Direction of Support

Dona Warren
Department of Philosophy
The University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point

In a piece of reasoning, some ideas are given as evidence for the truth of other ideas. A large part of understanding how a piece of reasoning works is understanding which ideas are being given to believe which other ideas, and a large part of effectively sharing your reasoning with others is helping them to see which ideas you're taking as evidence for other ideas. Luckily, there are certain expressions, like "therefore," "because," "thus," and "since" that serve to identify these connections. This online lesson will help you to use these expressions to determine which idea is being given as a reason to believe another idea. In somewhat fancier language, this online lesson will help you to correctly identify the direction of support between two ideas.

I recommend that you begin with the interactive presentation. This will help you to see where you need to focus your attention. You can then study with the reference guide, flash cards, and worksheet.

If you have any comments or questions about this lesson, I'd love to hear from you. You may contact me at Enjoy!