Philosophy and Religion

Dr. Jeffrey Goodman LRI talk: On Defining 'Argument'

Fri, 7 Oct 2016 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Dr. Jeffrey Goodman

LOGIC AND REASONING INSTITUTE TALK WITH DR. JEFFREY GOODMAN (JMU)

Professor Jeffrey Goodman
Department of Philosophy and Religion
James Madison University
On Defining 'Argument'
Friday October 7, 2016
3:30 pm Wilson Hall 107 (Cohen Center)

ABSTRACT OF TALK:

There is no concept more central to logic and critical thinking than the
concept of an argument. I here address extant definitions of ‘argument’
in the logical sense of the term and defend the claim that all are
wanting: they are all extensionally inadequate, or at least problematically
ambiguous. An adequate definition of ‘argument’ will entail either an
absolutist understanding or a relativistic one. Current proposals, however,
especially those typically found in logic and critical thinking textbooks,
all seem to be objectionable no matter which sort of understanding one
adopts. I thus finish with a proposal for how to define ‘argument’ that
avoids these worries.

ABOUT DR. GOODMAN:

Dr. Goodman’s research interests lie in contemporary metaphysics and
philosophy of language, but he also has interests in philosophy of mind,
epistemology and metaphilosophy. His work has focused on theories
of possible and impossible worlds and counterfactual conditionals, and
more recently on issues of vagueness, fictional and mythical objects, and
the strength of the relation between artist and artwork.

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