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!