2. Consider the following argumentative analogy:
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“If you found by chance a watch or other piece containing intricate mechanisms,
you would infer that it had been made by someone. But all around us in nature
we find by chance intricate natural mechanisms, so we should therefore infer that
these too have a Maker. The only difference, on the side of nature, is that of the
intricacy being more and greater and exceeding all computation (William Paley, clergyman,Natural Theology, 1802).
(a)What is the analogue?
(b)What is the primary subject?
(c)If you’re careful, you’ll note two similarities. What are they?
(d)What is the conclusory feature?
(e)Put the argument in standard form.
(f)Paley himself mentions a dissimilarity between the analogue and
the primary subject. Tell me what that dissimilarity is. Do you think it’s relevant Why or why not?
(g) Are the premises independent or dependent? If they’re
independent, tell me what makes them independent. If they’re
dependent, tell me what makes them dependent.
Consider the following passage:
Under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, official U.S. law stipulates that the United
States would view any conflict over Taiwan with grave concern. Any war between
Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China would therefore quite likely embroi
the United States. Look at the 1995-96 Taiwan Strait crisis, too. As it showed, the
United States does not take its interest in Taiwan’s security lightly.
(a)Write down the statements the passage contains.
(b)Write down the statement that serves as the conclusion.
(c)How you can tell that statement is the conclusion?
(d) Is the argument inductive or deductive? If it’s inductive, tell me
what makes it inductive. If it’s deductive, tell me what makes it deductive.
4.Consider the following passage:
When it comes to discussions about slowing population growth, we tend to
focus on the poor, preaching to them about birth control. But while poverty-
stricken parents with four, five, or six children are the most publicized aspect of
population growth, they are by no means the most important numerical aspect of
the problem. The four-fifths of the nation’s families who earn more than the
poverty-line income and who can afford two, three, or four children produce a
greater total of children than the one poor couple out of five who may have six
youngsters (Lilienthal, David, “300,000,000 Americans Would Be Wrong,” New York Times , January 9, 1966).
(a)The author is recommending that we do something, but his
recommendation remains unstated. Write down what the author is
(b) The author’s support for his recommendation can be represented
using only one premise. Write down this premise.
5.Consider the following statement:
Classes are cancelled today.
(a) Write down a credible explanation in which this statement serves as an explanandum. (Make sure it’s obviously an explanation.)
(b)Write down a credible argument in which this same statement serves as a conclusion. (Make sure it’s obviously an argument.)
(c)What makes the statement in 4a an explanandum rather than a
6.Recall the following argument from Exam 2, presumably made by an
airline representative and addressed to a potential passenger:
Look, a service animal is an animal that’s been trained to help a person with
disabilities, and service animals are certainly allowed on our flight. But the boa
constrictor around your neck can’t even be trained. This demonstrates that your
boa doesn’t count as a service animal. So I don’t think you’re allowed to bring it
on the flight.
Suppose the passenger responds thusly:
Actually, I think I am, because my boa does count as a service animal. Boas are
sensitive to the patterns of neuronal electrical activity that typically precede
epileptic convulsions. My boa has been trained to give me a slight squeeze
whenever she senses that I might be about to have a seizure.
(a) Write down the two conclusions contained in the passenger’s
(b) Tell me which of these conclusions is the conclusion of the
(c) The conclusion of the passenger’s subargument serves as one of two
premises in the passenger’s main argument. Write down the main argument’s other
premise. (Keep in mind that the passenger
is replying to someone else, so for the sake of ease and brevity the
passenger might have left some relevant considerations unstated.)