews
Blaming the members of the out group for the problems from which members of the in group suffer
nazis scapegoat jews as respon­sible for economic hardship and as the reason germany lost ww1
Fear Mongering
Invoking intense fear of the members of the out-group in the audience

Other Rhetorical strategies of demagogues
Personal insult and Ridicule:
often personally insult or ridicule those who disagree with them as an altern­ative to delibe­ration and reasoning
Empty Promises:
making a promise just for the sake of their effect on the audience and without any regard for the practical possib­ility of what is promised or sometimes without the intention to deliver it.
making the same point over and over in order to convince the audience to believe it
suspending belief:
avoidance of critical thinking or logic in examining something unreal or impossible in reality, such as a work of specul­ative fiction, in order to believe it for the sake of enjoyment
Suspending your belief on something because you have some type of bias , you suspend your belief bc you can't make a full judgment


When possible, assume the best interp­ret­ation
What the speaker says: Glen Beck said President Obama’s foreign policy is weak? But Glen Beck is an idiot! President Obama’s foreign policy is fine. What the speaker has in mind: Glen Beck said President Obama’s foreign policy is weak? But Glen Beck is an idiot! So, don’t give much weight to his opinion.
Sometimes we do not fully articulate what we mean to say: If possible, assume the interp­ret­ation that does not attribute a fallacy to them.

Be constr­uctive

When possible show how a problem can be fix or avoided or give others a chance to explain or improve their reasons
Help speaker Avoid ad hominem by offering a different conclusion
Avoid non-co­nst­ructive response: Glen Beck said President Obama’s foreign policy is weak? But Glen Beck is an idiot! President Obama’s foreign policy is fine.
This is just an ad hominem!!
Constr­uctive response: I think that since John is known to be paranoid we shouldn’t believe on the basis of his report that Mary is having an affair. But we can’t conclude that Mary is not having an affair, can we?

Be Inform­ative

When possible, make the proble­matic assump­tions explicit and focus the discussion on those
Identify the proble­matic assump­tions, Discuss the proble­matic assump­tions, Discuss the premises of the valid deductive argument


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