Philosophy and Logic
The nature of philosophy as, as Socrates put it, a metaphorical gadfly demonstrates the relationship that the discipline has with other academic and intellectual pursuits. The idea that Socrates was attempting to express is in consideration of the role of philosophy in the sciences and the philosopher in society (Plato 2016). This role, for Socrates went well beyond simple academic pursuits, but rather, extended into all aspects of life. In this sense, it is important to consider this metaphor in relation to the conception that Socrates had of the implications of rational thought and the mind's pursuit of knowledge. In understanding the metaphor, his views regarding the role of the philosopher can be better understood.
The conception of a gadfly for Socrates can present evidence of how he viewed the role of philosophers in society. The idea of a gadfly is that of a bothersome bug that animals must swat at with their tails in order to attain piece of mind. The implication of this is that the animals are kept from becoming comfortable. In this sense, they are kept, by the gadfly, from becoming listless. The gadfly, like the philosopher, wakes up his fellow man from his daydreaming and provides them with a sense of reality (Plato 2016). This indicates the underlying conception that Socrates had of the philosopher and his role in society. This role is predicated upon an understanding of philosophy that relates to all aspects of life, not simply the academic.
In relation to philosophy and other academic pursuits, this seems to indicate that philosophy acts as something of a buffer that keeps other disciplines from settling into a comfortable resilience to logic or the implications of inquiry. Philosophy in this sense can be considered to be the catalyst by which other academic pursuits progress, as those in philosophy continuously question the foundations of their logic and explanations. In the sense of philosophers and society, this idea then becomes the pretext upon which the individual is able to keep society from decaying into the inertia of time itself (Plato 2016). By continuously questioning not only the foundations of academic and scientific pursuits, but also questioning the very basis upon which society and its ideologies are constructed, the philosopher continuously works to keep their societies and the scientific and academic foundations on which they are built from deteriorating out of a lack of resolve regarding their capacity to question their circumstances.
In this way, the statement that Socrates makes “the unexamined life is not worth living” can be seen in a new light. This idea that Socrates was attempting to express seems to go well beyond the personal inquiry into one's own life, to the inquiry of oneself, one's religion, one's position in society, the decisions that are made by this society, how nations relate and conflict with one another, all the way to the very nature of the cosmos itself (The Nature of Philosophy 2016). This demonstrates the need to establish a rational line of thought regarding all aspects of life. Like the gadfly, Socrates felt it necessary for people to compel themselves and those around them to become aroused from their everyday creature comforts in order to express a more rational and analytical approach to the basic questions of life.
1. Explain the difference between an invalid deductive argument and a strong inductive argument. Why is it correct to consider one to be a “good” argument and the other one a “bad” argument?
A deductive argument is based on demonstrating the validity of an argument through the application of logical proofs. The result of the argument is supposed to clarify a specific argument in every case, providing a guarantee that the argument's conclusions can be considered either true or false. These types of arguments seek to provide premises that can naturally lead to the conclusion. A deductive argument can be considered to be valid in a case in which it is impossible for both the premises of the argument to be true and the conclusion false (Sober 2001). An invalid deductive argument is an argument that demonstrates a logical error in the construction of its premises. The premises and conclusion of a valid argument can, therefore, be false.
An inductive argument, as opposed to a deductive argument, makes an attempt to establish evidence that provides weight to a specific conclusion. Rather than attempting to express something that can be considered to be true or false without exception, an inductive argument provides a hypothesis and then attempts to provide evidence to support that hypothesis. A strong inductive argument, therefore, is an inductive argument that has a strong amount of legitimate evidence to support its conclusion. A strong inductive argument is, therefore, a “good” argument because it provides support for the conclusion that it is attempting to make while an invalid deductive argument will not even be able to establish the truth or falsity of the conclusion it is attempting to make (Crossley 1979). This presents a major consideration for their position.
2. The following argument is deductively invalid:
All cynical people are disgruntled. Some meticulous people are cynical. Therefore, some disgruntled people are not meticulous.
The form of the essay is two premises and a conclusion. The first premise of the argument is that all cynical people are disgruntled. The second premise is that some meticulous people are cynical. The argument concludes that some disgruntled people are not meticulous. The counterexample of the argument presents an alternative to the conclusion. Within the premise of the counterexample I contend that all content people are happy. I also contend within the premise that some angry people are sad. The conclusion of the counterexample is that some happy people are not angry
In developing the argument Construction it is evident that the alternatives and reasons should be considered. The alternative to this argument is that the possession, ownership, and sale of handguns should not be outlawed. There are various reasons for this. First of all, handguns are needed for protection of personal safety. Furthermore, the right to possess handguns is protected by constitution. There is no evidence to suggest that handgun ownership is any more dangerous than other firearms. Another important consideration is that the banning of handguns could lead to banning of other firearms. This could lead to major issues in regards to people's personal rights. Personal responsibilities are being revoked in favor of regulation of firearms. It is also a fact that most violations occur with illegal firearms
The argument for this position takes account of these points. Firearms are important for the personal safety and protection of the individual. The right to carry them is guaranteed by the protections of the constitution. Handguns have not been shown to be any more dangerous than other types of firearms. Furthermore, the banning of handguns could be used as a stepping stone to ban other firearms, which some rely on for food and survival. The revocation of handgun rights marks a deviation from the path of responsibility, as the Federal government continues to dictate what people can and cannot do in their personal lives. In any case, most violations that occur have been shown to be in the possession of illegally owned handguns anyway.
Crossley, David J., and Peter A. Wilson. 1979. Don’t let them fool you: Some common fallacies. In How to argue: An introduction to logical thinking, 39-52, 236-237. New York: McGraw Hill.
Plato, Socrates’ defence (Apology) [January 2016] - http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/apology.html Apology by Plato translated by Benjamin Jowett.
Sober, Elliot. 2001. Deductive arguments and inductive and abductive arguments. In Core questions in philosophy, 3rd ed., 7-34. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.
“The Nature of Philosophy,” Video Clip. Posted [January 2016]. http://www40.zippyshare.com/v/DbggLeDq/file.html.