GUIDE FOR DIALECTICIANS

 

 

This Guide for Dialecticians will give you the knowledge tools that you need to maximize your chances of submission-acceptance. There are two parts to this toolkit:  The Basic Guide (see immediately below) presents the essentials of Truth Engine writing.  The Mastership Guide is an advanced course--it presents a new method for doing logic, a method I developed in order to make the structures of logic easy to understand.

                                                                                                                                                         --Richard Crist 

 

 

 

BASIC GUIDE

 

How to Formulate and Submit a Submission

 

There are fundamentally two ways to change a Truth Engine article:

 

FIRST, you might wish to argue against a numbered statement that you disagree with. The main thing to keep in mind is that you should avoid arguing against a statement that ends with a red asterisk (*). A red asterisk at the end of a statement indicates that the statement is a conclusion to an argument. Trilogue Rule #1: If you are inclined to argue against a statement ending in a red asterisk, try to argue against one of the statements that support it instead--i.e., try to argue against the premises, not the conclusion. For instance, let's say you think that statement 75 is false, but statement 75 ends with a red asterisk. Go to the "Notes" section at the bottom of the page and find the footnote for statement 75. Let's say that the entry here is "71,74 MP". This means that 75 is the conclusion of an argument whose premises are 71 and 74.  (71 and 74 are the numbers of statement 75's supporting statements.) So scroll up the page and look at statements 71 and 74 and try to argue against one of them instead of arguing against 75. This example should illustrate the submission process:

Suppose you see the following argument on page 24 of the Truth Engine book, "Roswell":

SKEPTIC

91If any flying machine were capable of interstellar travel, then it wouldn't crash. 92Any flying saucer would be capable of interstellar travel. 93Therefore, no flying saucer would ever crash. (The Roswell debris couldn't have been alien.)*

BELIEVER

94Statement 92 is not necessarily true. The saucers may, in fact not be capable of interstellar travel. 95They may, for instance, have been brought here aboard space-faring "mother ships"--just as automobiles are taken across oceans aboard cargo ships.

. . . . . .

__________________________________________________________________________________

Notes

93.  91, 92 MP

 

 

Suppose that you think that statement number 93 is false. Since it ends with a red asterisk, do not argue directly against it; rather, (since statements 91 and 92 are referred to in the footnote for statement 93) look at statements 91 and 92. Let's suppose now that you make the judgment that statement 91 is false. Since statement 91 does not end with a red asterisk (i.e. it is not a conclusion but a premise), you can argue against statement 91. Fill out the form at the bottom left corner of the book page to get to the submissions page. On the submissions page, there's another form that you can fill in  like this:

 

My suggestion:

 

the following statement should be inserted into the "Roswell" text immediately following statement 95:

95aStatement 91 is false, because even the most advanced flying machines can fail owing to pilot error

 

 

You might wish to argue against a numbered statement by constructing a counterargument. Trilogue Rule #2: If you construct a counterargument, make sure that your counterargument's form corresponds to one of these valid argument forms (where "p" and "q" each stands for a sentence):

 

 

1. Modus Ponens [MP]

 

If p then q

p

________

q

 

Here is an example of an argument that has Modus Ponens form (with color added to show the logical form):

 

23If Col. Garrett had had no need to know about the Roswell debris, then Col. McCoy, even if he had known about the recovery of exotic debris near Roswell, would not have mentioned such debris in the letter he sent in response to Garrett's inquiry 24There was, in fact, no need for Garrett to know about any crashed UFO to do his job.25 So, it is distinctly possible that McCoy knew about the Roswell materials, yet would nevertheless have sent the letter that implied that no such evidence existed.* [ 26]

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Notes

25.  23,24 MP

 

 

 

In this example, in essence,  p = "Col. Garrett had had no need to know about the Roswell debris,"  and q = "Col. McCoy, would not have mentioned such debris in the letter." Notice how 24 affirms p, and 25 affirms q.

 

 

2. Biconditional Modus Ponens [BMP]

 

p if and only if q

p

_______________

q

 

 

3. Conjunctive Modus Ponens [CMP]

 

If p, and if q, then r

p

q

_______________

r


Here is an example of an argument that has Conjunctive Modus Ponens form:

 

2 If the witnesses are respected individuals, and if the properties of the recovered materials as described by these witnesses indicate that the materials were exotic ("nothing made on this earth," to use Maj. Marcel's expression [B&M p 28]), then the materials were, in fact, exotic.    3 In fact, the witnesses in this case are respectable. Many, Jesse Marcel, Jr., Bill Brazel, Frankie Rowe, Phyllis McGuire, and Walt Whitmore, Jr., are the sons and daughters of those most intimately involved:  Some have or had held positions of substantial responsibility.  [see 170]

4 The descriptions, by the witnesses, of the recovered materials express clearly that the materials were exotic. 5 Therefore, the materials were, in fact, exotic and "nothing made on this earth."* [see 8, 63, 71, 188, 305]

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Notes

5.  2,3,4 CMP

 


In this example, in essence, p = "The witnesses are respected individuals," q = "The properties of the recovered materials as described by these witnesses indicate that they were exotic," and r = "The materials were exotic."

 

 

 

 

next page     Truth Engine home page  

 

© Richard Crist, 2007