What is a good argument?

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Zetherin
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 03:08 pm
@kennethamy,
Kielicious wrote:

The implication was there, so I asked.


I think you assumed the implication was and began questioning before you confirmed with kennethamy that the implication was there. I don't think the implication was there. (But maybe you're right!)
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 03:14 pm
@kennethamy,
A good argument is what occurs when a good argument is being defined.
 
fast
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 04:11 pm
@Reconstructo,
Just thinkin' out loud here:

What are some positive traits of an argument?

1) It establishes its conclusion as true
2) It persuades or convinces the reader.
3) It's clear, coherent, short, and stylish.
There's more, I'm sure.

What are some necessary traits of an argument?

Only the first one above. A secondary purpose of making an argument may be to persuade, but if it fails to do so, the argument is still a good argument if it establishes its conclusion as true. It's nice to have a clear argument, but it's not necessary. It's nice to have an argument that persuades, but it's not necessary.

I think it's a bad idea to call a fallacious argument a good argument just because it manages to persuade someone that the conclusion is true.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 04:20 pm
@kennethamy,
But what makes an argument true? I think "true enough" is a more accurate phrase. For when do we stop revising our opinions?

One person thinks the argument establishes its conclusion as true. Another person does not. Who is right? Time for another argument, and the same old problem.

People (all of us) are often persuaded by non-logical factors. We believe what flatters us, comforts us, gives us a sense of power, is congruent with our profit.

Rhetoric is what Logic looks like naked.
 
fast
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 04:41 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;108965 wrote:
But what makes an argument true?
We do not say of arguments that they are true. We say of propositions that they are true. Arguments are Sound or unsound. Arguments are valid or invalid. Arguement are not true or false.

Quote:
One person thinks the argument establishes its conclusion as true. Another person does not. Who is right?
No. Some think that a good argument is an argument that ... .

Quote:
Time for another argument, and the same old problem.
Do you think an unsound argument is a good argument just because it may be persuasive? You need not give me an argument. Give me a reason to think that.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 04:44 pm
@kennethamy,
I don't think there's really any difference between a sound argument and a persuasive argument. What you call "sound" is that which you find "persuasive." "Soundness" is your synonym for persuasive. Or so I propose....
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 04:47 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;108981 wrote:
I don't think there's really any difference between a sound argument and a persuasive argument. What you call "sound" is that which you find "persuasive." "Soundness" is your synonym for persuasive. Or so I propose....


Unsound arguments can be persuasive. Or, at least, persuasive to idiots.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 04:51 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;108981 wrote:
I don't think there's really any difference between a sound argument and a persuasive argument. What you call "sound" is that which you find "persuasive." "Soundness" is your synonym for persuasive. Or so I propose....


There are a lot of arguments people find persuasive that are not sound. Those arguments are called, "fallacies", and examples can be easily found on the internet. One is the fallacy of post hoc ergo propter hoc; another is the fallacy of affirming the consequent; another is that of denying the antecedent, the etymological fallacy, and a bunch more.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 04:54 pm
@kennethamy,
These fallacies are dreamed up phrases. All your precious logical tradition is just the creation of other humans. Some of it is nice, but it's just the crystallized rhetoric of yesterday.

One man's fallacy is another man's credo. Surely you've seen this in the world. And you can join the bible-thumpers, if you like, and call your truth the only real truth.

Reality and Truth (capitalized for a reason) are the opiates of intellectuals. As Nietzsche brilliantly saw, the philosopher is the descendant of the priest. His will-to-power is flattered by connection to something transcendent. In this case "Truth" or "Reality."

And this word "fallacy" reminds me of the Christian word "sin." It's a negation word used against outsiders. It's a designator of those who are not "saved" or "logical."

We are all elitist. All of us play the hero. It's just that we evolve different styles, masks. We have different colored capes.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 05:04 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;108988 wrote:
These fallacies are dreamed up phrases. st that we evolve different styles, masks. We have different colored capes.


You mean no one commits fallacies? They are committed every day, and on this forum.

Not so long ago people on the forum were arguing that "philosophy" is, the love of wisdom, because that is the etymology of the word, "philosophy". They committed the etymological fallacy. You cannot show there are no fallacies by making up metaphors. (Hmm. I guess I'll call that "the fallacy of metamorphizing). You really have to produce an argument. Even Rorty once knew that.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 05:13 pm
@kennethamy,
"Fallacy" itself is a metaphor. I want you to realize that such things are human creations. Inventions for the redescription of the mental-model "Reality."

And I've never committed your precious etymological fallacy. You have failed to understand me, however. I'm trying to share with you my view of language. I thought you liked Wittgenstein? Do you not see language holistically?

"Fallacy" is just a dreamed up description that one liar applied to the lies of another liar, in the act of persuasion. I'm using "liar" metaphorically here. Have your heard of them, metaphors?

