Critical Thinking: Argument or statement sentences

Anonymous
timer Asked: Jan 30th, 2019
account_balance_wallet $15

Question Description

State a) whether or not the following sentences are statements, and b) explain why the sentence is or is not a statement. That is, define what a statement is and explain why the sentence succeeds or fails at satisfying this definition.

1) Do you think your dog likes me because I’m petting him or because of the food in my bag?

a)

b)

2) Most women are not good at critical thinking because they are too emotional.

a)

b)

3) An empirical statement is a claim that could be demonstrated to be either true or false by appeal to definition alone.

a)

b)

4) State whether or not the following sentences are statements, instructions, commands, or questions.

a)

b)

5) You should never make a false promise.

a)

b)

PART TWO:

State a) whether or not the following are arguments, and b) explain why the following is or is not an argument. That is, define what an argument is and explain why the following succeeds or fails at satisfying this definition):

6)

P1: All zebras are just black and white.

P2: All that is just black and white oversimplifies the true complexity of life.

C: Therefore, all zebras oversimplify the true complexity of life.

a)

b)

7)

P1: Either the glass is half full or it is half empty.

P2: The glass is not half full.

C: Thus, you must be thirsty.

a)

b)

8)

P1: All 1’s are 2’s

P2: All 2’s are 3’s

P3: All 4’s are 5’s

C: Therefore, all 1’s are 5’s

PART THREE:

Standardize the argument in the following passage. Make sure to satisfy all 8 criteria when standardizing an argument, as listed in the text, pp. 31-33, and my notes to chapter one, pp. 15-16.

  • We should ban most immigrants from entering the United States since most of the mass shootings in the U.S. have been perpetrated by immigrants.


https://shelf.brytewave.com/books/9781285969749/pa...

https://shelf.brytewave.com/books/9781285969749/pa...

https://shelf.brytewave.com/books/9781285969749/pa...

