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By A. P. Martinich

Considerably up-to-date and revised, the 3rd version of Philosophical Writing is designed to assist people with very little event in philosophy to imagine and write effectively. lines the evolution of a superb philosophical essay from draft level to of completion Now contains new examples of the constructions of a philosophical essay, new examples of tough drafts, the right way to research for a try out and a brand new part on the best way to make the most of the web successfully Written with readability and wit by means of a bestselling writer

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A set of propositions is contradictory just in case there is no way to make all of them true. For example, “Socrates is mortal and Socrates is not mortal” is contradictory; and the set of (two) propositions, “Socrates is mortal” and “Socrates is not mortal” is contradictory. For the purpose of contrasting contradictions with contraries, it is convenient to restrict the discussion to pairs of propositions: Two propositions are contradictory just in case one must be true and one must be false. Two propositions are contrary just in case they cannot both be true.

Notice that I have not supplied an example of a cogent argument in this section. A trivially cogent argument would not be instructive. And since my audience is diverse, it would be difficult to construct a nontrivial example in less than several pages. I leave the discovery of a cogent argument to each reader, as an exercise. The upshot of the chapter to this point is that the notion of a sound argument does not fully capture the intuitive notion of a good argument. We need an idea that takes into account that the argument’s soundness is recognized, and that is what the idea of a cogent argument does.

Either determinism is true or humans have free will. Either actions are neutral with respect to praise or blame or science is limited in what it can explain about reality. Just as one person’s modus ponens is another person’s modus tollens, one person’s constructive dilemma is another person’s destructive dilemma. The above example of constructive dilemma is easily transmuted into an example of destructive dilemma: If determinism is true, then human actions are neutral with respect to praise or blame; and if humans have free will, then science is limited in what it can explain about reality.

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