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Refutation by Counterexample-A Simple Way to Refute Bad Arguments

# The "counterexample method"

While the premises may be true in an argument, the conclusion may or may not be correct, making the argument invalid. Example of an incorrect argument: Some New Yorkers are rude, some of them are artists, therefore some artists are rude.

A counterexample method is a powerful way to prove an argument’s conclusion to be invalid. You can use this method by: isolating the argument form and then constructing an argument with the same form that is obviously invalid.

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## Refutation by Counterexample-A Simple Way to Refute Bad Arguments

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Key Ideas

### The "counterexample method"

While the premises may be true in an argument, the conclusion may or may not be correct, making the argument invalid. Example of an incorrect argument: Some New Yorkers are rude, some of them are artists, therefore some artists are rude.

A counterexample method is a powerful way to prove an argument’s conclusion to be invalid. You can use this method by: isolating the argument form and then constructing an argument with the same form that is obviously invalid.

### Proving an argument is not valid

The counterexample method is effective at exposing the invalidity of deductive arguments.

1. Isolate the argument form in a simple, easy to digest form, like by replacing names with letters.
2. Create an analogy, a counterexample that substitutes the original argument, and it is a given that it would also be as invalid as the original argument’s conclusion
3. Reduce the new argument in it’s most barebones form by affirming the antecedent, that exposes the fallacy of the original argument.

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