Identify the condition of premise acceptability or unaccept

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Reference no: EM13873051

For the purpose of this assignment the conditions of premise acceptability are:

acceptable by observation

acceptable by testimony

acceptable by authoritative testimony (only use if the premise explicitly refers to an authority)

acceptable a priori

For the purpose of this assignment the conditions of premise unacceptability are:

unacceptable by observation

unacceptable by testimony

unacceptable a priori

unacceptable - problems in language (e.g. ambiguity)

unacceptable - inconsistent premises

unacceptable - circular (begging the question)

1. Treat each of the following claims as a premise in an argument. In each case, identify whether the claim is acceptable or unacceptable and identify the condition of premise acceptability or unacceptability. In (iii), (v), (vii),(x) and (xii) the claim you are to assess is the underlined statement. 

(i) John will either score 10/10 on the assignment or he will not

(ii) David Johnston is Canada's head of state

(iii) As Sigmund Freud point out, repression is the price we pay for civilization. Therefore, all societies are repressive

(iv) A successful military campaign must move swiftly (Sun Tzu, The Art of War)

(v) Women have a right to choose whether to have an abortion or not. Thus, abortion should be allowed.

(vi) Japan is an island nation

(vii) Only claims that can be objectively verified can be trusted. Many people have reported encounters with ghosts. So, the existence of ghosts is likely to be true.

(viii) Only American opinions have any value

(ix) Several extinct species exist in the rainforest

(x) It is highly conducive to the interests of the community that each individual should enjoy a liberty perfectly unlimited of expressing his sentiments. Thus, to every man unbounded freedom of speech must always be, on the whole, advantageous to the state

(xi) Nagoya is the largest city on Kyushu Island

(xii) Wearing the Niqab is a barbaric woman-hating tribal custom. Therefore, women should not be permitted to wear the Niqab when taking the Canadian oath of citizenship.

2. The text box below contains a well-known argument from David Hume's Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.

[W]e may observe, that there is no species of reasoning more common, more useful, and even necessary to human life, than that which is derived from the testimony of men, and the reports of eye-witnesses and spectators. This species of reasoning, perhaps, one may deny to be founded on the relation of cause and effect. I shall not dispute about a word. It will be sufficient to observe, that our assurance in any argument of this kind is derived from no other principle than our observation of the veracity of human testimony, and of the usual conformity of facts to the reports of witnesses. It being a general maxim, that no objects have any discoverable connexion together, and that all the inferences, which we can draw from one to another, are founded merely on our experience of their constant and regular conjunction; it is evident, that we ought not to make an exception to this maxim in favour of human testimony, whose connexion with any event seems, in itself, as little necessary as any other.

Hume, D., An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (Hackett, 1977), p. 74

Hume's argument above, that testimony is justified on the basis of inductive inference, constituted the generally accepted account of testimonial justification until the 1970s when it was famously observed that the argument potentially commits the fallacy of circularity (begging the question). Explain how Hume's argument could be construed as circular.

Reference no: EM13873051

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