Lecture Notes.
 
  

 
Module One: Session Seven

Critical Thinking Fundamentals

Argument:Conclusion Indicators

  • Arguments contain certain words that act as "sign posts." Just as road signs tell motorists when to turn, when to stop, which way to go, etc., "indicator words" tell the reader the direction that an argument is taking. We'll start with the most basic of these indicators.
  • All men are mortal.
    Socrates is a man.
    Therefore, Socrates is mortal.
  • Notice the word "therefore." It is known as a conclusion indicator. It signals that what follows (Socrates is mortal) is a conclusion.
  • Here is a list of other words/phrases that are common conclusion indicators:
    • It follows that . . .
    • We may conclude that . . .
    • This proves that . . .
    • This shows that . . .
    • Thus . . .
    • Hence, . . .
    • Accordingly, . . .
    • Consequently, . . .
TipTIP
  • With conclusion indicators, the conclusion to the right of the indicator.
  • Notice that the words to the left of the conclusion indicator will be a premise.
  • Example: (Premise) It is very cold today. Hence, (Conclusion) we should not go on a picnic.

Argument:Premise Indicators

  • The classic premise indicator is "because." The word indicates that support is being given for some other statement (which is probably the conclusion).
  • Here is a list of other words/phrases that are common premise indicators.
    • Since . . .
    • For . . .
    • In view of . . .
    • This is implied by . . .
    • Given . . .
    • For the reason that . . .
TipTIP
  • With premise indicators, the premise is to the right of the indicator.
  • Notice that the words to the left of the premise indicator will be a conclusion.
  • Example: (Conclusion) We should not go on a picnic today, because (Premise) it is too cold.

Quiz Practice Quiz

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