Medivh's Tower Cheat Sheet

fladdermasken

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Medivh's Tower Cheat Sheet

What follows is a list of commonly used terms and concepts in logic and debates. This list is continuously updated with more concepts and ideas. To make this more tangible, examples are provided and some concepts are simplified for the layman, e.g. the differences in concepts of formal logic and rhetorical logic. Take it with a grain of salt.

Proposition: A statement that is either true or false.

Premise: A statement that an argument claims will induce or justify a conclusion.

Conclusion: The second half of an argument. What you can conclude from your premise.

Argument: A set of sentences that contains both a premise and a conclusion, e.g. if X is a mammal (premise) then X is an animal (conclusion).

Tautology:
  • (propositional logic) A statement that is always true, e.g. P or not P.
  • (rhetorics) A statement that states the same thing twice, while appearing to state two or more different things.
    e.g. "You are completely devoid of empathy." which is a tautology because the definition of devoid is completely empty, i.e. equivalent to "You are completely completely empty of empathy."

Contradiction: Logical incompatibility between two or more propositions, e.g. X is a mammal and X is not an animal. A contradiction is irrefutably logically false, as opposed to irrefutably logically true (tautology).

Logical (Formal) Fallacies: A reasoning pattern that is documentably wrong. Note that the argument itself containing a fallacy is inherently false, but what the argument advocates is not necessarily false.
  • A proposes we should all eat healthy because everybody says it's good for you.
  • B recognizes that A has appealed to popularity.
  • B concludes we should therefore eat unhealthy food
List of logical fallacies: http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/

Meta Discussion: Discussion about the discussion itself, e.g. how it's managed.

Definition: The formal statement or the meaning of a word. Often one needs to define a word used, in order to be properly understood. Arguments can get lost when a term is used and people are not using the same definition. Thinkers often define terms when they are using a word that can be taken many ways, or using a word to convey a specific idea, especially one that is not necessarily the most common idea linked to that word.

Assumptions: Something taken for granted as true without proof. There are, generally, three applied cases.
  • As framework (axioms) for the entire debate. Basically we assume P is true and discuss under these premises, e.g. mathematics.
  • As proof by contradiction, i.e. assuming A is true and showing from within that it can't be because of contradictions.
  • As presumption (arrogance), e.g. A states the he is the greatest debater in the world, while this is in fact an assumption before he proves it.

Sources: Some claims will warrant sources backing them. The bigger the claim, the better the source should be. Which sources are credible is, however, debetable. Mostly people will refute sources because it doesn't support their own reasoning anyways. For the sake of debate it's probably more productive to play along on most assumptions and try to show they're unreliable instead of plain out stating they are.

Devil's Advocate: Taking up a contrary position to your own beliefs to e.g. validate your own theory, explore the idea further or simply for the sake of debate. Can easily be misconstrued as trolling. Part of what allows you to post in Medivh's Tower is being able to handle this rationally.

Circular Reasoning: Pragmatic defect in an argument where the premise and the conclusion are identical. Usually in the form "Because A is true, B is true; Because B is true, A is true." but A or B were never proven to be true. e.g." Piracy is wrong because it's against the law, and it's against the law because it's wrong."

Abstract vs. Concrete: The formation of a concept recognizing a set of common features amongst individual properties/things/etc is called an abstraction. A concrete object is an object with a physical referent. An abstract object is an object without a physical referent. e.g. a car (concrete) and a bus (concrete) are both veichles (abstract). There can also be several layers of abstractions. This is important to understand several philosophical controversies, e.g. empiricism.



This thread will remain open. Please suggest new definitions/concepts. Some may be added to the first post.
 
Last edited:
Level 34
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Not sure how, or if it should be, but "definitions" could be in the list. Often one needs to define a word used, in order to be properly understood. Arguments can get lost when a term is used and people are not using the same definition.

Thinkers often define terms when they are using a word that can be taken many ways, or using a word to convey a specific idea, especially one that is not necessarily the most common idea linked to that word.

tl;dr: people should define things more.
 
Level 34
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
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I assume you are referring to "You are completely completely empty of empathy." His point is that "completely devoid" is redundant and basically means "completely completely empty."

Another prime example is "absolutely certain."
 
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