How to Spot a Weak Argument — Science and Technology — Medium:
"I decided recently to test my hunch about “surely” a bit more systematically. I went through dozens of papers—about sixty—on the philosophy of mind at philpapers.org and checked for occurrences of “surely.” Most papers did not use the word at all. In those that did use it (between one and five times in the sample I checked), most instances were clearly innocent; a few were, well, arguable; and there were six instances where the alarm bell sounded loud and clear (for me). Of course others might have a very different threshold for obviousness, which is why I didn’t bother tabulating my “data” in this informal experiment. I encourage doubters to conduct their own surveys and see what they find.
An excerpt from Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking by Daniel C. Dennett published by W. W. Norton & Company."
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