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Hidden Co-Premises

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Ever witness an argument (or participate in one) where it feels like people are just talking past each other?

People often have underlying or hidden assumptions that they don’t say out loud. These assumptions usually take the form of a hidden co-premise that connects their stated reason to the claim that they want you to believe. To the person making the argument, these implicit (unstated) co-premises seem obviously true, but they aren’t so obvious to people who don’t already agree with them. So, identifying these hidden co-premises can help us see what an argument is really all about!

Watch this video to learn more about how you can identify hidden co-premises and use them to have more precise and constructive conversations.

See if you can find some hidden co-premises in the following exercise.