So "Monty's really shy" is premise one, "Monty rarely goes to[br]parties" is premise two, and the statement that[br]those premises give you reason to believe, we call[br]the argument's conclusion.
A good argument is one[br]in which the premises give you a good reason for[br]the conclusion, that is, the premises make the[br]conclusion likely to be true.
So a key part of critical[br]thinking is learning to evaluate arguments to determine whether or not they're good or bad, that is, whether or not their premises support their conclusions.
The red argument is the first response that she gave, two premises, "I can't stand Monty" and "I[br]want to have a good time." And the conclusion is "Monty[br]won't be at the party." And the third argument,[br]which we'll put in purple, consisted also of two premises, "Monty's in Beijing" and[br]"He can't get from Beijing to the party in time, so[br]he won't be at the party." Now, as I indicated[br]before, the first argument is not good, while the[br]purple argument is good.
The fact that your[br]friend can't stand Monty and wants to have a good[br]time doesn't do anything to make it more likely[br]that Monty won't be there. In the purple argument,[br]though, the premises, if they're true, they guarantee[br]the conclusion is true. The truth of the premises[br]guarantees the truth of the conclusion, and so[br]in the purple argument, the premises do support the conclusion.
Now, it's worth pointing[br]out that the red argument, though it's bad as it[br]stands, could be made a good argument with the addition of some background premise.
Well, an argument is a set[br]of statements that together comprise a reason for a further statement.
So, for example, we can consider one of your friend's responses[br]before as an argument.
We're gonna talk about three possible answers she could give.
First, she might say, "I can't stand him, and I want to have a good time." Second, she might say,[br]"Well, he's really shy, and he rarely goes to parties." And third, she might say, "He's in Beijing, and it's impossible to get here from[br]Beijing in an afternoon." The first response that she gives you does not give you a good reason to believe that Monty won't be at the party.