CRITICAL THINKING: THE ART OF ARGUMENT I. NOTES TO CHAPTER ONE: CRITICAL THINING AND ARGUMENTS A. What is Critical Thinking? Our text defines critical thinking as “the skill of correctly evaluating arguments made by others and composing good arguments of your own” (p. 5). 1. Note that “composing good arguments” also means “correctly evaluating” one’s own composed arguments; since one would not be critically thinking if one only correctly evaluated the arguments of others but not one’s own (see the note on “Self-Reflection” on p. 6). 2. Note that critical thinking has no bounds, no claim that is beyond questioning. So, for example, we ought even to think critically about this definition of critical thinking our authors have offered us. a) However, one might raise the objection that some animals appear to think critically without evaluating arguments, etc. (I’m thinking of apes pulling leaves from small branches in order to place the smooth branch into insect holes and fish the insects out to eat; or when an octopus escapes from a maze in which it is enclosed). Or, similarly, when a person plays chess, or checkers, etc. they don’t seem to be evaluating arguments. b) In response to this objection, our authors might concede that some non-human animals think critically without evaluating arguments. And, they might repeat that the sort of critical thinking we are studying this semester involves making and evaluating arguments. For example, consider the following argument: Premise 1: if I want to capture a pawn (or ants), then I must make move B (for example, get a slender stick into an insect hole). Premise 2: If I want to make move B, then I must first make move C (for example, pick leaves off this branch) Conclusion: If I want to capture a pawn (or ants), then I must first make move C. The argument has the following form (note how the ‘B’ term allows us to connect ‘A’ to ‘C’): P1: If A, then B. P2: If B, then C. C: If A, then C c) It seems true that a distinguishing mark between human and non-human animals is that the other animals don’t make and evaluate arguments like this. But who could know for sure? Let us say, then, that it is uncertain whether the ape thinks of premises, conclusions, and logical form/connections when she fishes with tools she has fashioned. But, also, let’s agree that it is certain that we do; and that this fact has, for better or worse, played not a little but a lot in our place in the food chain. 1 d) The point of all of this is to offer an example of critical thinking, of what an argument looks like, and its evaluation. Critical thinking (a la philosophy or education) involves raising questions and objections to anything. But it also means being able to respond to objections by seeing and making the correct connections between the available information and correctly evaluating what follows from it (If A, then B…). This, I take it, is what the authors express by noting that critical thinking does not equate to having a specialized skill (for example, being good at multiplication tables) or to knowing lots of facts and information about everything under the sun. Rather, critical thinking is what is required “to understand facts, to put them into context, and to see how they’re connected to each other” (6). B. What is an argument? Our text defines an argument as “an attempt to provide reasons for thinking that some belief is true” (6). From this definition two things are clear: 1. An argument is about something that could be true or false. While we will use some silly and cliched examples of arguments in this course, one does not need to offer an argument for claims that are neither controversial nor up for debate, such as, Premise 1: Socrates is a man. Premise 2: All men are mortal. Conclusion: Therefore, ? Only philosophers would need an argument to prove that Socrates is mortal and not immortal. Arguments, and in particular, their conclusions are typically controversial claims, which due to their controversy require the support of other claims. This leads us to the second clear point of our author’s definition of an argument. 2. An argument involves the attempt to persuade by giving reasons (that is, in contrast to persuade through force). When you see what follows as the conclusion of the Socrates argument, you are experiencing the light of reason illuminating the connection between the premises and the conclusion; such that the premises support or force the conclusion’s truth upon us. Harnessing this little light is what the authors mean by attempting to persuade by offering reasons for thinking that some belief is true. 3. In sum, you should note 3 things that make an argument (pp. 6-7). a) Premises—that is, statements that intend to provide support (or force) for a conclusion. b) Conclusion—that is, the statement that is intended to be supported (or forced) by premises c) Third, there must be a logical link or connection between the premises and the conclusion such that if the premises are true then the conclusion will likely (inductively) or necessarily (deductively) also be true (this third ingredient is 2 implicit in the definition of premise and conclusion and indicated in terms of support). 4. In order to detect an argument, look first for the conclusion and the attempt to persuade us to accept it first. Why? Because conclusions are more controversial than premises and, so, easier to detect. *First look for the ROOF! Our text offers an illustration of an argument with the image of a building done in ancient Greek architectural style with the columns holding up the roof. While in standardized form (a la the Socrates argument) the conclusion is at the bottom, and the premises on top, the building illustration nicely points out the supporting function the premises provide for the conclusion. C. Premises and Conclusions are Statements. What is a statement? Our text defines a statement as “a sentence that makes a claim that is either true or false” (7). 