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What is logos?

Logos deals both with reasoning and explanation.

Logos is the greek term for 'an opinion' or 'to reason' and is very important to western philosophy, rhetoric, and religion. Heraclitus, a greek philosopher, used the term to imply a principle of order and knowledge. Aristotle used the term to mean "reasoned discourse" or "the argument" in the field of rhetoric. 

Logos is logical appeal or an appeal to an audiences logic (Pathos = emotional appeal, Ethos is ethical appeal, all three appeals  including logos stem from the study of Rhetoric). 

From the Wiki page on 'logos' a professor Jeanne Fahnestock claimed that to find the reasoning behind a rhetorers backing of a specific argument you'd need to realize the premises on which the arguments validity is based or supported. There must be salient agreement on key supporting premises (or premisses) between audience and rhetorer before any valid argument can be made.

For Heraclitus, logos provided the link between rational discourse and the world's rational structure. Always follow what is common, or common knowledge. Most people pretend to live life with their own unusual sense of the world but most of what we believe is founded on the same common knowledge of the world. A master debater understands this and a master logician seeks out both common and uncommon knowledge and can expound on and take advantage of it to develop unique and interesting solutions to difficult problems.

For now focus on your ability to master common and uncommon knowledge of the world, reason using these forms of knowledge as premisses, and be able to explain your conclusions clearly.


Why learn logos?

Mastering the ability to uderstand the world through the lense of logos or logic is the first necessary step to developing ones intellect (the faculty, inherent mental power, of reasoning and understanding objectively).

Mastering logic develops on our ability to undertand and reason things out but it also allows us the ability to clearly communicate why and how we reached our conclusions as well as the techniques by which we can help others reach the conclusions we reached ourselves. 

While studying logos focus on these 3 things

* Develop an understanding of common and uncommon worldly knowledge.

* Develop the skill of reasoning from these first principles.

* Develop ever innovative ways of bringing others around to your idea.


How best to develop deep understandings of common and uncommon knowledge?

So basically this question is asking "how does one gain knowledge?"

Interestingly there's a Wiki page on "Methods of obtaining knowledge"

6 methods to gain knowledge.

* observation or experience or experimentation

* Reason or Logic (taking other knowledge as data)

* Modelling a situation helps with teaching how to DO something

* Testimony (seen as problematic by philosophers)

* Authority (based on the teachers reputation)

* Divine revelation


What is the difference between knowledge and belief.

When posing his theory of forms, Plato makes the following argument:

a. There is knowledge. (implicit premise)

b. Knowledge is of what is. (premise)

c. Knowledge is infallible, belief is fallible. (premise)

d. Therefore, what is known must be, what is believed may not be.

e. That is, what is known is something that “purely and absolutely is,” what is believed is something that “partakes of both being and not-being.”

f. Therefore, there are things that purely and absolutely are - things we call Forms (the F Itself, etc.). The participants in the Forms (the many Fs, etc.) both are and are not.

g. That is, Forms are the objects of knowledge; their participants are objects of belief.

When seeking to develop an understanding of the world it is best to understand the first principles of everything - the unchanging rules of the world. An understanding and accumulation of these rules predicates deep knowledge because your premisses are factual and cannot be changed.

Your beliefs however are subject to change because they may or may not be factual. This speaks to the importance of science. Science seeks to make out the facts of our world from the beliefs or hypotheses of its practictioners. Once we can cement a hypotheses as being a fact through experimentation we can consider that fact - knowledge, but never take a belief or theory or hypotheses as fact until it is proven to be so.

There are two types of knowledge: infallible and fallible.


Logos: What are the types of logical arguments?

Inductive logical arguments

Deductive logical arguments

Reductive/eliminatory reasoning


Causation vs correlation, explain the differences.

Causation is the term used to describe the assumption that thing A is a direct result of action B. Causation is presumed truth, hence unless it is proven claiming causation accurately isn't always easy.

Correlation is the term used to describe the assumption that thing A is just one of a multitude of results from action B. Most reactions are correlated and not always products of causation.


What more do you know about causation?

Claiming causation is sometimes lazy intellectualism because 9x out of 10 we pick the wrong cause. When we make these kinds of logical mistakes they are called cum hoc ergo propter hoc: the logical fallacy of thinking "With this, therefore because of this",or post hoc ergo propter hoc: the logical fallacy of thing "After this, therefore because of this" and "false cause".

This is considered lazy intellectualism because once we find a causation we are often unwilling to look for any other causations. Multiple causations typically prove that action B is only one of many correllations to thing A.


Correlation does not imply causation, explain what this statement means to you and give the contexts it is often used in.

Correlation is the term used to describe a scenario where one thing is a result of not just one cause, but multiple causes. For example gray hair is not directly caused by old age alone, it is only correlated with old age, meaning old age is just one of the potential reasons for thing A (growth of gray hair). Stress of course is one correlation to early onset gray hair, as well as heredity. 

Causation is lazy reasoning since many things/variables in the world aren't a direct cause of any one thing. So reminding people that correlation does not imply causation lets them know that while a correlated action may be partly responsible for an action the sole cause of the action may be dependent on a series of disparate factors all acting out at once or one after the other. So while for example old age is a cause of hair greying, this causation would be inadequate when looking at people in their late 20s who seem to have developed grey hair.

This warning is best used in statistics, where numbers are often used to try to prove relationships that may not truly exist.


Can you recognize and describe all 6 of these 24 logical fallacies?

