Daniel Dennett on how to spot a weak argument:

When you’re reading or skimming argumentative essays, especially by philosophers, here is a quick trick that may save you much time and effort, especially in this age of simple searching by computer: look for “surely” in the document, and check each occurrence. Not always, not even most of the time, but often the word “surely” is as good as a blinking light locating a weak point in the argument.

Surely, we should be careful when making our case to others.

  • http://twitter.com/LosAngeloLiving Angelo Fierro

    Another common clue to BS is “honestly”

  • http://www.facebook.com/sindirela.m Sindirela Makabunyi Lakṣmī

    to tell the truth…

  • http://profiles.google.com/reinkefj ferdinand reinke

    Honestly, it OBVIOUS, that …

  • Tom

    Another clue is use of the adjective “commonsense.”

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