1. In short, statements must declare something, and this declaration must have the possibility of being either true or false. 2. It follows that statements that have this possibility can only be declarative sentences (8). 3. It follows that statements are not sentences that question, explain, describe, or instruct. Consider the following examples from our text: a) Read the chapter about the planets in our solar system—instruction. b) There are at least eight planets in our solar system—statement. c) There are at least twenty planets in our solar system—statement. d) How many planets are in our solar system?—question. D. Statements and Sentences: Don’t confuse the two since a sentence can contain more than one statement. Again, statements declare something (the predicate of the sentence) as possibly true or false about something (the subject of the sentence). a) How many statements are contained in the following sentence? Coke is an edible plant with green leaves and spots. b) Answer: 5. That is, there are five statements predicated or declared as either true or false about Coke in this one sentence. Can you name them? Consider how important it is for each of these predicates to be true of the subject, Coke. If you eat a plant that has four out of the five predicates it very well might not be edible but poisonous. PRACTICE the above with the following Exercise 1.1A from page 10. Which of the following sentences would not typically express a statement as defined above? 1. Oxygen is an element. 2. “Shine bright like a diamond” (Lady Gaga) 3. The earth revolves around the sun. 3 4. The moon revolves around the sun. Answer: statement, since it can be true or false. 5. “We are never getting back together” (Taylor Swift). 6. Eat five portions of vegetables every day. 7. Comets are made of frozen gases and dust. 8. Pure oxygen rarely occurs on Earth. Statement, since it can be true or false. 9. How long do you think it will rain? 10. Go Tigers! 11. Many children use a blanket for a comfort device. 12. I hate broccoli! Answer: this is a statement and is true or false depending on the views of the person who says it. 13. How many times have I told you to clean your room? 14. “Individual decisions by persons concerning the intimacies of their physical relationship are a form of liberty protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution.” Lawrence v. Texas (2003, 17-18, material added and omitted). Answers to Ex. 1.1 A: The following would not typically express a statement: 2 (instruction), 9 (question), 6 (instruction, prescription), 10 (command, instruction), 13 (question/implicit command). PRACTICE the above with the following Exercise 1.1B from page 10. (a) For each sentence, indicate whether it makes a statement or not, (b) for each sentence that isn’t a statement, describe what it does. 1. Jack: Let’s go up the hill. 2. Jill: That’s a bad idea. 3. Jack: Why? 4. Jill: It’s a very steep hill. 5. Jack: I don’t care about that. 6. Jill: But I’ve a heart condition. 7. Jack: I don’t care about that either. 8. Jill: Well, I see that you’re a heartless human being. 9. Jack: To the contrary, I’ve a very healthy heart. 10. Jill: But you don’t care at all about my heart. 11. Jack: If you have a heart condition, you should get a good cardiologist to care for it. 12. Jill: You’re making stupid jokes about my heart condition. Are you some kind of jerk or what? Answers to Ex. 1.1B: 1 (no/instruction), 2 (statement), 3 (no/question), 4 (statement), 5 (statement), 6 (statement), 7 (statement), 8 (statement), 9 (statement), 10, 11, 12 (statements—though in 12 the statement is implicit in the question: Are you some kind of jerk or what?). Please let me know if you have any questions. 4 Answers to Ex. 1.1D. Which of the following sentences are not likely to be the premises of any argument. 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. Note that premises need to provide support for conclusions. Because of their supportive role premises are typically not controversial but widely accepted as true. Thus, because we live in a democratic capitalist society rather than a communist one we might be justified in removing #’s 5 and 6 from the list above of non-typical premises. On the other hand, precisely because of the ambiguous moral status of abortion, #’s 9, 10 cannot provide the support of a typical premise. Please let me know if you have any questions. Answers to Ex. 1.1.E. Which of the following are not likely to be the conclusion of an argument? 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. Note that conclusions are claims which are (unlike “Grass is usually green”) not typically accepted as true. This is why conclusions require support from other claims (premises) that are typically held as true. Having said that, note that the conclusion status of claims such as those found, for example, in #’s 13, 14, 15 will depend of what your audience has or has not accepted as true. Whereas #’s 13 and 14 can be accepted as true without controversy (and so are not likely conclusions), because we live in a society that, at least, proclaims the ideas of freedom of expression and along with this the value of listening to others, the absence of controversy in #15 ultimately depends on familiarity with American historical facts. Conclusions require the support of premises precisely because the statements made in conclusions are typically controversial. This is the point of Exercise 1.2C. E. Why think critically (12-13)? In the paragraphs following the exercises above, try to find all the supporting reasons our authors offer for the conclusion that we should think critically. Is their conclusion controversial enough to require a supporting argument? Is it so easy to self-deceive ourselves?! F. SUMMARY—Identifying arguments: 1. Look for the attempt to convince—see note above about conclusions and the controversial character of the claims they make. 2. Find the conclusion. What does the author/speaker want you to accept as true? 3. Find the premises. Why does the author/speaker believe his/her conclusion to be true? (14) *See p. 14 for list of words typically indicative of premises and conclusions. 