Bring Your Brain

Philosophy 101: What Is a Good Argument?

Thursday, 27th Jan 2011 | 7:00 pm

Join us at T2F for a tutorial by Shajia Sarfaraz Haroon on the nature of argument in philosophy

Shajia HaroonAsk yourself this question: “What is an argument?” You might respond with an answer similar to this: “It is a disagreement between two or more points of views”. Generally speaking, you might be right, but in the discourse of philosophy, you’d be sort of wrong. For a philosopher, an argument is a series of sentences that logically lead to a certain conclusion.

All philosophers ever do is argue. Not only do they argue with each other, they argue with themselves, with people they haven’t met, and with people they might meet in the future. The Philosophy 101 Series will be all about arguing. To discover how our philosophical arguments will be different from everyday verbal spats, join us for a tutorial on what makes for a good argument.

Shajia Sarfraz Haroon will discuss the basics of arguing in a philosophical discourse. Her talk will provide an introduction to elementary logic, concepts of validity and soundness, and a brief on how fallacies seem convincing, but really aren’t.

Shajia is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto with a double major in Philosophy and Human Biology.

Date: Thursday, 27th January, 2011
Time: 7:00 pm
Minimum Donation: Anything you like. Please support our vision of intellectual poverty alleviation by donating generously.
Venue: PeaceNiche | T2F
Address | Map

Seats are limited and will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. No reservations.

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12 Responses so far…

  1. Shehneela

    Can the ideas of podcasts live tweeting or live video broadcasting be explored for these discussions/events for the benefit of those who are not in the country?
    Please do think about it.

  2. admin

    Hi S. We’re working on it. Stay tuned :)

  3. Tassaduq Hussain

    Would you suggest some basic books on philosopy and logic please.

  4. zahid

    Interesting topic to know about the philosophy of argument.

    What are your other sources for publicity let the people know about this event.

    i was not aware about your this event even you org. but i came to know through the web coincidently.

    Geo Television

  5. Shajia S. Haroon

    Unfortunately, I cannot recommend a Philosophy Text book because I have always studied primary resources directly. I can however suggest you start reading Plato’s dialogues (just google them, there is a vast variety available and they are very easy to read). Plato is one of the earlier Greek Philosophers and he’s discussed a lot of issues in a “story-telling” kind of form which are easy to understand and reflect upon.

    Another great and very reliable resource is the “Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy”. You can search terms like “logic”, “religion”, “ethics”, randomly and study each topic in detail. It also provides some excellent references which you can look into.

    To start off, I would also recommend reading Bertrand Russels essay on the value of philosophy to get an overview. Here is the link to it:

    I would want you to understand however that reading philosophy papers is rather difficult because the ideas are complicated, so take your time, and read things slowly and focus on really understanding what the philosopher is trying to say before you move on.

  6. Sohaib Jamali

    Tassaduq: Here is a very basic book on logic …’Voice of Reason: Fundamentals of Critical Thinking by Burtron Porter’ – published by oxford press…..I bought it from khori garden some 8-9 years ago when it was published – but since khori garden stores dont keep good books any more – you can probably check out OUP shops across pakistan I suppose they can get it for you…….a basic book on philosohy, however, is 1920′s classic Will Durrant’s Story of Philosophy

    and Shajia — if you are into teaching – then i suggest that you should also check Porter out. trust me it is a nice and light building block for elementary level students…no offense…but recommending plato’s dialectic reasoning to somebody who is not being guided or tutored by university professors is kinda…..

  7. admin

    Hello Zahid

    We inform people about our events via our e-mail list, Facebook, Twitter, and Google Calendar. Links are available on our website – Your TV channel has covered our work often so am surprised you have never heard of T2F. Anyway, it’s a massive city and word-of-mouth/Internet is our preferred approach. Do subscribe to our mailing list and other channels so you get to know about our events in advance.


  8. Imran Suhail

    Hey. Some less-fortunate ones of us have work timings that extand till 9pm. Is if possible for such events to be held a bit later? like starting 9:30 or 10pm.

  9. admin

    Hello Imran. We close at 10:00 pm so the latest we can start is 7:30 pm. It’s impossible to please everyone but this is the time that seems to work for the largest number of people. Sneak out of work every now and then. It’s good for the soul :P

  10. Shajia S. Haroon

    @ S. Jamali
    Thanks for the reference! I’ll definitely look into the book if I get my hands on it.

    I guess it might be hard for someone to understand Plato without some help, but I’ve personally always found him to pretty easy to understand. I’m referring to some of the shorter dialogues, in particular, the Euthyphro. Also, there are numerous sources on the web that can help one understand the themes in his dialogues. Personally, I don’t encourage text-book reading of the works of philosophers because the meaning of what a philosopher is trying to say is often misrepresented or watered down in a text book. It’s usually difficult to read philosophy papers in the beginning but it is crucial to get a hang of it if you’re really serious about studying philosophy.

    In any case, thanks for the book reference. You’re right, it is definitely a good idea to use an introductory book to study logic. :)

  11. burhan

    Hi all,
    tassaduq, i would suggest “SOPHIES WORLD” for you– basically it has been written up in pedantic style as to facilitate beginners for one level advance i think story of philosophy by Will Durant would do.

  12. Fahad Khan

    Just attended your tutorial. It was my first time here at T2F. I love the place already. But I have to say my head is messed up because of the tutorial. I see stuff in premises and fallacies. Sheesh.

    Hey!! No one mentioned that this tutorial was first of many tutorial on philosophy.
    Oh.. well.

    It was hilarious when people started arguing in the middle of the tutorial. But Mrs. Sarfraz handled everything well.

    Overall a good experience. Thank you.

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