- Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:21 pm
This is a challenging but interesting question, in that it makes an argument by analogy but we must provide evidence that the analogy itself is germane to the argument.
The only premise for the author's conclusion (it is possible that ancient people knew what moral rights were in spite of the absence of such terms from their languages) is the parallel reasoning that it is a mistake to conclude that "a person who discovers a wild fruit tree and returns repeatedly" and studies it "has no idea what the fruit is until naming it or learning its name."
Well, since we actually have no support for this analogous reasoning, we have to assume that for it to be relevant to the author's main conclusion, such an analogy must itself satisfy some necessary conditions to conclude that it is possible to know what such a fruit is without having a name for it.
In other words, if we were to know that this fruit student in fact had no idea what his fruit was before knowing its name, we would have no evidence whatsoever that people who lack a term for moral rights should know what such rights are in the absence of a term.
This is where the Assumption Negation test comes in. Focus on the gap between the premises and the conclusion. Why should we care about this fruit stuff? Well, he seems to think the fruit situation in relevant. So, he must think the fruit dude knows what the fruit is. What if the fruit dude doesn't know? Well, then our argument is totally lame, dude.