5 CHAPTER ONE—Exercise 1.2A. List all of the arguments in Ex. 1.1B and indicate their premises and conclusions. Answer: Premise 1: It’s a very steep hill. Premise 2: I have a heart condition. Conclusion: Let’s not go up the hill. Premise 1: You don’t care that I have a heart condition. Conclusion: You are a heartless human being. Premise 1: I have a very healthy heart. Conclusion: I am not a heartless human being. Premise 1: You have a heart condition Conclusion: You should get a good cardiologist to take care of your heart. Premise 1: You’re making stupid jokes about my heart condition. Conclusion: You’re a jerk. Exercise 1.2B. In each of the following passages: (a) determine whether or not an argument is present; (b) if an argument is present, identify the premises and conclusion. 1. No. 2. Yes. Premise 1: Every time you hang out with him, you feel miserable. Conclusion: You should not hang out with him. 3. Yes. Premise 1: I’ve seen 1,000 swans, and all of them are white. Conclusion: Most swans are white. 4. Yes. Premise 1: Gas prices will rise. Premise 2: The housing market will continue to slump. Conclusion: The United States will surely fall into a recession next year. 5. Yes. Premise 1: Carbon-dioxide emissions have increased. Premise 2: Atmospheric particulates have increased. Conclusion: Global temperatures will rise over the coming century. 6. No. Why no? What is this sentence trying to convince us is true, that a person has gained weight? If you think that there are people that need to be told and persuaded that they’ve gained weight, then the argument is: Premise 1: You eat too much. Conclusion: You gained weight. God help you if you attempt this “argument” with anyone. 7. Yes. Premise 1: Mary Wollstonecraft is a famous woman philosopher. Conclusion: Not all philosophers are men. 8. Yes. Premise 1: I’ve seen him at Starbucks most days about this time. Conclusion: He’s is likely at Starbucks now. 9. No. 10. Yes. Premise 1: Tai nam is my favorite Vietnamese noodle. Conclusion: You will like tai nam. (this is not a premise but the very claim the author is trying to convince someone to accept). Alternate expression of conclusion: You should try tai nam. 6 11. Yes. Premise 1: You should not ask what your country can do for you. Conclusion: You should ask what you can do for your country. Note that in one sense this is an instruction and so there are no statements declaring something as either true or false here. However, isn’t clear that Kennedy is trying to convince the nation to accept the truth of a claim and this is so because the claim is controversial. I argue that according to our text: Premise 1: If there is the attempt to convince us by offering support that a claim is true, then there is an argument. Premise 2: Kennedy’s claim is attempting to offer support that a claim is true. Conclusion: Kennedy is offering an argument. I am, however, open to objections with supporting arguments for alternative answers to this exercise. 12. No. While this claim is controversial consider the intent of the author. Is the author seriously trying to convince us that lies have lives and those lives total more than nine? 13. No. This is an explanation—read ahead under section titled “Things That Are Not Arguments,” pp. 24-27, the pages immediately following Exercise 1.4. 14. No. This is pure description and is not attempting to convince us to accept the true of any claim. 15. Yes: Premise 1: Any change in a person’s point of view from which they view an object makes some change in the way the object reflects light. Premise 2: No two people can see from exactly the same point of view. Conclusion: If several people are looking at the table at the same moment, no two of them will see exactly the same table in terms of its distribution of colour. Please let me know if you have any questions. G. Complicating Factors: Sorry everyone! After learning about indicator words for premises and conclusions, listing arguments first with premises and conclusions last, and the importance of the declarative form of statements that make premises and conclusion, our authors inform us that all of these are “imperfect guides” (16). However, the three steps are still good guides. In order of importance, here they are again: 1) Look for the attempt to convince. 2) Find the conclusion—what is the author trying to persuade me to accept as true? 3) Find the premises—why does the author believe the claim he/she is attempting to persuade me to accept? 4) Look for and explicitly state premises and conclusions that are unstated and implicit (see pp. 20-22, i.e.—the section immediately after Ex. 1.3). Exercise 1.3 (p. 18-19) 1. Yes. This is the same premise/conclusion set up as # 2 of Ex. 1.2B. The authors are testing you by placing the conclusion at the beginning of the passage. 