Shanda Smith January 12, 2015
University of Phoenix
Instructor Robert Prescott
The Art of Thinking: Hidden Premises
We express our points of views and arguments very differently when it comes to opinion. The way we may make our points in an ordinary discussion or even in writing is not always the way we mean them to be. Especially when it comes to writing, the sentence order may not make as much sense as we meant to express the feeling. For example, the conclusion may come first. This method, can cause confusion, and could potentially have a hidden premise.
The first example would be the statement “Power must be evil because it can corrupt people”. This example would have a hidden premise because the conclusion it presented first. It can be restated that having power influences corruption, and corruption is evil. Therefore power is evil. This can also be an example of over generalizing. Not everyone who is given power uses it for evil purposes. Implementing the four steps of truth and validity, the first step would be to state your argument fully and clearly. This is not done so in this example because there was a hidden premise revealed. The next step is to examine the argument for errors effecting truth. When we rewrite the statement there is evidence that the statement is overgeneralized and cannot be categorized as true. The last steps are to examine for validity, and if there are one or more errors, revise the argument to eliminate them. In this example the statement shows that just by switching the wording, the statement can be corrected.
The next statement would be “If an expectant mother drinks, smokes, takes drugs, or fails to get proper rest, she may damage her unborn child. Therefore, if an expectant mother does these things and her child is born with a