Lecture Notes.

Module One: Session Five

Critical Thinking Fundamentals


  • We often think of an argument as a verbal fist fight. For instance, when people are yelling at each other, or are angry one with another. But we are using the word in a very different way.
  • An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.
    An argument doesn't even require opposing sides.

    • All men are mortal.
      Socrates is a man.
      Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

    • You should notice a few things about this argument.
      1. Notice the connection in the first two sentences is the category "men."
      2. Notice the established proposition (Socrates is mortal) must be true if the fist two sentences are true.
      3. Notice that reasonable person disagrees with this, and yet it is still an argument.

    • In the next section you will learn the names of the parts of an argument.
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