men are mortal. Socrates is a man.
Therefore, Socrates is mortal.
This simple argument has three sentences.
An agument must have a minimum of two sentences. It may also
have a great number of sentences. Frequently, arguments constitute
entire books. They all have some basic structures.
The first two sentences support the third
sentence. They are called premises.
Another more familiar word is reasons.
Those words mean the same thing.
The last sentence is the one that is being
established by the others. It is called the conclusion.
Another word that means the same thing is thesis.
In philosophy (and logic in particular) the word conclusion means
something very specific. The
is the one sentence being established by the argument.
This is different from the way it is used in other disciplines.
You may have learned that a conclusion is a summarizing paragraph
at the end of a paper. That's fine, but make sure you understand
the more specific way that it's used in this class.
Premise: All men are mortal.
Premise: Socrates is a man.
Conclusion: Socrates is mortal.
Next, you will learn some words that will help you to identify
the parts of an argument.