Contact Courses Professional Study Aids Glossaries Key Links Purpose      


Exam date: August 8, 2003



A. Arguments in General
General definition

Propositions = building blocks of arguments; make a factual claim
General types: simple (one inference only, no subconclusion) and complex (more than one inference, contains a subconclusion)
Inference: process of drawing conclusion from premise(s)
Argument: product of inference (set of articulated propositions)
Distinguishing arguments from non-arguments (explanations, hypothetical propositions, opinion or statement of belief, reports, warnings, loosely associated statements, illustrations, advice, exposition, etc.)
Basic traits of argument: minimal requirement (premise and conclusion), nature of subconclusion, logical/temporal order of arguments, inferential and factual claims, purpose of argument, problematic/unproblematic claims, etc.
Independent/dependent support of premises for a conclusion and difference in diagramming
Inferential claims: explicit [contains indicator term(s)] and implicit [contains no indicator term]
Indicator terms: types (premise and conclusion), logical/nonlogical usage of indicator terms
Logical independence (premise) and dependence (conclusion) of propositions in an argument
Connective terms: indicating contrast, conjunction, etc. (however, but, in contrast to, in addition, and, moreover, besides, etc.)
Francis Bacon analogies of the argument types: spider = deductive; bee = inductive
Non sequitur: Latin, it does not follow
Distinguishing deductive and inductive arguments

B. Deductive Arguments

Logical implication
Claims necessary conclusion
Bacon analogy: spider


  • Mathematical
  • Definition
  • Categorical syllogism
  • Hypothetical syllogism (pure and mixed)
  • Disjunctive syllogism

C. Inductive Arguments

Probable inference
Claims probable conclusion
Bacon analogy: bee


  • Prediction (various bases of prediction: causality, historical precedent, etc.)
  • Analogy: subject, analogue, common features, inferred feature, relevance, dissimilarities (particular to particular movement)
  • Inductive generalization: types (universal and statistical), representative sample, target characteristic, population (particular to general movement)
  • Authority: relevant expertise, requisite perceptual and memory skills, impartiality
  • Signs
  • Causal inference: causal relationship, causal proposition, causal explanation, causal prediction, and causal prescription
  • Statistical syllogism (general to particular movement)
  • Simple enumeration (particular to particular movement)

D. Argument Analysis and Diagramming

  • Bracket all propositions
  • Number bracketed propositions according to their order of occurrence in the argument
  • Circle premise and conclusion indicators (but not other connective or transitional terms)
  • Diagram the logical structure of the argument


1. 10 T/F questions (20 points)
2. 20 Multiple-choice questions (40 points)
3. 8 Argument analyses and diagramming (40 points)
4. Extra credit