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Arguments Question

LawLover
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I am just wondering when the conclusion of an argument is a conditional statement the Book says to weaken that type of argument show that the necessary is not required. So if the conclusion is a conditional statement how do you strengthen it? Do you do the opposite, and show that the necessary conditional is required? Someone help me with this thanks!
Shannon Parker
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LawLover wrote:I am just wondering when the conclusion of an argument is a conditional statement the Book says to weaken that type of argument show that the necessary is not required. So if the conclusion is a conditional statement how do you strengthen it? Do you do the opposite, and show that the necessary conditional is required? Someone help me with this thanks!


As with all strengthen questions, there can be a number of different ways to increase the support for a conclusion. Anything that shows that the necessary condition is in fact required would be one of strengthening a conditional conclusion.
LawLover
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Are there other ways to strengthen an argument with an if then conditional besides just showing that the necessary is in fact required? I know the book talks about maybe, but not usually you have to strengthen a word in the argument, but what other ways are there to make an argument stronger. I have down pat how to strengthen a cause and effect conclusion in an argument. I am more worried about an if then conditional strengthening.
Adam Tyson
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Good question, LawLover, and yes, there are other ways to strengthen a conditional claim! For example, you can strengthen a conditional simply by showing that the sufficient condition occurred and the necessary condition also occurred. So, if the conditional conclusion is "whenever I drink coffee, I have nightmares," I could strengthen by saying "I had coffee yesterday, and last night I had nightmares." Or, you could strengthen by saying that the necessary condition did not occur and neither did the sufficient: "I didn't have nightmares last night, and I did not drink coffee yesterday".

Note that these claims do not prove the conditional claim, but we don't need to rise to that level to strengthen. We only have to help a little - any help is better than no help.

Also, take a look at the premises that led to the conditional claim, and see if you can add support to them. Perhaps the conditional claim was based on the results of an experiment? It would strengthen the argument to say that the experiment was properly conducted, used good scientific methods, or that repeating the experiment got the same results. What if a survey was used to support the conditional conclusion? Then you can strengthen by showing that the survey sample was representative, the questions were unbiased, or the answers were true and accurate.

Anything that makes the conclusion more likely to be true will be a strengthen answer, just like anything that makes it less likely to be true is a weaken answer. That's the case whether the conclusion is conditional, causal, or something else.

If you have any specific questions with conditional conclusions that you are trying to strengthen, and you want to bounce some prephrases off us, please do! That will help us better understand your thought process and give you more insightful responses. Meanwhile, keep up the good work!
Adam M. Tyson
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