Routledge

Student Material

Chapter 5: The practice of argument-reconstruction

Students’ material

A

Complete the connecting premise required to make these arguments valid or inductively forceful as appropriate. Don’t forget to make quantifiers explicit. If the argument is inductively forceful, use the quantifier needed to make it as forceful as possible.

  1. P1) The cake I’m eating contains chocolate.
    P2) XXXX makes me ill.
    C) I will be ill.
  2. P1) This government is corrupt.
    P2) XXXX government should stay in office.
    C) This government should be sacked.
  3. P1) UK-made TV programmes are the best in the world.
    P2) US TV channels XXXX.
    C) US TV channels should broadcast more UK-made TV programes.
  4. P1)  The Brumbies are a stronger team than the Sharks.
    P2) The Sharks are a stronger team than the Hurricanes.
    P3) Any team XXXX.
    C) The Brumbies will win the Super 14 Championship.
  5. P1) Jack is a teacher.
    P2) XXXX are overworked.
    C) Probably Jack is overworked.
  6. P1) She works hard, attends all the classes and brings gifts for the lecturer.
    P2) If you XXXX.
    C) Probably she will pass the course.
  7. P1) He won’t pass the course unless he works harder and attends all the classes.
    P2 ) XXXX working harder or attending all the classes.
    C) He won’t pass the course.
  8. P1) Either we take immediate UN-backed military action in Zimbabwe or there will be more unnecessary deaths.
    P2) XXXX to prevent unnecessary deaths.
    C) We should take immediate UN-backed military action in Zimbabwe.
  9. P1) If you don’t immunise your child, you put his and other children’s health at risk.
    P2) You should do XXXX.
    C) Probably you should immunise your child.
  10. P1) If you like Franz Ferdinand’s music, you’ll probably like Glasvegas.
    P2) XXXX.
    C) You’ll probably like Glasvegas.
  11. P1) If you like Glasvegas’ music, you probably won’t like Britney Spears’ music.
    P2) XXXX Britney Spears’music.
    C) Probably you don’t like Glasvegas’ music.
  12. P1) Unless you want to freeze your ears off, you should wear a hat when you go out in this weather.
    P2) XXXX freeze your ears off.
    C) You should wear a hat when you go out in this weather.
  13. P1) Governments committed to a free market are guilty of hypocrisy if they try to tell oil companies to drop their prices.
    P2) Mr Key’s Government is committed to a free market.
    P3) Mr Key’s Government XXXX.
    C) Mr Key’s Government is guilty of hypocrisy.
  14. P1) If the Dolphins beat the Patriots they will probably make the playoffs.
    P2) If XXXX.
    C) The Dolphins beat the Patriots, they will probably make it to the Super Bowl.
  15. P1) This school does not tolerate bullying and all bullies must be punished.
    P2) XXXX.
    C) Your daughter must be punished.
  16. P1) Strictly limiting the use of private vehicles to essential journeys could cut carbon emissions to 1996 levels.
    P2) XXXX to cut carbon emissions.
    C) We should strictly limit the use of private vehicles to essential journeys.
  17. P1) France produces more cheese than Switzerland.
    P2) Switzerland produces more cheese than Austria.
    P3) XXXX.
    C) France produces more cheese than Slovenia.
  18. P1) A world leader is only considered great if they have made a contribution to global peace.
    P2) XXXX.
    C) President Sabatini is not considered a great world leader.
  19. P1) The company will not negotiate until the trade unions call off the strike.
    P2) XXXX
    C) The company will not negotiate.
  20. P1) Whenever interest rates go down, the currency weakens.
    P2) Whenever the currency weakens, imported good become more expensive.
    P3) XXXXX.
    P4) Interest rates have gone down.
    C) Inflation will increase.

B

For each of the arguments in exercise A above, indicate whether or not they are prescriptive.

C

In list 1 there are ten conditionals, and in list 2 there are ten covering generalisations. Match the generalisations to the conditionals.

List 1
a) If he can hit a six on this wicket, he must be a talented batsman.
b) If you are deep-frying, you should take care not to let the oil boil over.
c) If you like Italian red wine, you’ll enjoy this fine Chianti.
d) If you drink too much coffee again, you’ll be awake all night.
e) If you post embarrassing photos on your Facebook page, be prepared for your employer to see them.
f) If you are travelling overseas, you need a valid passport and, where appropriate, a visa to enter the countries you plan to visit.
g) If that is a rattlesnake, then it is poisonous.
h) If your children like PlayStation, they would enjoy the playing games on a Wii.
i) If she’s a lawyer, she has earned at least one degree.
j) If it is sunny, you must wear a hat, a shirt, sunglasses and sunscreen when you are working outside.

