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Chapter 4 Analysis
Book: Ultimate Questions. Thinking About Philosophy. Nils Ch. Rauhut
Instructions are attached.
1 Assignment | Chapter 4 Analysis | Last updated 10.04.16 (EC added)
GUIDANCE: A GOOD ARGUMENT SATISFIES TWO CONDITIONS
In Philosophical analysis in particular, and in critical thinking in general: A claim? -- i.e., a conclusion / belief / view / statement / answer / position qualifies as
Knowledge ?or? fact ?-- i.e., true / reasonable / justified / justifiable when
(1) There are reasons? for thinking that the claim is true, and-(2) The reasons lead ?logically? to that claim, and-(3) The reasons are actually ?true
This is exactly why the Response posts require specific questions like:
1. What led to that conclusion?? ?This question helps u
? ncover reasons, i.e., premises?.
2. Does the conclusion follow from the premises?? This question isolates the l? ogic? factor.
3. Is each premise true?? This question isolates the t? ruth? factor.
An opinion or belief is only as good as the reasoning that supports it.? That is why it makes no
sense to challenge, disagree with, or find fault with someone?s position.
Errors-- if there are any-- will be in the r? easoning that supports the position?: Either the premises
don?t actually lead, logically, to their conclusion, or one of their premises is false. You cannot
determine any of this until you uncover the reasoning, and assemble the argument.
A ?good? argument is one that satisfies these two conditions:
? The Logic condition?: The conclusion follows logically from the premises
? The Truth condition?: Every premise in the argument is true
OVERVIEW / REVIEW / PREVIEW
Recall the ?logic? concepts and tools highlighted in chapter two:
Logical consistency (p.16), Logical possibility (p. 19), Necessary and sufficient conditions
(p. 21), Standard form (p. 26), Deductive reasoning, logical form, validity (p. 30+), Inductive
reasoning, probability, strength, (p. 35+)
Chapter three introduced ?Epistemology?, the branch of Philosophy that investigates the nature of
knowledge?. A main question at stake in chapter three: ? ?What?s ? the difference between ? believing? something is true, and knowing it is true?? 2 Recall the? truth ?and? justification? concepts and tools highlighted in chapter three:
Descartes? method of doubt (p. 51), Induction (p. 65), A priori justification (p. 68), A
posteriori justification (p. 69), Necessary truth (p. 69), Contingent truth (p. 69), Analytic truth
(p. 72), Synthetic truth (p. 72)
Chapter three ends,
?Equipped with these basic epistemological and logical tools, we are ready to explore some
classic philosophical problems?? (p. 74).
In chapter four we turn to a? classical philosophical problem? that falls under Metaphysics (the
branch that investigates the nature of existence): ?the problem of Free Will?.
The main questions at stake in the problem of Free Will:
? Does free will exist?
How much power does the past have over the future? (p. 78).
Can we be free even if the future is determined by the past? For this assignment please read chapter four in the textbook.
Some Free Will videos for your learning pleasure: h
? ttp://purplebike.com/?p=439 3
CHAPTER FOUR WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS CHECKLIST
Extra Credit All CC paragraph instructions followed
Contains a response to every prompt
All instructions followed
All prompts addressed / responded to
3. Two Socrates questions & significance of each explained
4. Final insight & relevant text passage properly cited
3. Two Socrates questions & significance of each explained
4. Final insight & relevant text passage properly cited Worth
20 Earned 20 ANALYSIS INSTRUCTIONS
To qualify for full points follow these steps in the order shown:
8. Copy and paste everything a
? fter the line ?below into a word processor document.
Leave the formatting as is: ?Section titles in bold?, your answers in regular.
Replace all assignment prompts in each section with your own responses.
Double check that your work aligns with what each prompt actually requires.
Go to the appropriate discussion forum in Canvas.
Click on ?Reply? to create a field for your post.
Paste your entire, completed Analysis post into that field..
Click on ?Post Reply?. -------------------------------------------------I. Conceptual Clarification
Construct a Conceptual Clarification (CC) paragraph for the concept listed below.
Also required:? For the example part, use relevant facets of the ?Big decision? you introduced in
the chapter one analysis. Don?t rehash every detail of your big decision, rather, extract facets of it
that (1) are relevant to the concept, and (2) can be used to illustrate the concept in action.
