And when you notice things like that, when you distinguish between good and bad reasons for believing something, you're exercising your[br]critical thinking skills.So critical thinking is making sure we have good reasons for our beliefs, and so one of the essential[br]skills that you learn when you're studying[br]critical thinking is how to distinguish good reasons[br]for believing something from bad reasons for believing something.
In this lesson, we're gonna[br]talk about three things. And she says to you, quite confidently, "Monty won't be at the party." You're not sure whether[br]or not to believe her, so it would be natural[br]for you to follow up by asking, "Why do you think so?
" And there are a lot of different things that she might say in response.
Now, it's worth saying something about how I'm using the term "good" here.
I'm not using it to indicate anything having to do with morality or ethics.
And the best way to be[br]rational in this way is to form beliefs only when you find good reasons for them.
Okay, that leads us to[br]our second question: What is an argument?
You've probably heard someone say "that's a valid point," or maybe in an argument you've heard a friend say something like "that's valid, but..." In these everyday uses of the term "valid" or "validity," people often mean to convey something like "that's a good point," or "that statement's true." But I won't be talking, in this video at least, about those usages. That is, validity is a property of arguments, such that if the premises of the arguments are true, then the conclusion must be true.
Instead, I'll be discussing the technical philosophical notion of validity, as in "a valid argument." You already know that an argument is a set of statements, and that one or more of these statements is offered in support of some other statements. So it's impossible for a valid argument to have all true premises unless the conclusion is also true. Statements can be true or false, like the statement "this square is orange." Arguments cannot be true or false.
She's given you two statements, "Monty's really shy" and[br]"Monty rarely goes to parties," which together comprise[br]a reason for believing that Monty won't be at the party.
The statements that are the reason, we call the argument's premises.