In the required reading this week we learned about the following argument forms: Deductive arguments, statistical syllogisms, arguments from analogy, appeals to authority, and inductive generalizations.
Choose three of the five argument forms and create an example of each. Your arguments do not have to be great arguments (you will analyze their quality below), but they should clearly be instances of the argument types you chose in question (make sure to indicate what argument type each one is).
After each argument, provide a brief analysis of its quality. If it is deductive, is it valid? Is it sound? If it is inductive, is it strong? Is it cogent? (Be sure to read the definitions from the text.) What might be done to improve the argument? What can people do to better understand and apply this type of argument in general?
Guided Response: In addition to your original post, post a minimum of three responses, at least two of which must be to your classmates. The third response could be to a classmate or your instructor. Be sure to post on three separate days throughout the week to promote further engagement and discussion. Each response should be a minimum of 75 words.
Garbage collection in our neighborhood is every Wednesday.
The garbage truck drove through our neighborhood today.
So, today must be Wednesday.
When looking at this example of a deductive argument, it is both valid and sound. An argument is valid when the truth of the premises absolutely guarantees the truth of the conclusion (Hardy, Foster, & Zuniga y Postigo, 2015). It is also considered a sound argument since both premises are true. The only thing that I can think of to make this argument stronger is to change the wording on the second premise from drove through our neighborhood to collected garbage in our neighborhood. This would clarify that garbage was collected and that it was not just a random garbage truck driving through the neighborhood.
Sixty percent of Republicans prefer to vote in person on election day.
John is a Republican.
Therefore, John will most likely vote in person on election day.
This argument is in the correct form for a statistical syllogism. Statistical syllogisms are inductive arguments since the conclusion could possibly be false. This argument is weak. This is because sixty percent is a low confidence level to support the stated conclusion. With statistical syllogisms, the sample size and whether the sample was random must also be considered. The best way to strengthen this argument would be to see a higher percentage in the first premise.
Appeal to authority:
Anthony Fauci, an immunologist and member of the Coronavirus Task Force, says that our best defense against the virus is to where a mask.
Appeal to authority is the needed because we cannot all be experts in everything. Therefore, it is important to be able to look to experts for advice. The most important thing to determining the strength of this form of argument is based on the knowledge level of the authority being cited. To determine the trust-ability of this argument, I made use of the questions found in Instructor Guidance.
1. Is this the kind of question that can be settled by an appeal to authority (e.g. an objective matter that is testable)?
Answer: While the Coronavirus information is fairly new, it does seem that this is a question that can be settled by a health or science authority.
2. Is the person cited a genuine authority on the topic?
Answer: I do believe that our country has come to respect and acknowledge Anthony Fauci as an authority on this subject matter.
3. Do experts on the topic tend to agree about this question?
Answer: Yes. Mask-wearing is an accepted and advised defense by both doctors and scientists.
4. Can the authority be trusted to be honest in this context?
Answer: Yes. Dr. Fauci has proven to be honest during the pandemic and forthright with Americans.
5. Has the authority been interpreted correctly?
Answer: Yes. Dr. Fauci has been very clear in his advice and also practices what he has suggested by also wearing a mask.
Hardy, J., Foster, C. & Zuniga y Postigo, G. (2015). With good reason: A guide to critical thinking. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/