5 Comments
Mar 10Liked by Classical Wisdom

An argument does not exclusively refer to a disagreement, a debate or even a tortured process to determine who is correct (or, worse yet right; the hot, throbbing rhetorical id of the internet). An argument is the expression of thought and reasoning on behalf of a point of view that seeks to describe and/or explain. This distinction is important to me today because, philosophers share ideas. The business of Philosophy is to love wisdom for which dispute is not necessary. Winning 'arguments' is what sophistry teaches.

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Mar 11Liked by Classical Wisdom

I was a philosophy student from 1969-1972, and this was a welcome reminder of my enjoyment of the subject.

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Mar 17Liked by Classical Wisdom

A couple of quibbles.

I do not see how premises can follow a conclusion. It seems to me that the conclusion should follow from the premises, which precede it.

In your syllogism

Premise1: Socrates accepts his own ignorance and believes he knows very little. (true)

Premise 2: True wisdom is accepting limitations and pursuing knowledge. (plausibly true)

Conclusion: Socrates is the wisest man in Athens.

both premises are plausible (I do not agree that the first is true), but the conclusion is a non sequitur. It does not follow from the premises. Even if the premises are true, they may be equally or more true of other men in Athens.

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We are planning a logic / rhetoric class for our co-op high school students this fall in order to teach "understanding good arguments and the role they play in uncovering truth". It is very counter-cultural to learn to present reasoned arguments based on premises and conclusions. Is there a favourite curriculum that you would recommend that is well suited for high school students?

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