Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Supported by Facts

ME: So, what's the difference between a good argument and a bad argument?

STUDENTS: Good arguments are supported by facts.

ME: So here's an argument. There's an invisible unicorn in this room. What's my reason for saying this? That you can't see it.

STUDENTS: They have to be relevant facts.

ME: But if the claim is about invisible unicorns, whether you can see them is definitely a relevant fact. So I've supported my conclusion with facts. Does that make it a good argument?

[All this as a preamble to discussing logic.]

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please understand that this weblog runs on a third-party comment system, not on Blogger's comment system. If you have come by way of a mobile device and can see this message, you may have landed on the Blogger comment page, or the third party commenting system has not yet completely loaded; your comments will only be shown on this page and not on the page most people will see, and it is much more likely that your comment will be missed.