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Argumentation 3

Evidence, assumptions & reasoning: practice
by

Syreetha Domen

on 23 September 2013

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Transcript of Argumentation 3

Argumentation & Writing Theory
developed by René Kager, Rias van den Doel and Syreetha Domen
Last Week
Planning an Argument
1. Toulmin Logic
2. Assumptions
3. Evidence
1. Evidence
2. Fallacies
3. Reasoning
Investigate assumptions: Why?
Claim: The internet can democratize communication
Reason: No physical cues when communicating online
Assumption?
Assumption: Physical cues determine the equality of a communication situation
Further interrogate: What about...
existing prejudices
backgrounds and aptitudes
visual forms of online communication
Is the evidence accurate?
Trustworthy, exact, undistorted?
Is the evidence relevant?
Authoritative, pertinent, current?
Is the evidence representative?
True to context?
Is the evidence adequate?
Plentiful, specific?
Evidence (cf. LBH 183-85)
Constructing arguments from evidence and assumptions
Fallacies (errors in reasoning), LBH p. 190
Missing fallacy:
ad ignorantiam
a hasty generalisation which assumes that, if evidence is missing, the claim is necessarily untrue
!
e.g. There is no proof that aliens exist
This proves that aliens do not exist.

Fallacious: all we know is that there is no proof
+
Begging the question
Non sequitur
Red herring
False authority
Inappropriate appeal
Hasty generalisation
Sweeping generalisation
Reductive fallacy
Post hoc fallacy
Either/or fallacy
False analogy
Identify the fallacies in the following sentences:
Exercise (LBH 190-195)
Because he was a popular Southern novelist and not a scientist of any kind, it is doubtful he had much knowledge of biology; therefore, we should not take too seriously his argument about the problems of genetic manipulation.

When the chips are down, it is every true American's patriotic duty to support the war in the Middle East.

If music were censored, teenagers would have more time to pay attention to their studies.



Everyone agrees that abstinence is the safest form of birth control.


All lawyers are money-grubbing, selfish individuals.




He must have written the poem "Brazil" after his travels through South America in 1972.


It is clear that heterosexuality causes serious social problems because most of the documented cases of child sexual abuse are perpetrated by heterosexual men.




Without knowing it, most people are either essentially good or bad; how they choose to act out those qualities, however, can require a more complex analysis.

U.S. foreign aid to developing nations in Africa only creates "welfare states" on a global scale.
Ad hominem
The statement attacks the opponent "a popular Southern novelist" and not the argument.



Ad populum
This statement appeals to readers' sense of patriotism.

Non sequitur
The conclusion does not follow from the relevant evidence. What does music censorship have to do with teenager's study habits?

Bandwagon
This statement makes an appeal to a reader's wish to be part of a group, "[e]veryone."

Sweeping generalization
This statement does assert an opinion as applying to all instances of lawyers as stated in the phrase "all lawyers."

Post hoc fallacy
This statement assumes that the trip caused him to write the poem.

Hasty generalization
This statement asserts an opinion based on the one piece of evidence that most of the documented cases of child abuse are perpetrated by heterosexual men; this is hardly enough evidence to support the claim that heterosexuality itself causes this serious social problem.

Either/or fallacy
This statement reduces a complicated question (people's behavior) into two alternatives: good or bad.


False analogy
This statement exaggerates "welfare states" by imagining them on a global scale.
A
C
B
D
E
F
G
H
I
Readings: 9e–9g, 10c–10i, 33a–33f
Evaluate your sources:
(How to...)
LBH 43a
inductively
deductively
: LBH 10.4
Exercise
Study the facts below and then evaluate each of the numbered conclusions following them. Which of the generalizations are reasonable given the evidence, and which are not? Why?
In 2004–05 each American household viewed an average of 50 hours and 12 minutes of television, DVDs, or videos weekly.
Each individual viewed an average of 30 hours and 23 minutes per week.
Those viewing the most television per week (43 hours and 6 minutes) were women over age 55.
Those viewing the least television per week (19 hours and 17 minutes) were children ages 6 to 11.
Households earning under $30,000 a year watched an average of 53 hours and 19 minutes a week.
Households earning more than $60,000 a year watched an average of 48 hours and 7 minutes a week.
Households with incomes under $30,000 tend to watch more television than average.
Women watch more television than men.
Non-affluent people watch less television than affluent people.
Women over age 55 tend to watch more television than average.
Children watch less television than critics generally assume.
Evidence
Generalisations
: LBH 10.5
Exercise
http://wps.ablongman.com/wps/media/objects/2942/3012900/exercises/exercise10-5.doc
http://wps.ablongman.com/long_fowler_lbh_11/118/30442/7793268.cw/index.html
http://wps.ablongman.com/wps/media/objects/7612/7795406/videos/c25_56k.mov
http://omega.library.uu.nl/seal/omegasearch.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reliability_of_Wikipedia
Source http://wps.ablongman.com/wps/media/objects/2942/3013107/videos/c05_56k.mov
Source: http://wps.ablongman.com/long_fowler_lbh_11/118/30442/7793241.cw/index.html
: LBH 9.3
Exercise
Identifying & Revising Fallacies

Fallacies tend to appear together, as each of the following sentences illustrates. Identify at least one fallacy in each sentence. Then revise the sentences to make them more reasonable.

