The Reasoner

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The Reasoner Volume 11, Number 11 – December 2017 – acrobat

EDITORIAL / Hykel Hosni

THE REASONER SPECULATES
– Alice is not impressed by the Sorites Paradox / Jeff Paris

NEWS
– Ampliative Reasoning in the Sciences – 5th Work- shop on Logic, Reasoning, and Rationality, May 18–19 / Dunja Seselja, Mathieu Beirlaen and Erik Weber
– Summer School in Social Epistemology, 28 August–1 September / Gloria Andrada

WHAT’S HOT IN…
– (Formal) Argumentation Theory / Sanjay Modgil
– Medieval Reasoning / Graziana Ciola
– Uncertain Reasoning / Seamus Bradley
– Philosophy and Economics / Conrad Heilmann
– Evidence-based medicine / Michael Wilde

LISTINGS
– Events
– Courses and programmes
– Jobs and Studentships

Tell me a Story

                                  Professor Lane with the Reverend Doctor Lex Crane                                                                


Long ago and in a romantic faraway place my life was changed forever. Outside a Lutheran Church I met the woman who, some 61 years later, is still helping me to tell our story as a family.
Later as a student I worked with Lex Crane at the Unitarian Church in Santa Barbara where we would argue about philosophy, literature, and religion. (He was the minister and I the janitor.)
A second story was found in the works of Albert Camus – specifically the first two books he wrote:
The Myth of Sisyphus and The Stranger.
The ideas that had such an effect on me? The Absurd. And the absurd hero.
(The above is from a sermon I presented to the Unitarians here in Nanaimo some time ago. Interested?)
Or here:  UU_talk

JHAP online

Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy

Vol. 5, No. 5 (2017): Gilbert Ryle: Intelligence, Practice, Skill
Special issue edited by Juliet Floyd and Lydia Patton.
Table of Contents
Articles
Volume Introduction: Gilbert Ryle on Propositions, Propositional Attitudes, and Theoretical Knowledge
Julia Tanney

Ryle’s “Intellectualist Legend” in Historical Context
Michael Kremer

Skill, Drill, and Intelligent Performance: Ryle and Intellectualism
Stina Bäckström, Martin Gustafsson

Ryle on the Explanatory Role of Knowledge How
Will Small

ISSN: 2159-0303

Argument

 

 

 

 

 

 


Social media is filled with arguments. But usually they are comprised of opinions or pictures and not ‘good arguments’. We humans don’t often actually produce arguments, but merely shout at each other. How does this use of ‘argument’ arise? Why do we usually think of argument as a brannigan or donnybrook? Like all words ‘argument’ has evolved.

A quick internet trip to Thesaurus.com yields for ‘argument’ over 50 synonyms. These include ‘brawl’ ‘clash’ ‘spat’ etc. But notice:

Word Origin & History – argument late 14c., “statements and reasoning in support of a proposition,” from Fr. argument (13c.), from L. argumentum, from arguere “to argue” (see argue). Sense passed through “subject of contention” to “a quarrel,” a sense formerly attached to argumentation.

The word carries with it two distinct senses:

  • an exchange of diverging or opposite views, typically a heated or angry one.

“I’ve had an argument with my father”

  • a reason or set of reasons given with the aim of persuading others that an action or idea is right or wrong.

“there is a strong argument for submitting a formal appeal”

Lawyers and, of course, philosophers use the word in the second sense, while on social media it is often the first sense that is intended.

In Episode 29 of Monty Python’s Flying Circus a customer goes to the Argument Clinic but initially arrives in the abuse room where he runs into Mr. Barnard.

Mr. B: What do you want?

C: Well, I was just . . .

Mr. B: Don’t give me that, you snotty-faced heap of parrot droppings!

After abuse like that for some time the customer finds Mr. Vibrating in the argument room:

C: Ah, is this the right room for an argument?

Mr. V: I told you once.

C: No, you haven’t.

Mr. V: Yes, I have.

C: When?

Mr. V: Just now.

C: No, you didn’t.

Mr. V: Yes I did.

Mr. V merely contradicts every statement that the customer makes. Finally the Customer draws the distinction as follows: “Argument is an intellectual process. Contradiction is just he automatic gainsaying of anything  the other person says.”