Reconstruct one of his arguments (not the ship captain example) in standard form.

Standard form

from page 2 of the link

-People of the island were starting to become suspicious of the new Professors teaching their children other than their traditional ways

-A group of islanders tried to create a commotion and accuse these new-comers so the Commission of the island will do something about it

-Finding no evidence, the Commission obtained the protesters, and the Professors were teaching again

C-Accusing others without sufficient evidence can lead that person to nowhere

Then evaluate that argument for soundness and validity.

The way i have this set up, it seems like to me that there is soundness and validity.  The soundness was that of a new group of people comes and teaches the kids not in the traditional way, a group tried to have the higher-ups deal with it, but were shot down and the newcomers were able to do what they pleased.  I’m not sure if I can see the validity on my own if there is one.

 What practical significance does Clifford’s thesis have?

The practical significance in Clifford’s thesis is to not always trust your own bias opinion of what is right or wrong in a serious situation.  It could lead you into the wrong without any actual evidence to support you claim, as it happened to the Islanders in the story. (got idea from link. his is really good)

Do you see any fallacies in Clifford’s reasoning?

From what I can process of this reading material, I have not seen any falsities in Clifford’s reasoning.  I just might not be looking hard enough.


2 thoughts on “William Clifford, “The Ethics of Belief”

  1. I liked how you summarize the example from Clifford’s essay. And the argument was well written and structured. But I think it would be even better if you wrote a response to the argument. Maybe you can state your opinions about his arguments, as to whether you agree or disagree with Clifford.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you~! To be honest, I didn’t really know what I was doing, and I was having a bad night, so I wanted it over and done with. I have yet to go back and edit it. But thank you for the advice~!


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