How do I get better at spotting inconsistencies/contradictions/flaws in my arguments and in others’

C.S. Herrman has relevant points to make here as regards Standard Form and its relation to “meaning-tags” which are decided upon when developing the premises of arguments and their semiotics. He discusses from a perspective of a critique of C.S. Peirce’s semiotic and his critique is based in “fourthness”. Herrman has taken himself to have spotted a “flaw” in the Standard Form as it is usually rendered.

Peter van Inwagen has attempted to discuss the limits of philosophical argument itself, where his position is that “for all I know, there has been no successful philosophical argument”, even if there have been a great many successful arguments. So it’s probably important to understand the relation between philosophical arguments and more basic arguments, or arguments in adjacent disciplines (politics, science, aesthetics, amorous) as they each oversee or use “truth procedures” or “procedures of truth”. Van Inwagen’s point might be generally stated as, “there is no ideal argument for an ideal opponent under ideal circumstances for an ideal audience”, and that this is the basis on which “philosophical argument” will be judged intuitively or even reasonably as successful or not, in spite of form.

The debate about truth-functional versus psychologistic semantics is also seemingly relevant here before the question or Gricean Maxims for conversational exchange. Arguments, whether philosophical or not, may be understood through a respect for a kind of semantics of propositions as well as a respect for their “conversational” constraints. Paul Saka is a good author for understanding psychologistic semantics in a contemporary setting of the philosophical discussion.

It’s also important to understand the difference between “statistical analogy” and “analogical statistic” as far as “scientific argument” is concerned, where the latter depends on sufficient qualification to one model with respect to another. Here, under this banner of analysis, someone like Marguerite La Caze may be instrumental in her work on the “analytic imaginary” and also Sarah Moss’ works on “probabilistic knowledge”.

As many black, African and indigenous theorists and historians, and mixes thereof, have stressed the grounds of pessimism and optimism as it relates to humanism, is also in question, particularly as it relates to understanding the “grounding” of normativity itself. So it is important to figuring out how the argument one is making is grounded, whether ontologically or otherwise. Glen Coulthard is a good author to start thinking in these terms.

Some have even argued, like George Lakoff, that our very modes of thinking are conditioned, or you might say “grounded” in metaphors. From W Sellars standpoint, this (co-)determines the range and interaction of scientific and manifest images which may be permitted in falsifiability or other criteria for the basis of belief-formation even prior to Gettier-style problems are formulated. Neo-Nietzscheans look so far back as to even question “orienting metaphors” which may have grounded even Plato’s thought insofar as it is a production of scientific and manifest images, all the way up to Kant (as La Caze has argued in her works).

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