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LTT: Nic Fillion
October 27 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Nic Fillion, Center Visiting Fellow
The Cogency of Arguments Involving Approximations
This talk will take place via Zoom and pre-registration is required. Register here: https://pitt.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_KHPk9mCNRGOESTGHeskKdg
ABSTRACT: In philosophy, we spend a great deal of time talking about what makes arguments cogent, since an understanding of what makes arguments cogent plays a crucial role in our inquiries and in the justification of our claims. For some kinds of arguments, we have made substantial progress in identifying what circumstances and/or conditions make an argument cogent. The best example of this is found in the methodology of deductive logic as it applies to arguments with true premises; yet, it must be acknowledged that the circumstances that make an argument with true premises cogent aren’t the same as those that make an argument whose premises aren’t true cogent. Another area where substantial progress has been made concerns inductive arguments, be they treated probabilistically or not. In this talk, I will discuss yet another kind of arguments, namely, those with premises that are not strictly true, and the most important case will be that of arguments with approximately true premises. In analogy to the characterization of valid arguments as truth-preserving, this talk will discuss some of the conceptual considerations that play a role in the characterization of arguments that preserve approximate truth (and different senses of this notion will be delineated). Unsurprisingly, the talk will adapt concepts developed in applied mathematics and suggest how they contribute to a broader account of cogent argument.