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Analyzing Arguments - Essay Example

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One could conclude that this is an example of a Post hoc ergo propter hoc as exemplified in chapter 11 of our textbook. The reasoning behind this is…
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Analyzing Arguments
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Analyzing Arguments The purpose of this paper is to provide analysis on the following three ments based on information from chapters 10 and 11.
1.· All college students are required to take a Humanities class.
· Critical Thinking is a Humanities class.
· All college students take Critical Thinking.
In this example, the first premise is that all students must take a humanities class
The next premise is that critical thinking is a humanities class
The conclusion is that college students must take critical thinking.
In this circumstance the argumentation could be described as utilizing deductive reasoning but it represents a logical fallacy. One could conclude that this is an example of a Post hoc ergo propter hoc as exemplified in chapter 11 of our textbook. The reasoning behind this is that, although all students MUST take a humanities class, and critical thinking is a humanities class, then students MUST take critical thinking. However what is not explained is that one could assume that there is a plethora of different humanities courses that do not incorporate critical thinking. As such students dont necessarily take critical thinking. Based on this reasoning I believe the argument is invalid
2.· All college students study.
· Henry is a college student.
· Therefore, Henry studies.
The first premise is that all students study
the second premise is that Henry is a college student
The conclusion is that Henry is a college student.
This is an example of a deductive argument because it products a “right or wrong answer. The logic is sound in this example insofar as all the premises seem to be true (Or at least seem to be true). Although I would make the argument that there is a degree of a non sequitur. The reasoning behind this is that although supposedly “All college students study” one could argue that this is not true and it is for this reason that many college students are expelled. So based on this premise and information provided in chapter ten of our book the argument is invalid.
3.· All college students attend class.
· John attends class.
· Therefore, John is a college student.
The first premise is that all college students attend class
The second premise is that John attends class
the conclusion is that John is a college student.
This again is an example of deductive reasoning because it does not pull on some degree of probability. However there is a problem with all of the assumptions in that one could argue that all college students do not necessarily attend class (For example distance education students). In the second premise, although it is the case that John attends class he does not necessarily attend college class. Based on these premises being weak I believe that the conclusion is weak and as such the argument is valid but very weak.
References
Chaffee, J. (2009) Thinking Critically, 9th Edition. City University of New York. Chapter 10 & 11 online reading resources available at http://college.cengage.com/english/chaffee/thinking_critically/9e/chapters/chapter10.htm and http://college.cengage.com/english/chaffee/thinking_critically/9e/chapters/chapter11.html Accessed on August 13th 2011. Read More
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