The early linguistic philosophers were retarded on exactly this point. They did not understand metaphor. They were math-heads who didn't know they were out of their left-brain territory. Hegel and his Dialectical Logic do a much better job of it. So does the later Wittgenstein.

I've been making many good arguments, but I've attacked one of your central superstitions and sources of self-esteem perhaps, so it's a difficult case.
 
Emil
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 05:19 pm
@fast,
fast;108962 wrote:
Just thinkin' out loud here:

What are some positive traits of an argument?

1) It establishes its conclusion as true
2) It persuades or convinces the reader.
3) It's clear, coherent, short, and stylish.
There's more, I'm sure.

What are some necessary traits of an argument?

Only the first one above. A secondary purpose of making an argument may be to persuade, but if it fails to do so, the argument is still a good argument if it establishes its conclusion as true. It's nice to have a clear argument, but it's not necessary. It's nice to have an argument that persuades, but it's not necessary.

I think it's a bad idea to call a fallacious argument a good argument just because it manages to persuade someone that the conclusion is true.


I think you meant to ask "What are some necessary traits of a good argument?" because that's what you're answering.

As for the necessary traits of an argument:

  • There is a conclusion
  • There is a premise
  • There is an inference from the premise(s) to the conclusion


---------- Post added 12-08-2009 at 12:20 AM ----------

Zetherin;108983 wrote:
Unsound arguments can be persuasive. Or, at least, persuasive to idiots.


Many unsound arguments are rightfully persuasive to rational people.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 06:16 pm
@kennethamy,
Emil wrote:
Many unsound arguments are rightfully persuasive to rational people.


Now that I think about it, you are correct.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 06:18 pm
@kennethamy,
Call the outsider/opponent an idiot or a sinner. An A-list can only exist in relation to a B-list. Most (all?) heroic roles implies their villian. For Plato it was the sophists. For Kant it was both Hume and the meta-physicians. For Heidegger it was forgetfulness of being.

The logic-crowd do not like their idol re-described in less flattering terms (as glorified rhetoric). But it was a passion for logic that turned me against obsolete primitive conceptions of logic. I use to pride myself on objectivity, till I realized it was a superstition....
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 06:30 pm
@kennethamy,
Reconstructo wrote:
The logic-crowd do not like their idol re-described in less flattering terms (as glorified rhetoric). But it was a passion for logic that turned me against obsolete primitive conceptions of logic. I use to pride myself on objectivity, till I realized it was a superstition....


I'm still trying to grasp why you think objectivity is a superstition. I keep reading you posts, but I still cannot understand. It's going to take me some time, Reconstructo Smile
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 06:36 pm
@kennethamy,
I appreciate your effort. Let me try again to explain what I mean.


Yes, there is an objective world. No, our idea of the objective world is not the objective world, but rather a mental model of the same.

To take a mental-model for a reality is something I'm willing to describe as a superstition. To me it's similar to mistaking a sublime myth for a cosmology.

Critical philosophy should wake us up to our assumptions. When we assume, we often make an a** out of you and me.

Religious prejudice is a boring and easy target. I prefer, for my target, scientistic (pejorative term for pseudo-scientific attitude) prejudice.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 07:06 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;109018 wrote:
I appreciate your effort. Let me try again to explain what I mean.


Yes, there is an objective world. No, our idea of the objective world is not the objective world, but rather a mental model of the same.

To take a mental-model for a reality is something I'm willing to describe as a superstition. To me it's similar to mistaking a sublime myth for a cosmology.

Critical philosophy should wake us up to our assumptions. When we assume, we often make an a** out of you and me.

Religious prejudice is a boring and easy target. I prefer, for my target, scientistic (pejorative term for pseudo-scientific attitude) prejudice.


I suppose you think it fallacious to take a mental model for reality. Don't you? But can you tell me who it is that commits that fallacy? I can't think of anyone who looks at a map, and believes it is the territory it is a map of. Can you?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 11:14 pm
@kennethamy,
The thing is, all we have is the map. For we must construct our notion of objective reality from sense-data and information obtained from other human beings.

And we have philosophers and psychologist who offer us mental-models of the psyche which help us process this sense data.

In our age, there's "no such thing as ghosts," so the man afflicted with visions goes to the shrink and not the priest.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 11:17 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;109099 wrote:
The thing is, all we have is the map. For we must construct our notion of objective reality from sense-data and information obtained from other human beings.

.


What is it a map of, then. And where did it ever come from? In fact, how do we know it is a map?

You think there were ghosts, and then they disappeared in our age? What happened?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 11:20 pm
@kennethamy,
"Map" is a metaphor. We created it, both the "map" and the metaphor for it.
 
 

 
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