Date of Award

2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Hans V. Hansen

Keywords

Argumentation, Evaluation, Informal Logic, Linked Convergent, Premise, Weight

Rights

CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

An essential step to evaluating arguments is moving from the weight of individual premises to the weight of the conclusion. In order to perform this step, one must understand the relationship between the premises in the argument. In the past, analyzing premise relations in informal logic has been limited primarily to the linked-convergent distinction. This distinction has failed to resolve some of the basic problems in finding a definition because it has underestimated the degree to which premises interact with each other in some complicated way. Embracing concepts from holistic epistemology, I argue that evaluating a premise involves considering a wide set of presuppositions and implications that that premise, if accepted, carries. I call this wide set the premise/world. The relationship between premises is then essentially just the relationship between these two premise/worlds.

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