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HUM 111 Week Eight DQS




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Week Eight
Using your favorite Internet search engine, search for President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural
address. Watch, read, and listen to the media presented on President John F. Kennedy’s
inaugural address. In his speech, President Kennedy uses means of persuasion to win over
his supporters and those who were possibly less than thrilled with his election. Suppose you
opposed President Kennedy’s ideas and wanted to find fault with his speech. What steps
would you take to evaluate his arguments?
If I were opposing President Kennedy's ideas, the first thing I would look for is errors that affect the truth.
Obviously, the easiest mistake to make is inaccuracy of facts, but that doesn't seem to occur here.
Instead, a more subtle error is made when President Kennedy discusses how changes will be made, but
"...they won't be finished in 100 days, 1,000 days,.....even our lifetime on this planet." That is avoiding the
issue. Instead of offering solutions to the issues mentioned, he chose to make the speech motivational
and avoid them all. Even though I didn't find any, identifying hidden premises would be another step in
evaluating arguments along with examining for validity errors. The reasoning for this is because hidden
premises make it difficult to evaluate arguments whereas expressing them makes it much easier to
understand. The last step would be to revise any arguments to eliminate any errors. Sometimes this
means starting over new, but it's not worth revising an argument that is known to be flawed.
What are some examples of errors that affect truth and validity? Summarize the steps you
would take to evaluate arguments and overcome any errors in truth or validity that they may
Some of the errors that affect truth are avoiding the issue, overgeneralizing or oversimplifying, double
standards, shifting the burden of proof, irrational appeal, and either/ or thinking. An error that affects
validity is in controversial issues and is an illegitimate conclusion. When addressing an issue, the main
purpose isn't to find the most effective action, but to determine the most reasonable belief. The key to this
is to be able to evaluate arguments to be sure there are as few errors as possible. In order to evaluate
arguments and overcome errors in truth or validity, the first thing to do is be very clear and express all
parts of it. Then each part of the argument should be examined for errors in truth and validity. One method
of doing this is to try to challenge the argument by asking questions about it. The conclusion of
the argument should also be evaluated to determine if it's legitimate or not. If any errors are found,
revision is needed to correct them.
When oversimplifying, complex matters may be misrepresented and distorted. How can you
find and overcome oversimplifications in your arguments?
Even though simplifying complex matters can be beneficial to understand them better, it becomes a
problem when it goes beyond making complex matters clear and begins to distort them. Oversimplifying
can still contain truth, however, it doesn't reflect the complete truth or reality. In order to find
oversimplications, the key is to ask what important aspects of the issue are being ignored or left out. If the
issue is whether to let soldiers legally drink alcohol at age 18 instead of 21, for example, it would be
misrepresented to say the drinking age should be lowered to age 18. It still states the issue, but it doesn't
included the entire situation. To correct oversimplification, the best way is to decide what expression best
reflects the reality without distorting it. It may require making numerous statements and choosing the most
accurate one or it may be better to not simplify anything. As long as it's easy to understand and accurately
represents the truth, it should be left as is.

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How do errors that affect truth differ from errors that affect validity? Which ones do you think
are easier to recognize and why?
Errors that affect truth differ from the errors that affect validity. There are logical errors that can promote
inconsistencies. Errors off validity deal with the argument associated with reasoning. Ultimately, validity
errors exist in the reasoning that supports the conclusion. It is easy to come to an illegitimate conclusion
when one does not have all of the truth behind the reasoning. Errors in truth consist of seven different
types including either/or thinking, avoiding the issue, overgeneralization, oversimplifying, shifting the
burden of proof, and irrational appeal. By obtaining all of the facts when evaluating logical arguments it
will help to state your argument fully and clearly to promote reasoning in your validity. I believe errors that
affect truth are easier to recognize because one can learn the necessary steps to evaluate errors of truth
and apply the aspect to validity. One can also use extensive research to conclude whether or not a fact is
indeed fact that has supporting proof and weed out useless information. Gathering as much truth to an
argument will increase validity and reasoning.
Select one of the arguments presented in the Recognizing Complex Arguments section in Ch.
12 (pp. 218–219) and evaluate it using the four steps in evaluating an argument presented on
p. 219.
The argument that I choose from page 218 is the communications and entertainment media have more
influence on young people than parents and teachers do. When breaking this down and evaluating using
steps would be first to get all the facts on which one would have this conclusion. Make sure that nothing is
left out of the presenting argument and all facts are there. Second would be to ask questions why
someone has the mindset that the media and such have more influence? Is this a response from children
and teens in general? Third step is to gather what made the final conclusion come about. How did we
arrive at the final conclusion of the argument? The next step would be to if any errors are found then
eliminate and revise your argument or conclusion. Using this situation I would gather research data about
the issue. It is likely that many will come to the conclusion that teachers do impact a students life greatly
but above that is the media and such.

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