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Deductive Reasoning Example

Consider the following argument:
“You will be successful either if you are hardworking or you are lucky. You will be lucky if you are enterprising and you can think critically. You can think critically if you are enrolled in this course. You are enrolled in this course, and I know you are enterprising. So, you will be successful.”
In the context of this argument, you are required to do the following:
a) Assign a letter of the alphabet to each relevant simple statement in the argument.


b) Identify the final conclusion, the explicitly stated premises and the intermediate conclusions of the argument (if any). For any intermediate conclusion you identify,use and state the premises you infer this conclusion from, along with the valid standard argument form used in the inference. Also, state the premises and intermediate conclusions used in inferring the final conclusion and state the valid standard argument form (if any) used in the inference [Hint: See Example 5.6.2 in your textbook for guidance.]
c) Comment on the validity of the argument: is the argument valid


SECTION B: Inductive Arguments
Questions 2 and 3 contain inductive arguments. For each question, identify the arguments by stating the premises and the conclusion [NOTE: The conclusion might be implicit.] Then,state a fact, which, if known, would make the inductive arguments contained therein stronger; and a fact, which, if which, would make the arguments weaker.


Question 2
‘The next bus will arrive in 5 minutes. The schedule on the bus-stop says so.’

Question 3
‘A recent study in the UK involving 10,000 14-year-olds shows that brighter girls and girls from poorer families are more likely to be depressed by the time they enter adolescence.Mary is both bright and comes from a low-income family. We should monitor her closely.’


SECTION C: Informal Fallacies 
In the passages contained in Questions 4 – 8, an informal fallacy may have been committed.For each passage (argument), if it is fallacious, name the fallacy; if not, state so.
Question 4
‘Most people today believe that telling a lie is not morally wrong. So, telling a lie is not morally wrong.’

Question 5
‘If it is morally acceptable that you sleep with someone else while you are in a relationship with me, it is morally acceptable for me to do so, too.’
Question 6
‘It is a nonsensical claim that smoking causes cancer and other health problems. I have a friend who has smoked 2 packs a day for the last 40 years and has never needed to see a doctor.’
Question 7
‘Homosexual marriages should not be allowed because a marriage is the union between individuals of two different genders.’

Question 8
‘Manchester United is the best football team because it has the best strikers, midfielders,defenders and goalkeepers in the world.’
SECTION D: Definitions
Questions 9 and 10 provide definitions of the word/phrase underlined in the question. For each definition, state what you consider to be the biggest failing of the definition. Provide a brief explanation for your answer.
Question 9
A republic is a country where the head of state is not a dictator.
Question 10
God is what underpins the order in the universe.


SECTION E: Evaluating and Writing Argumentative Essays 
Question 11
a. In your own words, identify the final conclusion of the author’s central argument.
b. In your own words, identify and demonstrate the reasons provided by the author in support of her conclusion. Your response must include a brief assessment of the quality of her reasons.
c. Finally, write to defend an argument of your own in support of or against [but, not both] the author’s conclusion. Your response should desirably (and, naturally) use your discussion in b. above as a basis. [NOTE: Your score for this part will reflect the quality of your argument; the quality of your writing; use of additional considerations (to the ones discussed in the original paper) relevant to your conclusion; and your reference to external sources.]

Deductive Reasoning Example
  1. You can think critically if you are enrolled to this course
  2. You are enrolled in this course and I know you are enterprising
  3. You will be lucky if you are enterprising and you think critically
  4. You will be successful either if you are hardworking or you are lucky
  5. So you will be successful

b)

major Premise -You can think critically if you are enrolled to this course

minor Premise- You are enrolled in this course and I know you are enterprising

major Premise- You will be lucky if you are enterprising and you think critically

Intermediate conclusion- You will be successful either if you are hardworking or you are lucky

Conclusion-So you will be successful

The conclusion is valid because the premise corresponds to a fact seen in the real world. The statements also follow deductively the premises propositions and the conclusion is not redundant. The conclusion follows correct logic, it has true premises and the argument is sound.

The standard argument form used here is prepositional logic, where premises and conclusions need each other. The prepositions and the premises in the argument are accepted as providing justification or support of each other. Conclusions and premises require each other because, either standing alone, cannot be considered a conclusion or a premise. The readers ought to see how the main idea is supported with minor points which are ultimately convincing. One preposition follows from the others, where the others are just points used to furnish the main preposition (Van Eemeren & Grootendorst, 2016)..

c)

A valid statement which has valid and strong premises. A conclusion is said to be valid when it is in line with other arguments without any contradictions. Also, the statement has to correspond with something in the real world, useful in practice and people believe that statement can be used. A valid statement also has a good number if people who believe it’s true and the statements should self-deductively follow the premises in a way that is not redundant.