2. Yes. Premise 1: Guns have saved lots of lives. Premise 2: There are economic benefits from gun sales. Premise 3: You don’t want people to lose jobs related to guns. Conclusion: Don’t support gun control laws. 3. No. This is an explanation and not an argument. You might have answered with the following: Premise 1: The road was wet. Premise 2: The car’s tires were improperly inflated. Conclusion: The car slid off the road. Note, however, that the conclusion is 7 ultimately not something that one would need to convince one to accept as true by means of an argument. As you read on about explanations, their components, and their similarity with and difference from arguments, it will become clear that the only thing controversial about # 3 is the premises, that is, the explanation for why the car slid off the road (which, again, is not something controversial and so, technically, this is not an argument. 4. No argument. 5. Yes. Premise 1: People are likely to live longer than they expect. Premise 2: There is no guarantee that people will earn more money later in life. Premise 3: Saving money is not difficult. Conclusion: People should save for retirement. Note that this is also a candidate for an explanation. Either answer is fine so long as you understand that the decisive factor is the author’s intentions. Are they trying to convince us of the importance of saving for retirement or is their real concern just what is stated, namely that they’re puzzled and seeking an explanation not for why people ought to save for retirement but for why they don’t? 6. Yes. Premise 1: Murata has more experience and better communication skills than Johnson. Conclusion: We should hire Murata. 7. Yes. Premise 1: A survey of 1,000 college students found that 87% of them preferred instant messaging to email. Conclusion: The vast majority of college students prefer instant messaging to email. 8. No. This is a description. Do you get a sense that the author of this passage is attempting to convince us of the truth of a controversial claim by offering supporting reasons? 9. Yes. Premise 1: America’s youth has grown fatter. Premise 2: Adult diabetes continues to rise (in America). Conclusion: Public schools should stop selling students so much unhealthy food. 10. Yes. Premise 1: Most words are open to multiple interpretations. Premise 2: If laws are only what their words mean, then laws will be unacceptably ambiguous. Premise 3: The idea that laws are only what their words mean is too simple. Conclusion: Laws are not simply what the words that constitute them mean. Note that this issue of determining with certainty the significance of the law highlights the difficulty and art of determining whether or not statements and arguments are in fact statements and arguments. Should we interpret sentences that express laws by the letter (i.e.—the meaning of the words) or the spirit (author’s intention)? 11. Yes. 12. No. 13. Yes. You fill in the rest. Remember to follow the three steps in identifying an argument. Please let me know if you have any questions. 14. No. Note, however, that the answer depends on the author’s intentions as well as the context. Is the candidate statement for the conclusion controversial (that is, do we and, more importantly, do the experts on the subject, accept the “conclusion” as a known fact) that the right-ready penis asymmetry preference of the earwig is largely, if not entirely, behavioral? The certainty of the answer here is complicated by the fact that someone else is describing the cited study. 8 15. Yes. What is the conclusion that the author is attempting to persuade us to accept as true? Hint: it has something to do with investing money with Mr. Cohen. What are the supporting reasons (premises) the author offers for or against investing money with Cohen? Please let me know if you have any questions… H. Unstated Premises and Conclusions (pp. 20-21, the section immediately following the above exercise). In our previous exercises there are plenty of examples of unstated premises. Consider the examples below from Exercise 1.2A. Original argument Premise 1: You (A) don’t care that I have a heart condition. Conclusion: You are (B) a heartless human being. How is A connected to B? Note that nothing in the original argument makes explicit that there is a relevant connection between A and B. A and B don’t ever appear in the same statement. We have to improve the argument by stating the unstated premise that makes clear the connection between A and B. Unstated premise 2: If one (A) doesn’t care about another person’s heart condition, then (B) one is a heartless human being. Note that (A) in unstated premise 2, now stated, makes explicit the “middle term,” the bridge, the logical connection that allows us to move logically from premise 1 to the conclusion. Fully stated argument: Premise 1: You (A) don’t care that I have a heart condition. Premise 2: If one (A) doesn’t care about another person’s heart condition, then (B) one is a heartless human being. Conclusion: (B) You are a heartless human being We want to make sure there is a connection between the premises and the conclusion and that we are not dealing with a non-argument (because of a lack of logical connection) such as: (S) Socrates was a (H) human. All (H) humans are (M) mortal. Therefore: (T) Trump is president. Here is another example. Premise 1: It’s a very steep hill. Premise 2: I have a heart condition. Conclusion: Let’s not go up the hill. 9 Unstated Premise 3: If one has a heart condition, then one ought to avoid steep hills. Stating the hitherto unstated premise 3 makes clear how we are connecting premise 2 to the conclusion. Without doing so the connection between having a heart condition and not going up a steep hill remains implicit. Premise 3 provides a bridge, that is, a “middle term” that enables us to move logically from premise 2 to the conclusion. To help you see how the middle term provides the logical connection consider the following symbolization of the terms in the argument. Original argument: Premise 1: (S) It’s a steep hill. Premise 2: I have (C) a heart condition. Conclusion: (A) Let’s not go up (S) the steep hill. Note that (A) in the conclusion is