This assignment has two parts.
Part A: Arguments/Non-arguments
You learned that arguments state claims and give reasons to accept the claim. You also learned to distinguish arguments from non-arguments such as reports, illustrations, explanations, conditional statements, and unsupported assertions. For each of the following statements, decide if it is or is not an argument. If it is not an argument, identify the type of non-argument it is and explain your answer. The explanation should be why you selected the response you did. Types of non-arguments include:
Each is worth 5 points. Two points for the correct response: three points for your explanation.
Mexican food is very spicy. I need water.
It was cold this morning and my car wouldn’t start. Also, the battery is weak.
You can’t take advanced biology unless you have passed chemistry. John failed chemistry so he won’t be taking advanced biology.
If it rains, the picnic will be postponed.
Marty will probably be accepted in law school. She had good grades in college and did well on the Law School Admissions Test.
My computer crashed because I spilled water on it.
Flight 890 to Newark has been cancelled due to weather.
Every day we make decisions, both small and large. For example, in the drugstore you have to decide which shampoo is the best buy.
Part B: Premises and Conclusion
Arguments consist of a claim and a reason or reasons to accept the claim. The claim is referred to as a “conclusion” and the reason/s are referred to as “premise/s.” In the following arguments, identify the premise/s and the conclusion.
Here is an example:
You must be at least 18 years old to vote. Mike is under 18. Therefore, Mike cannot vote.
Use this format for your answer:
Premise: You must be at least 18 years old to vote.
Premise: Mike is under 18.
Conclusion: Mike cannot vote.
(Premises and conclusions are always stated in full, complete sentences!)
Each is worth 6 points. Three points for the correct premise(s): Three points for the conclusion (Keep in mind: an argument can have only 1 conclusion).
Do not play your sound system loudly. You may not hear emergency sirens, and also, hearing damage from loud noise may not be detectable until it is too late.
Our city allows homeless people to panhandle at intersections. There is a man standing in the median holding a sign. He must be homeless.
Infants under a year old cannot digest honey, and botulism could result, so honey should not be fed to infants.
The death penalty is racially discriminatory, it has not been shown to be a deterrent, and innocent people might be executed. So death penalty should be abolished?
How could anyone criticize the highway patrol for speed traps? It could save your life if a speeder is stopped. If you aren’t speeding, you won’t need to worry about getting caught in a speed trap.
Mammals feed their young with milk. Humans are mammals. Humans feed their young with milk.
It’s a good time to buy a home since interest rates are low.
We should not purchase products made in a country where there is human rights abuse. There is human rights abuse in China, so we should not buy toys for our children that are made in China.
Dogs should never live in the house. Dogs have fleas and they shed.
No dinosaur survived following the ecological changes that occurred over 60 million years ago. The stegosaurus did not survive. The stegosaurus is a type of dinosaur.