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Logic Exam One Definitions


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The study of the methods and principles used to distinguish correct form incorrect reasoning
An assertion that something is (or is not) the case; all are either true or false
The meaning of a declarative sentence at a particular time; in logic, this owrd is sometimes used instead of "proposition"
A proposition making only one assertion
Simple Proposition
A proposition containing two or more simple propositions
Compound Proposition
A type of compound proposition in which neither of the two components is asserted, using "either/or"; if true, at least one of the component propositions must be true
Disjunctive (or Alternative) Proposition
A type of compound proposition that states "if... then"; it is false only when the antecedent is true and the consequent is false
Hypothetical (or Conditional) Proposition
A process of linking propositions by affirming one proposition on the basis of one or more other propositions
A structured group of propositions, reflecting an inference; all are either valid or invalid
A proposition used in an argument to support some other proposition
The proposition in an argument that the other propositions, the premises, support
Claims to support its conclusion conclusively; one of the two classes of argument
Deductive Argument
Claims to support its conclusion only with some degree of probability; one of the two classes of argument
Inductive Argument
If all the premises are true, the conclusion must be true; applies only to deductive arguments
Valid Argument
The conclusion is not necessarily true, even if all the premises are true; applies only to deductive arguments
Invalid Argument
Traditional techniques, based on Aristotle's works, for the analysis of deductive arguments
Classical Logic
Methods used by most modern logicians to analyze deductive arguments
Modern Symbolic Logic
The likelihood that some conclusion (of an inductive argument) is true
An attribute of a proposition that asserts what really is the case
An argument that is valid and has only true premises
Language used to convey information
Informative Discourse
Language used to convey or evoke feelings
Expressive Discourse
Language used to cause or prevent action
Directive Discourse
A mix of language functions (usually expressive and directive) with special social uses
Ceremonial Use of Language
A special form of speech that simultaneously reports on, and performs some function
Performative Utterance
A form of genuine dispute that at first appears to be merely verbal
Criterial Dispute
The symbol being defined
The symbol (or group of symbols) that has the same meaning as the definiendum
A proposal to arbitrarily assign meaning to a newly introduced symbol; a proposal of a way to use a word, neither true nor false
Stipulative Definition
A report -- which may be true or false -- of the meaning a definiendum already has in actual language usage
Lexical Definition
A report on existing language usage, with additional stipulations provided to reduce vagueness
Precising Definition
Uncertainty because a word or phrase has more than one meaning
Lack of clarity regarding the "borders" of a term's meaning
An account of a term that is helpful for general understanding or in scientific practice; open to question, can always be criticized
Theoretical Definition
A definition intended to influence attitudes of emotions; often used as a way of making some idea more or less acceptable
Persuasive Definition
The collection of objects to which a general term is correctly applied
The attributes shared by all objects, and only those objects, to which a general term applies
As intension increases, the extension decreases or stays the same
Law of Inverse Variation
A definition based on the term's extension. This type of definition is usually flawed because it is most often impossible to enumberate all the objects in a general class
Denotative Definition
A demonstrative definition; a term is defined by pointing at an object
Ostensive Definition
A denotative definition that uses gesture and a descriptive phrase
Quasi-Ostensive Definition
What the speaker believes is the intension; the private interpretation of a term at a particular time
Subjective Intension
The total set of attributes shared by all the objects in the word's extension
Objective Intension
The commonly accepted intension of a term; the public meaning that permits and facilitates communication
Conventional Intension
Defining a word with another word that has the same meaning and is already understood
Synonymous Definition
Defining a term by limiting its use to situations where certain actions or operations lead to specified results
Operational Definition
Defining a term by identifying the larger class of which it is a member, and the distinguishing attributes that characterize it specifically
Definition by Genus and Difference
A type of argument that may seem to be correct, but contains a mistake in reasoning
Fallacies in which the premises are irrelevant to the conclusion
Fallacies of Relevance
A type of ad hominem attack that cuts off rational discourse
Poisoning the Well
A type of irrelevant conclusion fallacy in which the opponent's position is misrepresented
Straw Man Fallacy
A type of irrelevant conclusion fallacy in which a distracting element is introduced to obscure an opponent's position
Red Herring Fallacy
"Does not follow"; often applied to fallacies of relevance, since the conclusion does not follow from the premises
Non Sequitor
Fallacies in which the premises are too weark or ineffective to warrant the conclusion
Fallacies of Defective Induction
"After the thing, therefore because of the thing"; a type of false cause fallacy in which an event is presumed to have been caused by another event that came before it
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
A type of false cause fallacy in which change in a particular direction is assumed to lead inevitably to further, disastrous, change in the same direction
Slippery Slope
Fallaces in which the conclusion depends on a tactic assumption that is dubious, unwarranted, or false
Fallacies of Presumption
Fallacies caused by a shift or confusion of meanings within an argument. Also known as sophisms
Fallacies of Ambiguity

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