Friday, March 13, 2009

Preparing for Final: The Fallacy List

By now you should have received test #5. I got them done this morning so instead of leaving them at the library, I had them put in your mailboxes.

Here is the fallacy list so you can study:

A. Inappropriate appeal to authority
B. Appeal to Ignorance
C. False alternatives
D. Loaded questions
E. Questionable Cause
F. Hasty Generalization
G. Slippery Slope
H. Weak analogy
I. Inconsistency
J. Personal attack (ad hominem)
K. Attacking the motive
L. Look who's talking
M. Two Wrongs make a right
N. Scare tactics
O. Appeal to Pity
P. Bandwagon
Q. Straw man
R. Red herring
S. Equivocation
T. Begging the question
U. Denying the antecedent
V. Affirming the consequent
W. NO fallacy

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Answers for Matching Section, Test 4

Answer key for test 4:

27. F
28. G
29. B
30. H
31. E
32. I
33. C
34. A
35. D

Preparation for Test #5

This test will cover the material in chapters 5 and 6: fallacies of relevance, and fallacies of insufficient evidence.

I will expect you to be able to identify all 11 fallacies of relevance, and all 9 fallacies of insufficient evidence. While you will not have to recite the list of 20 names, you will need to be able to label various texts that commit these fallacies, when given the list to choose from.

1) Be sure to check out the online study resources at Notice the drop down menu on the left. Click on chapter 5 and then on chapter 6. Do the T/F and multiple choice quizzes for both chapters.

2) Do the exercises in the book. Remember that the answers for all exercises are on reserve in the library. The key to success is practice. The more exercises you do, the more practice you will have.

3) e-mail or call me if you have questions.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Paul's Argument in Romans 3

Paul was a master of argumentation, but as Peter wrote in 2 Peter 3:16, "His letters contain some things that are hard to understand." Can you analyze this argument of his? (Look out for indicator words, and lots of subconclusions!)

Paul’s Argument in Romans 3

3 What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? 2 Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God.
3 What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God’s faithfulness? 4 Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written:
“So that you may be proved right when you speak
and prevail when you judge.”
5 But if our unrighteousness brings out God’s righteousness more clearly, [then]what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.) 6 Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world? 7 Someone might argue, “If my falsehood enhances God’s truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?” 8 Why not say—as we are being slanderously reported as saying and as some claim that we say—“Let us do evil that good may result”? Their condemnation is deserved.

No One Is Righteous

9 What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. 10 As it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands,
no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.”
13 “Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit.”
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 ruin and misery mark their ways,
17 and the way of peace they do not know.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Homework for Thursday, March 5

Write or find an example of each of the 11 fallacies of relevance Label each one. Make sure the text is legible. I will be collecting your work at the start of class, and I won't be accepting late work.

Test # 4 Results

Here's the totals for our fourth test:

A- = 1
B+ = 2
B = 1
B- + 1
C+ = 4
C = 4
D+ = 1
D- = 1
F = 5

Monday, February 23, 2009

Preparation for Test #4

The test on Thursday, Feb. 26 will cover Chapter 4, "Language." Be sure you can:

Define each term and identify instances of them:

Definition by genus and difference
Definition by subclass
Emotive language
Vague language
Ennumerative defintion
Etymological definition
Lexical definition
Ostensive definitions
Overgeneral statement
Persuasive definition
Precising definition
Political correctness
Stipulative definition

Know the various types and strategies for defining a term.

Know the Rules for Constructing Good Lexical Definitions, ( p. 104-106) and be able to tell when a given definition is too broad, too narrow, lacking in context, figurative, slanted, obscure or circular (see exercise VI., p.111)

Know the tests for emotive language.

As aways, it is wise for you to do the online TF and multiple choice quizzes and the online tutorials, as well as as many exercises in your textbook as you can. Depending on the quality of your work, I may be taking some examples from the student homework for Tuesday, Feb. 24.

Tom Cruise "Argues" for Scientology

Watch this video and see if you can find any arguments. Also, after we do chapter 4, come back to it and see how he uses language.

The Cruise Indoctrination Video Scientology Tried To Suppress

"You have to watch this video. It shows Tom Cruise, with all the wide-eyed fervor that he brings to the promotion of a movie, making the argument for Scientology, the bizarre 20th-century religion. Making the argument is an understatement. The Hollywood actor, star of movies such as Mission Impossible, is a complete fanatic. "When you're a Scientologist, and you drive by an accident, you know you have to do something about it, because you know you're the only one who can really help... We are the way to happiness. We can bring peace and unite cultures." There's much much more. Let me put it this way: if Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah's couch was an 8 on the scale of scary, this is a 10."

Test # 3 Results

Here's the totals for our third test:

B+ = 3
B = 3
B- = 2
C+ = 2
C = 4
C- = 1
D+ = 1
D - = 2
F = 4

Though we did not have any A's, we had fewer D's and F's.
Plus, we did have some dramatic turnarounds from the last test:

a C to a B+
an F to a D+
a D to a B+
a D- to a B
an F to a C-
a D to a C

Keep up the good work!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Preparation for Test #3

We will be having Test #3 on Tuesday Feb. 17. It will cover all of chapter 11, EXCEPT pages 317-323.

As always, do the TF and Multiple choice quizzes and the PPT tutorial on the textbook website. Do the exercises in the textbook. Review the handouts. Review the chapter summary. p. 323-325. Try composing your own arguments for each of these inductive forms.

Be familiar with these concepts and able to use them:

inductive argument






inductive generalizations

arguments from analogy

causal arguments

statistical arguments

sample population

representative sample

double-blind study

reference class




reverse cause


positive correlation

negative correlation

post hoc (false cause) fallacy

Be able to identify a:

1) strong inductive argument

2) cogent inductive argument

3) strong and reliable argument

4) strong but unreliable argument

5) weak and/or uncogent argument

Be able to explain why you think an argument is reliable or not.

Be able to:

1) identify and evaluate inductive generalizations, statistical arguments, arguments from analogy and causal arguments.

2) recognize indicator words and phrases for inductive arguments

3) show how inductive conclusions can be "softened" to become stronger; or how they can be made more "sweeping" and thus be weakened

4) recognize terms that are indicator words for causal arguments

5) Know what to consider in evaluating the strength of an argument from analogy

6) List the four ways to explain a correlation

7) Know what to consider in evaluating the strength of a causal argument

Monday, February 02, 2009

Test #2 Results

Here's the totals for our second test:

A- = 4
B- = 1
C+ = 1
C = 2
C- = 2
D = 4
D- = 2
F = 8

Again, I strongly urge anyone who has made a D or below to see me, and to talk with your advisor.

The study group that Adele has organized seems to have helped people. If you are having trouble, consider joining it.

Be sure you read the chapter. The online material makes sense only if you have this framework. Six of those making D and below did not even read the chapter. Three did not do any of the things I've suggested--outlining, doing exercises, reading the blog, doing the online quizzes.

Remember, 25% of your grade is attendance and participation. Though it is not nothing, simply showing up doesn't count for much. Participation requires effort!