II. Analyze, Evaluate, Reflect
In this section, you will ?evaluate? the argument in defense of hard determinism, exactly as outlined
on page 84. Remember, a ?good? argument is one that meets two conditions. See the first page of
this instructions document for a review of those two conditions.
FIRST STEP: RESEARCH, EVALUATE, COMPOSE 4 Review the argument as it is outlined on page 84. Review the prompts below. Compose a
thoughtful yet succinct response to each prompt. Do not ramble. Do not insert off-topic opinions.
DO NOT ?include the assignment prompts in the post you submit for grading. Rather, you will be
combining your answers to each prompt and turning them into paragraphs, in the second step.
1. Logic: ?Is the argument inductive or deductive?? Support your conclusion. In other words,
give your readers good reasons to think that your conclusion here (?It is inductive? or ?It is
deductive?) is accurate. Here that means to connect to and incorporate a relevant t? ext
passage?, properly quoted and cited, that helps you make a brief yet convincing case that
the logic is deductive or inductive. H
? int?: see the sections in chapter two that cover these.
2. Logic: ?What logic pattern(s) are used?? (E.g., modus ponens, enumerative inductive, etc.).
Support your answer. In other words, offer good reasons to think that your answer is true.
Here that means to incorporate a relevant ?text passage?, properly quoted and cited, that
helps you make a brief yet convincing case that the logic matches the form you say it does.
Hint?: see chapter two sections that cover deductive and inductive argument forms.
3. Logic: ?Do the premises lead logically to the conclusion?? ?If yes, is the logic valid, or
strong?? If the argument is made up of several smaller argument, both criteria may apply.
Support your answers. I.e., give your readers good reasons to think that your answers are
true. Here that means to incorporate a relevant ?text passage?, properly quoted and cited,
that helps you make a brief yet convincing case that the logic is as you say it is. ?Hint?: see
the chapter two sections that cover deductive validity and inductive strength.
4. Truth: ?Is each premise true? T
? his time, just choose the ?two? premises that you think are
least likely? to be true. In other words, do NOT evaluate all six premises.
a. If true: ?Contingently? true or ?necessarily? true?
b. If false: ?Contingently? false or ?necessarily? false?
c. Either way: Support your conclusion. In other words, give readers good reasons to
think that your evaluation here is accurate. Here that means incorporate a relevant
text passage?, properly quoted and cited, that helps you make a brief yet convincing
case that each premise is true or false; contingent or necessary. ?Hint?: see the
sections in chapter three that cover necessary truth and contingent truth.
5. Which of the four steps above was easiest to respond to and assemble? Why? Which was
most difficult? Why? Did the textbook?s analysis of the argument, before and after the
argument in logical form, help? Were you skeptical of Hard Determinism when you first
encountered it in the text? Why or why not? Finally, setting aside whether you agree with
the argument?s conclusion, does the argument as a whole provide good reason for thinking
that we have no free will? Why or why not? Is your answer based on what you want to be
true, or on what is logically and evidentially justifiable as true?
SECOND STEP: ORGANIZE & FINALIZE
First, insert the argument on page 84 into your post as the FIRST item in this section. Insert it
exactly as shown. That means make sure it remains in standard form. 5 Second, assemble your responses, organize them into several b
? rief? ?paragraphs? that contain good
topic sentences, the ?four? required text passages above, accurately formatted in-text citations, etc.
Third, please bold key terms, like I do in my instructions documents. For the sake of your
classmates? eyes. Thanks!
Insert entries here. See the Composition handout in the Pages section of Canvas for details.
Review a solid sample of Analysis posts and Response posts in the Chapters 3 Assignment forum.
Then offer detailed and honest answers to the questions below. D
? o not discuss your actual
grade or points received. Any posts that do will be documented and then deleted without
Identify an Analysis post, by a classmate, in that forum, that was done especially well. By ?well?
here I mean that their answers demonstrated careful thought, valid logical (as that is defined in
chapter two!), close attention paid to assignment instructions, accurate understanding of relevant
textbook concepts, and concrete evidence as support.
Identify the individual by name. Identify two things you thought they did especially well. Be detailed
What are two things that you think YOU have done well in your Analysis posts so far? What leads
you to your conclusion that those were done well?
What are two things you think YOU could do to improve your Analysis posts, moving forward?
Explain what you will do, specifically, to achieve each goal.
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