TMU #6: The Second Question

Agenda-driven persuaders may give valid arguments, but truth-seeking persuaders double down on their syllogism

The syllogism can be proven or disproven as “valid.” Asking for validity is an excellent question when facing arguments. But today’s second question cuts even deeper.

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In this week’s lesson, you will learn…

  • A review of last week’s logical assumptions.
  • Review of the definition of logic.
  • Understanding the major, minor premises and the conclusion.
  • Reminder of the first question: “Are the premises VALID?”
  • The introduction of the 2nd question to ask of every syllogism.
  • Recent news from CNN that needed to be retracted because of the faultiness of the syllogism.
  • Recognition of agenda-driven and truth-seeking persuaders (and which to aspire toward).

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Mary Lichlyter

    Hello – Just finished watching this. Here’s a question: if CNN had not retracted the statement they made, how would I have known that premise was false? If you have to take the other person’s word for it, how do you find out? What kind of research can you do? Even with a question that’s less than news-media worthy, how do you find out what you need to know? It seems to be easier to find the validity of a premise than the truth of one.

    • Understanding the Toulmin Model will help a ton. CNN warrants much of their news with “sources say.” This is a lazy crutch that too many reporters use to validate their claims. I suspect Brian Williams got so lazy that he inevitably fell for his own confirmation bias and made a claim (Trump Jr collusion), warranted it with whomever he spoke with (“sources”), and expected everyone to just accept it. Such journalism only works in a world of honest reporting, and Brian Williams has too much bias in his reporting to be trusted.

      So, what to think before CNN’s retraction? Answer: Know what you don’t know. Never make a judgment on something that has yet to be proven. “Sources say” is not enough anymore (not sure if ever should have been), especially for CNN. They’ve tripped over themselves way too much.