List 2
i) When you are deep-frying you should always take care not to let the oil boil over.
ii) Anyone who posts embarrassing photos on their Facebook page should be prepared for their employer to see them.
iii) Anyone travelling overseas needs a valid passport and, where appropriate, a visa to enter the countries they plan to visit.
iv) Anyone who likes Italian red wine will enjoy this fine Chianti.
v) All rattlesnakes are poisonous.
vi) You must always wear a hat, a shirt, sunglasses and sunscreen when you are working outside.
vii) Anyone who can hit a six on this wicket must be a talented batsman.
viii) All lawyers have earned at least one degree.
ix) All children who like PlayStation also enjoy playing games on a Wii.
x) Every time you drink too much coffee, you’re awake all night.

D

For each of the following pairs of generalisations, indicate which has the narrowest scope.

  1. a) All blond, blue-eyed children have big ears.
    b) All blond children have blue eyes.
  2. a) All tabby cats like eating tuna fish.
    b) All cats like to be stroked.
  3. a) All French gentlemen are charming towards women.
    b) All French gentlemen of a certain age are charming towards women.
  4. a) We should reduce all unnecessary air travel.
    b) We should reduce all air travel.
  5. a) All fat is bad for your health.
    b) All fat is bad for your coronary health.
  6. a) Anyone who enjoys a good novel will enjoy the latest from Jessie Jones.
    b) Anyone who enjoys a good crime novel will enjoy the latest from Jessie Jones.
  7. a) Anyone who believes in global peace and justice will support this government’s actions.
    b) Any government supporter who believes in peace and justice will support this government’s actions.
  8. a) No artificially sweetened food is really good for your health.
    b) No sweet food is really good for your health.
  9. a) All of the seats for the concert are sold out.
    b) All of the box seats for the concert are sold out.
  10. a) All gullible young children believe in magic.
    b) All young children believe in magic.

E

The arguments below all contain either extraneous material or one or more irrelevant propositions. For each argument indicate whether it contains extraneous material or one or more irrelevant propositions. If the argument contains extraneous material which material is extraneous? If the argument contains one or more irrelevant propositions, which are irrelevant?

1. Donkeys make awful noises, and they smell nasty. They don't do anything useful, and it's a lot of work to look after them. I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this. These facts make it clear that the world would be a better place if it didn't have donkeys in it. And did I mention the noises and the smells?

2. Missing your bus stop can sometimes be a good thing. The other day I missed my stop on the bus and had to get off a stop late. To make matters worse, it was cold and windy. Imagine my surprise as I walked back towards my house when a £20 note flew right into me!

3. If there really were yetis living in the Himalayas, there would be scientifically acceptable evidence available to prove their existence. People have offered skins, footprints, photographs, and so on as evidence that yetis exist. But all these things can be explained away as pieces of bear skin, melted human footprints, and so forth. Added to this is the fact that the name 'Abominable Snowman' was made up by a journalist in 1921, long after the first references to yetis reached the West. So, put plainly, there are no yetis in the Himalayas.

4. I can't believe I'm having to say this, but, for some reason, people just don't seem to get it. Just because meteorologists sometimes forecast the wrong weather for tomorrow (or the day after, or next week) doesn't mean that we shouldn't listen to what they say about global warming in the long term. It drives me nuts when people put forward that sort of argument! If I flip a coin then I don't know whether it's going to land heads or tails. But if I flip a million coins, I can be very confident that I'll get about the same number of heads as of tails.

5. The water is turned on, and the pipe isn't damaged. So my guess would be that the pump doesn't work because the vandals took the handle. Why on Earth they want a pump handle I do not know.

6. If we don't stop people from swimming with sharks, then the sharks will become comfortable being around people. And what does that mean? Well it's clear, isn't it? It means that the sharks will be more likely to attack people. And we all know what that means: more dead people! Nobody wants to be shark sandwich, so it's pretty clear what we should do.

7. It's clear that the British public should vote for the Green Party at the next election. The Green's environmental policies will allow Britain to go green without sacrificing the economy. Furthermore, the Greens had little influence on government over the last decade.

8. If we paint the house ourselves, it will be time consuming and hard work. And if we get someone else to do it, it will be expensive. Added to that, the garden will need doing next year. But the painting needs to be done. So which should we choose: time consuming and hard work, or expensive?

9. The animal I saw in the garden last night was too small to be a dog. It was lying on the grass near the tree. It didn't have a tail, and most cats have tails. We rarely get foxes around here, so the animal I saw probably wasn't a cat, a dog, or a fox.

10. The most important feature of air displacement pipettes is their accuracy. The 'MiniSquirt' air displacement pipette from Medtools is the most accurate micropipette on the market. It is available in white, purple, and stylish black. So, if you need an accurate air displacement pipette, you should get a 'MiniSquirt.'

 

F

Put the arguments given in E into standard form. You may need to make implicit premise(s) and/or conclusion(s) explicit to do this.

 

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