The American government can sell nuclear technology to nonnuclear nations, so why can’t individuals, who after all have a God-given right to earn a living as they see fit?
A successful marriage demands a maturity that no one under twenty-five possesses.
Students’ persistent complaints about the grading system prove that it is unfair.
People watch television because they are too lazy to talk or read or because they want mindless escape from their lives.
Racial tension is bound to occur when people with different backgrounds are forced to live side by side.
Convert each of the following statements into a syllogism. (You may have to state unstated assumptions.) Use the syllogism to evaluate both the validity and the truth of the statement.
DiSantis is a banker, so he does not care about the poor.

Premise: Bankers do not care about the poor.
Premise: DiSantis is a banker.
Conclusion: Therefore, DiSantis does not care about the poor.

The statement is untrue because the first premise is untrue.
Example
The mayor opposed pollution controls when he was president of a manufacturing company, so he may not support new controls or vigorously enforce existing ones.
Information on corporate Web sites is unreliable because the sites are sponsored by for-profit entities.
Schroeder is a good artist because she trained at Parsons, like many other good artists.
Wealthy athletes who use their resources to help others deserve our particular appreciation.
Jimson is clearly a sexist because she has hired only one woman.
generalising on the basis of observations
e.g. specific > general
taking premises to a logical conclusion
e.g. general > specific
LBH 200-203
necessities in arguments:
"we all acquire beliefs and opinions that shape our view of the world (Fowler 185).
errors in argument
http://wps.ablongman.com/long_fowler_lbh_11/118/30442/7793235.cw/index.html
Begged question, argument ad populum, and false analogy.
A revision: The fact that individuals in the United States cannot legally sell nuclear technology to nonnuclear nations, while the government can, points up a disturbing limit on individual rights.

Sweeping generalization and begged question.
A revision: A successful marriage demands a degree of maturity.

Hasty generalization and non sequitur.
A revision: Students' persistent complaints about the unfairness of the grading system should be investigated.

Either/or fallacy, hasty or sweeping generalization.
A revision: People watch television for many reasons, but some watch because they are too lazy to talk or read or because they want mindless escape from their lives.

Reductive fallacy and begged question.
A revision: Racial tension may occur when people with different backgrounds live side by side.
Possible answers:
Reasonable
Unreasonable (can't be inferred from facts)
Unreasonable (contradicted by facts)
Reasonable
Unreasonable (can't be inferred from facts)
KEY
The mayor opposed pollution controls when he was president of a manufacturing company, so he may not support new controls or vigorously enforce existing ones.

Premise: Anyone who has opposed pollution controls may continue to do so.
Premise: The mayor has opposed pollution controls.
Conclusion: The mayor may continue to do so. The statement is valid and true.
Information on corporate Web sites is unreliable because the sites are sponsored by for-profit entities.

Premise: Corporate Web sites are sponsored by for-profit entities.
Premise: Information from for-profit entities is unreliable.
Conclusion: Information on corporate Web sites is unreliable. The statement is untrue because the second premise is untrue.
Schroeder is a good artist because she trained at Parsons, like many other good artists.

Premise: Many good artists trained at Parsons.
Premise: Schroeder trained at Parsons.
Conclusion: Schroeder is a good artist. The statement is invalid because the first premise does not necessarily apply to the second.
Wealthy athletes who use their resources to help others deserve our particular appreciation.

Premise: Those who use their resources to help others deserve our particular appreciation.
Premise: Some wealthy athletes use their resources to help others.
Conclusion: Some wealthy athletes deserve our particular appreciation. The statement is valid and, if the first premise is accepted, true.
Jimson is clearly sexist because she has hired only one woman.

Premise: Any employer who has hired only one woman is sexist.
Premise: Jimson is an employer who has hired only one woman.
Conclusion: Jimson is sexist. The statement is untrue because the first premise is not true: there may be other reasons besides sexism for hiring only one woman.
Practice!
Questions?
http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/dedind.php
Full transcript