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View Diary: A Series On Logic: Informal Fallacies, Part 1 — Ambiguity (Updated!) (22 comments)

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  •  Indeed, one of the things about "natural" language (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boophus, ranger995, Old Lefty

    ...is how form definitely does_not_ always follow function.

    Sure, we have declarations, questions, commands, & exclamations — but, that said, questions can be rhetorical, acting like declarations, or they can be polite ways of commanding someone to do something ("Why don't you tell me what's bothering you?"); commands can ask for information in the style of questions, lots of things can turn into exclamations, & so on...

    In logic, & philosophy in general, changing definitions or language-uses in mid-stream is not only bad form, but can_really_ make a mess out of things (& tends to indicate confused thinking at best, or at worst somebody trying to play a rhetorical "shell game" on you.)

    I guess that's why informal logic tends to come 1st in the textbooks — to make sure people get in the habit of stating their ideas clearly & precisely.

    Tell Congress: DON'T BREAK THE INTERNET! Learn about the OPEN Act.

    by Brown Thrasher on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 07:06:30 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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