never mentioned in the premises? So how did (A) get into our conclusion? Also, what is the connection between S and C? S and C are stated as independent statements? We need to make explicit the connection between S and C and A. We do this by stating the unstated premise 3, which introduces A and makes clear the relationship between C, S, and A. Premise 1. It’s a (S) steep hill. Premise 2: I have (C) a heart condition Premise 3: If one has (C), then (A) one ought to avoid (S) steep hills. Conclusion: (A) I ought to avoid (S) this steep hill. ‘C’ in premise 3 provides the middle term or bridge between ‘C’ in premise 2, ‘A’ in premise 3, and ‘A’ in the conclusion. Example of Unstated Conclusions: Original argument: Premise 1: You’re making stupid jokes about my heart condition. Conclusion: Are you some kind of jerk or what? Note that the conclusion above is unstated since it is in question form and not in statement form. However, in order to identify an argument, we need to be able to read the intention of the author and make explicit both the conclusion and the unstated premise here. Fully stated argument: Premise 1: You’re (M) making stupid jokes about my heart condition. Premise 2: If you (M) make stupid jokes about another person’s heart condition, then (J) you are a jerk. 10 Conclusion: (J) You are a jerk. *Habits of a Critical Thinker means always using the Principle of Charity (p. 22, see the end of the section immediately preceding Ex. 1.4). The upshot is that when an argument has any sort of ambiguity, for example because of unstated premises and/or conclusions, ambiguous terms, etc. you ought to assume the best interpretation that makes the strongest possible argument. Think of it this way: if you want to think critically, which means evaluating correctly the arguments of others, then you want them to respond to your evaluation with: “Wow, you completely understand what I am saying! I could not have said it better myself.” You want the other person to say this rather than: “You have missed my meaning completely, and thus your criticism of my argument is completely off target.” If you apply the principle of charity and get the other person to say: “Wow, I could not have said it better myself,” then your critical evaluation will hit an actual target and your opponent cannot escape your criticism because you failed to apply the principle of charity. Exercise 1.4 (p. 22-24): Each of the following arguments may contain an unstated premise and/or an unstated conclusion. If one is present, identify the unstated premise and/or the unstated conclusion. #1. Unstated Premise 1: People should not do things that are significantly more likely to result in deaths due to suicide Premise 2: Households that have guns are significantly more likely to have deaths due to suicide. Conclusion: People should not have guns in their houses. #3. Premise 1: A single-payer health care system would raise costs Premise 2: A single-payer health care system would reduce the quality of care. Premise 3: A single-payer health care system is un-American. Unstated Premise 4: If we do not want to raise costs, reduce the quality of care, and be un-American, then we should not have a single-payer health care system. Unstated conclusion: We should not have a single-payer health care system. #9. Unstated premise 1: If you don’t want to make everyone sick, then you should wash your hands before you start cooking. Unstated Premise 2: You don’t want to make everyone sick. Unstated Conclusion: You should wash your hands before you start cooking. # 13. Unstated Premise 1: If Pluto is smaller than objects that are dwarf planets, then Pluto is a dwarf planet. Premise 2: Pluto is smaller than object 2003 UB313. Conclusion: Pluto is a dwarf planet. Complete the remaining exercises and please let me know if you have any questions. 11 I. Things That are not Arguments (pp. 24-27, see the section immediately following the above exercise). Again, there are 3 (or 4) key ingredients that make an argument (see above definition). Given these key ingredients it follows that assertions, descriptions, questions, instructions, and explanations are not arguments. However, because you know that sometimes premises and conclusion are unstated, you will have to be sensitive to an author’s intentions. Remember, for instance, that a question could in fact (if you practice the principle of charity) express an unstated conclusion, for example: Are you a jerk or what? This section includes an important talk about explanations, their similarity with and difference from arguments, and the two parts of explanations that are typically confused with the parts of an argument. Ex. 1.5C tests your grasp of this difference. Exercise 1.5A. Identify the arguments in the discussions below. Identify the premises and the conclusion of each argument. # 2. Premise 1: If (A) a patient is having severe chest pain, and there’s a history of heart attacks in the patient’s family, then (B) the patient is having a heart attack. Premise 2: If (B) a patient is having a heart attack, then (C) we must immediately open the blocked arteries. Premise 3: Patient x is (A) having severe chest pain, and there’s a history of heart attacks in patient x’s family. Conclusion: (C) We must immediately open the blocked arteries of patient x. The other Doc counter argues: Premise 1: If (P) a patient has eaten five portions of Super-Duper Deep Fat Totally Greasy chicken wings, then (Q) the patient will likely suffer chest pains from indigestion. Premise 2: If (Q) a patient is suffering chest pain from indigestion, then (R) we should not immediately perform open-heart surgery on the patient. Premise 3: Patient x is (P) a patient that has eaten five portions of Super-Duper Deep Fat Totally Greasy chicken wings. Conclusion: (R)We should not immediately perform open-heart surgery on patient x. Exercise 1.5B. Determine which of the following passages contain an argument, an assertion, a question, a command, or a description. If the passage contains an argument, identify the premises and conclusion. Complete these exercises and let me know if you any questions. Remember the key ingredients that an argument requires in order to be an argument. Exercise 1.5C. Determine whether each of the following passages contain an argument, an explanation, or neither an argument nor an explanation. If it contains an argument, identify the premises and the conclusion. If it contains an explanation, identify the explanans (the statements that explain why a non-controversial, generally accepted fact is the case) and the explanandum (the non-controversial, generally accepted fact—see pp. 25-27). #2 Explanation: The explanandum is that “He is getting fat.” The rest of the statements are explanans. 12 #3. 1 argument. Nothing is explained here as noted by the last statement, “There must be some other cause (explanans) of the problem,” that is, the accepted fact (explanandum) that his grades have dropped. The argument aims to convince us to accept the truth of the conclusion: The divorce of his parents did not cause his grades to drop. Premise 1: If the divorce of his parents occurred before he was two, then the divorce of his parents cannot be the cause of his grades dropping. Premise 2: The divorce of his parents occurred before he was two. Conclusion: The divorce of his parents did not cause his grades to drop. Note that while explanandum do not require supporting arguments, this is not always the case with explanans. We know people have gotten fat, that cars have be wrecked, that grades have decreased, that dinosaurs are extinct. Still, often explanans for these explanandum can be controversial and thus can require argumentative support of their own (see example on p. 27). Also see what our authors have to say of #4 in the back of our text where the answers to the starred exercises are listed. # 7. 1 argument. Note that this is not an explanation provided that you are in fact “surprised to learn that when you turn your car, your front wheels are not pointing in the same direction.” Most of us would need to be convinced of this seemingly controversial claim. Premise 1: If a car is to turn smoothly, then each wheel must follow a different circle and the inside wheel must follow a circle with a smaller radius and tighter turn than the outside wheel. Premise 3. If each wheel follows a different circle and the inside wheel must follow a circle with a smaller radius and tighter turn than the outside wheel, then when you turn your car your front wheels are not pointing in the same direction. Conclusion: If a car is to turn smoothly, then when you turn your car your front wheels are not pointing in the same direction. However, if it is not a surprise to find out that when you turn your car your wheels are not pointing in the same direction, then this non-surprising, non-controversial claim is the explanandum and the rest of the statements are explanans. If this is the case then there is 1 explanation here and zero arguments. The art of argument requires knowing your audience since what your audience knows or has accepted as fact will likely change what you need to explain versus what you need to argue. Note that #’s 10 and 13, for example, are descriptions or explanations; however, there are also implicit arguments in these instances provided both a) that one finds it controversial to claim: # 10 if one is to escape slavery, then one must free oneself from sexual desire, or # 13 we ought to attack war as an enemy of the poor, and b) that there are premises (implicit or explicit) given in support of these claims. Again, we must ask about and be sensitive to the author’s intentions. Are they simply 13 explaining why some well accepted claim is the case, or are they attempting to convince us to accept the truth of some controversial conclusion? J. Putting Arguments into Standard Form (pp. 31-33, see section immediately following the above exercise). We already have been standardizing arguments in the above exercise whenever we 1) put all statements into declarative form, 2) make explicit unstated premises and/or conclusion, 3) placed premises before conclusions, 4) numbered premises, and 5) indicated conclusions. It is also important to note that we have been trying whenever possible 1.5) to replace all pronouns (he, she, it, that, this, etc.) with nouns (specific persons, places, and things). We do this so that terms in one premise can clearly connect with terms in other premises and ultimately with terms in the conclusion. He, she, it, etc. risk being too vague to perform this important function. We’ll continue to practice standardizing arguments and make this more explicit in the following exercises. As well, while I believe I have indicated whenever a premise or conclusionI’ll start to 6) bracket all unstated premises and/or conclusions, for example, [Premise 1], to indicate that they are unstated. Please carefully read this section and, most importantly, practice what is preached here and again summarized for you at the end of the chapter as well as at the end of the book, see “Guide” sections. When standardizing, however, remember always to 7) practice the principle of charity (see above) such that you aim to standardize the strongest possible version of the argument. K. Main Arguments and Subarguments (33-38): A subargument is an argument with a conclusion that serves as the supporting premise for another argument, the main argument. This means that subarguments are intended to provide support for the premises of main arguments. Consider the Jack