Question 2

Premise- the schedule of the bus says so

Conclusion- the bus will arrive in 5 minutes

Inductive logic operates in two ways. One by confirming instances by advancing conjecture.it operates on the contrary by disconfirming conjecture. In this scenario, every time the bus stops as scheduled, the conjecture will be confirmed increasingly. Every time the bus does not stop as the schedule says, the conjecture will be falsified. The rhetor, or speaker, collects different instances which lead to a certain conclusion. This can literally be seen as accumulation of examples in order to reach a certain conclusion (Ciurria, & Altamimi, 2014).

Question 3

Premise- A study in the U.K involving 10,000 14 year olds shows that brighter girls and girls from poor families are likely to get depressed by the time they enter adolescent.

Inductive Reasoning Example

Premise- Mary is both bright and comes forma poor family

Conclusion- we should monitor her

In this case, the hypothesis that bright 14 year olds are likely to get depressed the time they get to adolescent will advance the conjecture every time a 14 year old from a poor family becomes depressed by 14. The conjecture will be falsified every time an adolescent does not become depressed by the age of 14. Valid inductive arguments go beyond the premises, and it’s more of learning from experience (Woods, & Walton, 2014)

Question 4

The fallacy in this question is argumentum ad verecundiam where the conclusion that telling a lie is not morally wrong is drawn from the authority of how many people believe it is not morally wrong as opposed to drawing supporting arguments as to why telling lies is not morally wrong (Van & Van, 2011).

Question 5

This is a case of agumentum ad hominem and you too arguments fallacies. The argument assert that since one is sleeping with someone else while in a relationship, it makes it right for them to sleep with someone else while in a relationship. Just because one is sleeping with another person, does not make it necessarily right for the other to sleep with a person outside the relationship.

Question 6

This also a classic example of circumstantial ad hominem which is classified under ad hominem arguments, which is fallacious. The argument uses the circumstances of the one making a statement, and not questioning the argument itself. In this case, whether a friend has smoked 2 packets of cigarettes every day for the last 40 years, is irrelevant to the claim that smoking causes cancer and other diseases (Van et.al 2003).

Question 7

The fallacy in this case is that of questionable analogy. The conclusion that similarity of things in one respect makes things similar in other respects makes the argument dubious. In this case saying gay marriage should not be allowed, as marriage is between to people of two different genders is questionable. Just because there is similarity of things in a certain respect, does not mean that they should always be like that (Mackenzie, 1999)

Question 8

The statement in this question is not fallacious as it follows a certain syllogism, where there are premises and conclusions creating a sound and valid argument.

Question 9

According to Collins English Dictionary, a republic is a country where people elect the president, and the power vests with the people unlike those being ruled by kings and queens. It is a country where the members of the public share vested interests. The biggest failing of a republic is when the government has become weak, that they no longer have control (Walton,& Koszowy, 2014).

Question 10

God is defined as the supreme creator of the universe and is worshipped as the ruler and creator of the universe. The biggest failing definition of God is that he cannot be proven, hence easily dismissible without evidence (Godwin, 1998).

Question 11

A Racists have a platform like twitter which give people power that they have never had before.

  1. the platform seems to have such powers as we see videos by such racists go viral. With the rise of the @charlottes, there was wrong identification of people due to misleading information on the online racists. The racists are also said to carry their sleuthing online. People also take their racism without doing anything about it as they blow their whistles.
  2. The author is correct about the rise of racism and the online increased support due to availability of platform. The author also attributes some of the happenings to professional journalism and that they contribute to the growth of such people. According to the author, networks like twitter give such people platforms, giving them power as well. With twitter and other social media platforms, the implications of political cultures around us have changed. Information can easily be shared and disseminated and even careless comments can have profound impact on people; there is therefore need for responsible journalism and control of how social media operates.

References

Ciurria, M., & Altamimi, K. (2014). Argumentum ad verecundiam: New gender-based criteria for

                              appeals to authority. Argumentation, 28(4), 437-452.

Goodwin, J. (1998). Forms of authority and the real ad verecundiam. Argumentation, 12(2), 267-

                              280.

Mackenzie, P. T. (1999). Ad hominem and ad verecundiam. Informal Logic, 3(3), 9-11.

Van Eemeren, F. H., & Grootendorst, R. (2016). Argumentation, communication, and fallacies: A

                              pragma-dialectical perspective. Routledge.

Van Eemeren, F. H., & Houtlosser, P. (2003). Fallacies as derailments of strategic maneuvering: The argumentum ad verecundiam, a case in point. SICSAT.

Van Vleet, J. E., & Van Jacob, E. V. (2011). Informal logical fallacies: A brief guide. University

                              Press of America.

Walton, D., & Koszowy, M. (2014). Two kinds of arguments from authority in the ad verecundiam

fallacy. Two Kinds of Arguments from Authority in the Ad Verecundiam Fallacy.

Woods, J., & Walton, D. (2014). Argumentum ad verecundiam. Philosophy & Rhetoric, 135-153.

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