Sufficient Assumption vs. strengthening the argument

    • December 7, 2015 at 11:50 pm #1004

      Hi Mike,

      I’m a bit confused by the idea that an assumption could be sufficient to validate an argument but not at the same time be something that strengthens the argument. I’m referring to the first drill on page 285 in your (awesome and amazing) book.  I’m asking about this because this has been a recurring issue for me in problem sets. If something is enough to make an argument airtight then how can you say that it doesn’t strengthen it?  I’m guessing it is because if it isn’t directly related to the reasoning structure then it cant be considered something that strengthens an argument? but my mind is rejecting it!

      Thanks for your help!


    • December 8, 2015 at 9:41 pm #1011
      Mike Kim

      Hi Maggie,

      Thanks so much for your comments and thanks for joining the site! — Look forward to helping you out in any way I can —

      You are definitely right that an answer that would work as a sufficient assumption (that is, something that completely fixes the issue in the reasoning) would most certainly help strengthen the argument —

      I meant to say as much in the second paragraph under “Solutions ” on page 288 (sufficient assumptions being a specific type of assumption) but I think that I was overly brief in my explanation (and it’s a bit hard to find), and I can definitely see how it could be difficult to relate that paragraph to the sufficient assumption solutions you found.

      It’s great that you are developing such strong instincts about the exam (strong enough to question what you study, which is awesome) — I hope that clears it up, and if you need anything else just let me know — MK

    • December 9, 2015 at 10:33 pm #1023

      Thanks so much for your reply! You were plenty clear!  Makes sense now.

      Thanks again- Maggie

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