A fallacy is a mistake or error in reasoning. Fallacies can be accidental errors, or can be deliberately crafted to be misleading. Many different types of fallacy have been described across many fields. Understanding fallacies is useful for philosophers to identify fallacious reasoning in arguments which we are criticising, and to avoid committing them in our own work.
Formalising arguments allows us to look at the underlying logical form of the premises and conclusions. We can use this tool to determine the validity of the argument. How do we find the logical form of a proposition? This guide introduces the basics of propositional logic.
Truth Tables are a useful tool for analysing propositions and arguments alike. They allow us to give precise definitions for our logical connectives. They also allow us to show systematically that a proposition is a tautology or contradiction, and to prove that an argument is valid or invalid. How do we create truth tables?
What does it mean for two propositions to be logically equivalent? When can we swap out a proposition for another? Using the method of Truth Tables, we can formalise a way to discover whether two propositions are logically equivalent, and deploy this method to transform our claims into the most useful form to deploy them in arguments.
How do we draft, edit and proofread philosophical papers to ensure that what we’re turning in is high-quality? What’s the difference between a Zero Draft, a First Draft and a Final Draft? This guide article gives you a range of tools, tests and techniques to improve your paper immeasurably through editing and proofreading.
You can improve your philosophical writing by removing certain words and phrases. Some phrases weaken your papers by introducing vagueness and ambiguity, by wasting words, or by acting as a crutch to prevent you saying what you really need to say. Here we’ve compiled a list of “banned” words and phrases. By banning yourself from using these, you can improve your philosophical style.
Can you tell epistemology from metaphysics? Aesthetics from ethics? We have created this quiz to test your understanding of the terms for different fields or areas of philosophy.
Can you tell your ad hominem from your Eminem? Pick out a straw man from amongst the scarecrows? We created this quiz to test your understanding of the argumentative fallacies from the Fallacies guide.
Do you know your liar paradox from your Ship of Theseus? Can you tell a Catch 22 from an Unexpected Hanging? This WritePhilosophy.com quiz will test your paradox identification skills.
Can you tell a valid argument from an invalid one? This quiz will allow you to practice identifying valid arguments. If you struggle with the quiz, go back and check out the ‘Validity and Soundness’ guide article.