Philosophy for Kids 2

Updated: Apr 10

Hello everybody! Thank you for reading about philosophy! Make sure to read the first one before reading this to make sure you understand everything! I hope you enjoy and find this helpful!

How to Argue Part 2

Deductive arguments are great because you are able to get certain answers that you know are valid and correct, but also kind of obvious. (If you don’t know what deductive arguments are, check out Philosophy For Kids) But not every argument can be deductive, which is why we have to use different kinds of arguments as well.

As well as making good arguments, keep in mind that you should also use your past knowledge and experience to judge whether something makes sense to you.

By knowing other types of arguments aside from deductive arguments is great for coming up with convincing arguments and counterarguments.

The second type of argument is inductive arguments. You use inductive reasoning to show that the future is likely to resemble the past. So, by studying the past, you can predict the future. Unlike deductive premises that show the conclusion is certain to be true, inductive premises only make the conclusion likely to be true. And they work in terms of probability. 

With an inductive argument you are only making an educated guess, and really with most answers from philosophers, that’s what you’re going to get.

And although the future usually does resemble the past, there are outliers that do not fit inside this frame. Because of this, the inference you make could be wrong in many ways. We can never be certain about the future, but this is also why inductive reasoning is so useful.

Although it seems like everything in the world plays by a specific set of rules. Rules can be broken, and sometimes they are. An inductive argument could always be false, but the future is not certain either.

The best way to see if your inductive reasoning is probable is by seeing what is definitely not true and considering all the certain possibilities are most likely.

In chapter six of Sir Arther Conan Doyle’s “The Sign of the Four” Sherlock Holmes says “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” This displays the next type of reasoning called abduction.

Abduction doesn’t really use premises leading to a conclusion like deduction and induction do. Instead, abduction rules out possible scenarios until you’re left with the most probable explanation.

In abductive reasoning, if the things you rule out shouldn’t be ruled out and are highly probable, your conclusion might not be best. Same for deductive and inductive reasoning. If the premises are not entirely true, your conclusion won't be as well.

Also, as well as abductive reasoning abduction does not give us certainty, but it shows what makes the most sense. Therefore giving us as certain an answer as possible.

Now that we know three types of arguments, let’s discuss how philosophers use these arguments… because philosophers don’t argue like us normal people do. Whenever going against someone's argument you must provide at least some valid evidence.

After someone goes against your argument you can either agree with them or provide a counter argument which would also hold evidence. When providing counter arguments or counter-counter arguments you can switch around with whichever type of argument you think makes the most sense.

Leonardo DiCaprio

We’ve done a lot of talk about the different types of arguments, and what philosophy is. It’s about time we start doing some actual philosophy, don’t you think?

A rule in philosophy is that you should never take things at face value. There will always be underlaying details and a background that you may not know about. Usually when you are doing a job interview, you are keeping those embarrassing details hidden. That is why employers shouldn’t take things at face value either.

One person who can help us with processing this is Leonardo DiCaprio. The film that he plays winds up being confusing for Leo’s team for differentiating reality from dreams.

In the real world, we usually don’t have too much trouble with that. But what we do struggle with is separating what we think is true from what is actually true and how we can tell the difference.

People in the movie who are living a dream world are convinced it is reality. As people watching the movie, we can see that they are actually living inside a dream. To us, it’s obvious. But to the people in the movie, they think they are living real life. And there is no way for them to see that they are wrong.

A question often asked by philosophers is “Is it possible that my current reality isn’t real at all?” And it is probable although we don’t have any proof. But when we think about it, the people in the movie had no proof they were in a dream either.

But however Leonardo Dicaprio is at explaining this concept, so can Plato. Plato wrote a story inside "The Republic" about three men chained inside a pitch black cave since birth. All they can see is shadows of reality. But to them, the shadows are reality. One day one of the men broke free and crawled into the sunlight to see true reality. He is amazed and tells the other men who think he’s crazy.

This story illustrated how we could actually just be seeing the shadows of reality. And maybe when someone breaks free they come back only to be considered crazy. Who knows! Maybe we’re all just living in a cave!

In fact, Plato believes that we actually are only seeing a shadow of reality. But instead of us only seeing shadows, we believe that the material objects in our ordinary world are the most real things. Plato believes that the physical things in our world are only a shadow of the actual higher truth.

This might be making no sense to you and sound like craziness, but when we look at our vision of reality through history, this comes to be more and more realistic. Back then we thought the world was flat, and that the earth was the center of our universe. All of this was completely believable to the people of that time. Just like material things being the most real things seems to make sense to us … for now.

Overall, Plato’s theory was not really what he wanted people to take away. Plato’s really just trying to get you to question reality, to see that everything might not be as it seems.

Looking at the underlying can get us a better perspective of reality. But also evaluating reality to see hidden that may be hiding something much bigger could also be our step towards finding out the real truth of our world. Is it really what we think it is? Or is it something much bigger?

Sometimes thinking about all this may make you feel uncomfortable and lied to. Thinking about everything like there’s something hidden that will jump out at you. And probably everybody exposed to this idea would be weirded out … when it comes to philosophy, that’s normal.


Thank you for reading about philosophy! If you’re confused on why we didn’t mention the last two types of arguments … I’m also confused. Crash course philosophy did not mention them, so I didn’t. If any of you know what the last two are, I’d be happy to learn! Thank you for reading!