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The key concept in deductive logic is the concept of validity. One good way to learn to understand the concept of validity better is to discover what makes arguments invalid.
Prepare: To prepare to respond to this prompt read carefully the required portions of Chapters 3 and 4, paying special attention to the sections from Chapter 3 about validity and using the counterexample method. Take a look as well at the required resources from this week, especially those that discuss the concept of validity.
Reflect: Choose an argument from the following list of arguments (try to make sure not to choose the same argument as someone else). Consider the way in which the reasoning is actually invalid (perhaps subtly). Think about why that argument is invalid in the sense that it would be possible for all of the premises to be true and the conclusion false.
Choose from the following list of argument options
- Only women can have babies, so women are more important to the survival of the species.
- Write: Put the argument into standard form, clearly identifying the premises and conclusion. Once you have done so then demonstrate that the argument is invalid in one of two ways: Either explain a scenario in which the premises could be true and the conclusion false, or find another argument with the same form that has true premises and a false conclusion. Once you have done so, make sure to explain how your argument refutes the validity of the original argument. Mention if you think that there is anything that could be done to make the original argument valid.