and Jill argument from Ex. 1.5A. There are two arguments (one main argument and one subargument). Main argument: Premise 1: There is a mean giant at the top of the beanstalk. [Premise 2]: If there is a mean giant at the top of the beanstalk, then we should not climb up the beanstalk. [Conclusion]: We should not climb up the beanstalk. However, note, as Jack does, that we can question the truth of premise 1 by asking: How does Jill know there is a mean giant at the top of the beanstalk? We need to provide support for this claim made in premise 1 of the main argument. We need a subargument. Subargument: 14 [Premise 1]: If Jill read in a book that there is a mean giant at the top of the beanstalk, then there is a mean giant at the top of the beanstalk. Premise 2: Jill read in a book that there is a mean giant at the top of a beanstalk. Conclusion: There is a mean giant at the top of the beanstalk. Now we can list first the subargument and then the main argument. With the aim of standardizing the argument I’m also going to give the beanstalk a specific name. Lastly, in the interest of the principle of charity, I’m going to qualify premise 1 and the conclusion of the subargument; and to keep my statements consistent I’ll do the same to premise 1 of the main argument. See if you can pick out how and why I’m adding this qualification to my standardization of the argument. Subargument: [Premise 1]: If Jill read in a book that there is a mean giant at the top of a beanstalk, then there might be a mean giant at the top of beanstalk Z. Premise 2: Jill read in a book that there is a mean giant at the top of a beanstalk. Conclusion: There might be mean giant at the top of beanstalk Z. Main argument: Premise 1: There might be a mean giant at the top of beanstalk Z. [Premise 2]: If there might be a mean giant at the top of beanstalk Z, then we should not climb up beanstalk Z. [Conclusion]: We should not climb up beanstalk Z. Why did I add the qualification, “might”? Answer: a “might” argument is easier to defend (and so is stronger) than an argument that states a certainty, for example, that “without a doubt there is a giant at the top of this beanstalk.” In other words, the principle of charity demands that we provide the strongest argument possible when standardizing and evaluating arguments. Exercise 1.6A. (pp. 38-41). Identify all the arguments in the discussions in Exercise 1.5A, and put them into standard form. Be sure to indicate properly subarguments from main arguments. #1. I’ve completed the Jack and Jill discussion above for you. Follow my example and complete # 2. If applicable, in identifying subarguments, ask yourself if there are any premises that are given additional support in the passage. If so, then there is likely a subargument for the premise. If not, there is not likely a subargument. Let me know if you have any questions. Exercise 1.6B. Identify which passages in Ex’s 1.5B and C have an argument (or arguments) and put them into standard form. If applicable, indicate subarguments and main arguments. In identifying subarguments, ask yourself if there are any premises that are given additional support in the passage. If so, then there is likely a subargument for the premise. If not, then then there is not likely one. Let me know if you have any questions. 15 Exercise 1.6C. Determine whether each of the following passages contains one or more arguments. If it does, put the argument(s) into standard form. Be sure to indicate properly subarguments and main arguments. # 6. Premise 1: There is red dirt on your shoe. Premise 2: If there is red dirt on your shoe, then you must have picked up the red dirt by going to the Seymour Street Post Office or you picked up the red dirt somewhere else in town. Conclusion: You must have picked up the red dirt by going to the Seymour Street Post Office or you picked up the red dirt somewhere else in town. Note that in #6 there is a second argument in support of the conclusion: You must have been to the Seymour Post Office. Complete that argument and indicate which of the two arguments is the main and which is the sub. #7. Premise 1: The best minds demand higher moral standards for men than for God. Premise 2: If one demands higher moral standards for men than for God, then one will fail to use their capacity to think rationally about religious matters. Conclusion: The best minds fail to use their capacity to think rationally about religious matters. Is there an additional main or subargument that we need to indicate for #7? Ask yourself, does the author provide additional support for any of the above premises? Do any of the above premises require additional support? If so, then there is still an unstated subargument in this passage. On the other hand, you should also ask yourself: does the argument above provide support for the premises of a second argument? If so, then there is still an unstated main argument in this passage. 16

Tutor Answer

JackyAbed
School: UCLA

Hey buddy, ...

flag Report DMCA
Review

Anonymous
Good stuff. Would use again.

Similar Questions
Hot Questions
Related Tags
Study Guides

Brown University





1271 Tutors

California Institute of Technology




2131 Tutors

Carnegie Mellon University




982 Tutors

Columbia University





1256 Tutors

Dartmouth University





2113 Tutors

Emory University





2279 Tutors

Harvard University





599 Tutors

Massachusetts Institute of Technology



2319 Tutors

New York University





1645 Tutors

Notre Dam University





1911 Tutors

Oklahoma University





2122 Tutors

Pennsylvania State University





932 Tutors

Princeton University





1211 Tutors

Stanford University





983 Tutors

University of California





1282 Tutors

Oxford University





123 Tutors

Yale University





2325 Tutors