(1) Strawman

(2) False cause

(3) Appeal to emotion

(4) The fallacy fallacy

(5) Slippery slope

(6) Ad hominem

Strawman: misrepresenting someones argument in order to make it easier to attack.

False cause: perceiving that a relationship between things or a correlation implies one thing is a cause of the other.

Appeal to emotion (ethos): manipulating an emotional response rather than using a valid and compelling argument.

Fallacy fallacy: assuming that because a claim was not well argued or had a fallacy within the argument the whole claim is wrong.

Slippery slope: Asserting that if we allow A to happen B will also happen, therefore we should not allow A to happen.

Ad Hominem: making an attack on the claimants character rather than the claim itself and using that as an excuse to undermine the claim.


Can you recognize and describe all 6 of these 24 logical fallacies?

(7)  Tu Quoque

(8) Personal incredulity

(9) Special pleading

(10) Loaded question

(11) Burden of proof

(12) Ambiguity

Tu Quoque: Avoiding having to engage in criticism by turning it back against the accuser - answering criticism with criticism.

Personal incredulity: saying that because one finds something difficult to understand it is therefore not true.

Special pleading: Making up exceptions or moving the goalposts when a claim is shown to be false.

loaded question: Asking a question with a built-in assertion so that the question can not be answered without appearing guilty (does your mother know ur gay? lololol)

Burden of proof: the obligation to prove ones assertion. In legal BOP it is the duty of the plaintiffs prosecutor to make a case against the defendant that shifts the defendants status from its default position of not-guilty. The BOP lies on the prosecutor. There's also a philosophical BOP.

Ambiguity: Using double meanings and ambiguities of language to mislead ot misrepresent the truth.


Can you recognize and describe all 6 of these 24 logical fallacies?

(13) Gamblers fallacy

(14) Bandwagon

(15) Appeal to authority

(16) Composition/division

(17) No true scotsman

(18) genetic

Gamblers fallacy: or the Mote Carlo fallacy or the fallacy of maturity of chances is the fallacy that is something happens more frequently in the present it is less likely to continue in the future.

Bandwagon: or appeal to the masses, or popularity. Because a majority of people do it it is validated as a suitable or correct thing to do.

Appeal to authority: Saying that because an authority figure believes something it must therefore be true.

Composition/division: Assuming that what's true of one thing must apply to all other parts of it.

No true scotsman: an ad hoc (created for a particular purpose) attempt to attain an unreasoned assertion. When faced with a counterexample of a universal claim rather than denying the counterexample or rejecting the claim the fallacy modifies the subject of the assertion to exclude the specific case or others like it by rhetoric. An obvious example: If told a local scotsman tended to fight when drunk, a "no true scotsman" fallacy might be that this drunkard is not a true scotsman. Therefore criticim of the action is not criticism of the group.

Genetic: Judging something good or bad on the basis of where or from whom it comes from.


Can you recognize and describe all 6 of these 24 logical fallacies?

(19) Black-or-white

(20) Begging the question

(21) Appeal to nature

(22) Anecdotal

(23) The texas sharpshooter

(24) Middle ground


There are many more fallacies to be acquainted with, 103 of which are here:

Black-or-white: where two possibilties are posed as the only options, when many more options exist.

Begging the question: a circular argument where the conclusion is included in the premise.

Appeal to nature: making the argument that because something is natural it is therefore ideal or verified or good.

Anecdotal: Using a personal or isolated story to prove a case instead of a valid argument.

The texas sharpshooter: cherry-picking data clusters to support an argument, or finding a pattern to fit a presumption. 

Middle ground: saying that a compromise is the truth.


There are three kinds of reasoning: inductive and deductive reasoning and reductive.

deductive argument is an argument based on the aggregation of facts to make a case. All premisses to the argument must be true. All humans are mammals. All mammals have mammary glands. All humans have mammary glands. The strength of the argument in this case lies in the strength of the premisses, this is the inference of deduction. Deduction is syllogistic by nature.

An inductive argument is an argument based on probability of truth. It is the weaker of the two forms of reasoning because an inductive argument can never truly be 100% true, the degree of its validity however can help make a better case.  Inductive reasoning often relies on arguments made on authority, appeals to evidence or causal relationships.

Appeal to authority: The police said John committed the crime, so john is guilty of the crime.

Appeal to evidence: The witness said she saw John commit the crime, so john is guilty of the crime.

Stronger inductive argument based on stronger evidence: Two witnesses claimed they saw john perpetrating the crime, johns fingerprints are the only ones found on the murder weapon, and john confessed to the crime. John is guilty of the crime. 

Reductive reasoning or eliminatory logic involves listing all the known variables of a claim and eliminating one variabe after another to end at the most viable option. The burglar could have broken in from the window, chimney or the front door. Breaking in through the front door would have sounded an alarm, and no alarm rang. The chimney is too small for any adult to fit through, therefore the burglar entered the home through the window.


Circular reasoning is another great example of a logical fallacy. Explain.

Circular reasoning is fallacious because it depends on a premise that A occurs because of B, while B occurs because of A. I can't get a job because I have no work experience, but I can't get work experience without first getting a job.

Circular reasoning is also easy to pinpoint when you notice that the arguments often sound like rephrasing of the same arguments. She must love me because she says she does. And she wouldn't lie to someone she loves (because of course she says she loves me).


What is occams razor and what is its significance?

"Entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity"


Explain the Toulim model of argument