Use your words

How to spot a weak argument

When you’re reading or skimming argumentative essays, especially by philosophers, here is a quick trick that may save you much time and effort, especially in this age of simple searching by computer: look for “surely” in the document, and check each occurrence. Not always, not even most of the time, but often the word “surely” is as good as a blinking light locating a weak point in the argument. Why? Because it marks the very edge of what the author is actually sure about and hopes readers will also be sure about.
Daniel C. Dennett

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One thought on “How to spot a weak argument

  1. Pingback: Daniel Dennett’s seven tools for critical thinking | Rapid Notes

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