6 ArgumentsCritical Thinking is concerned with recognizing, understanding, constructing, and critically evaluating arguments.So… What’s an Argument?Also, what statements are Non-Arguments?And, what statements are fallacious arguments?
7 Argument A claim defended with reason. It is not a “heated debate” That something should be done (or not done)That something is true (or false)etc.It is not a “heateddebate”
8 ArgumentsAll arguments follow a common structure or pattern: they are composed of one or more premises and a conclusion.Premise: a statement offered as evidence or reasons to support another statement (the conclusion)Conclusion: the statement in an argument that represents the claim we want to have others accept or believe.
9 ArgumentsThe critical thinker should always strive to make clear and sound arguments.Properly structuredAll relevant premises are includedConclusion is logically connectedThe critical thinker should also evaluate arguments presented to him/her with the same rigorous standards.
10 Argument ExampleCapital Punishment should be abolished because innocent people may be mistakenly executed.Premise: Innocent people may be executed by mistakeConclusion: Capital punishment should be avoided.
11 Arguments How to recognize Argument? Look for Indicator Words Conclusion IW: therefore, consequently, thus, hence, it follows that, etc.Premise IW: because, since, for, as, given that, in as much, etc.! Caution: These are generalities, not rules
12 Arguments Examples of IW in non arguments: “I stepped on the brake because a dog ran in front of the car”I ran into a tree with the car, hence the broken windshield
13 Non Arguments What types of statements are not an argument? ReportsConvey information on a subjectUnsupported assertionsIndicate a belief without providing evidenceConditional statementsIf A is true then B must be trueIllustrationsProvide examples of a claim rather than evidenceExplanationsAttempt to explain why rather than prove that “it is”.None of these statements tries to prove a claimNONE tries to prove a claimAsk for examples from the class…
14 Non-Argument Examples Ford Mustangs come in a variety of colors and engine size including the powerful V8Most people believe in GodIf it rains tomorrow, the parade will be cancelledMany wildflowers are edible. For example, daisies, and day lilies are delicious in saladsTitanic sank because it struck an iceberg.
15 Logical FallacyFallacy: An argument that contains a mistake in reasoningTwo major typesFallacies of RelevanceFallacies of Insufficient Evidence
16 Fallacy of RelevanceArguments in which the premises are logically irrelevant (not connected) to the conclusionA statement is relevant to another statement if it provides at least some reason for thinking that second statement is:True (i.e. positively relevant)False (i.e. negatively relevant)Otherwise, they are be irrelevant to each other.
17 Fallacies of Relevance Types Personal attack (Ad hominem)Attacking the motiveLook who is talking (tu quoque)Two wrongs make a rightScare tacticsAppeal to pityBandwagon argumentStraw manRed HerringEquivocationBegging the question
18 Fallacies of Insufficient Evidence Arguments in which the premises, though logically relevant to the conclusion, fail to provide sufficient evidence to support the conclusion.
19 Fallacies of Evidence Types Inappropriate appeal to authorityAppeal to ignoranceFalse alternativesLoaded questionQuestionable causeHasty generalizationSlippery slopeWeak AnalogyInconsistency
21 Class Activity Let’s play Jeopardy. Name that fallacy (What is …) Get into TeamsIdentify the fallacies of relevance committed in the following passages. If no fallacy is committed, state “no fallacy.”The team with the most correct answers wins.
22 Jeopardy Paul was inebriated. It follows that he was drunk. It would be unwise to appoint Pete Dobson as superintendent of schools. Mr. Dobson has twice been convicted of child endangerment and he was recently charged with embezzlement.In a recent issue of Stogey magazine, Julio Fumar argues that Honduran cigars are better than Cuban cigars. But Fumar’s argument isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. Fumar is biased against Cuba because the Castro regime imprisoned his parents.Ricky Henderson, the Hall of Fame baseball player, stole many bases. Stealing is a crime. So, Ricky Henderson committed many crimes.
23 JeopardyBruno: I’m sure that you will want to buy my company’s fire-detection system for your business.Sam: I don’t think so. One of your competitors offers the same level of protection for less money.Bruno: Well, as they say, it’s a free country. But before you make a final decision, keep this in mind: Every business that decided not to buy our system was very quickly plagued with fires and other acts of vandalism.Tom: I can lick you.Huck: What makes you think you can lick me?Tom: Because I’m tougher than you are.Huck: What makes you think you’re tougher than I am?Tom: Because I can lick you.Billy-Ray Hoggerty’s book Stoned in Muskogee should be awarded this year’s Pulitzer Prize for literature. Billy-Ray, as you know, recently lost both his parents, and his favorite coon-dog got run over by a hay-bailer.Mom: Annie, did you break your brother’s model airplane?Annie: Well, he put chewing gum in my dolly’s hair.
24 Jeopardy9. All the cool kids at Oaktree Elementary School drink Fizzy soda pop. So you should too.10. Sneaker City has accused our company of exploitative labor practices. But Sneaker City’s labor practices are much more exploitative than ours are. I happen to know they regularly employ children as young as nine in their overseas factories. Clearly, these accusations are groundless.11. Sandy Beach has argued for bilingual education. But who is Sandy Beach? Is she a trained educator? No, she’s a high school dropout who once served time for drug possession. Her argument, therefore, is worthless.12. Dipsy O’Neill has recently argued that drinking a little red wine with dinner is good for one’s health. But no one should accept O’Neill’s argument. O’Neill, as you know, is the owner of O’Neill’s Wines and Spirits. Naturally she’d love to see people buy more wine.
25 Jeopardy13. Police officer: Sir, if you don’t put your clothes on and stop screaming obscenities in public, I’ll be forced to arrest you for disorderly conduct.Drunk N. Disorderly: Blank you, you blankety-blank!Police officer: That does it. You’re going to jail.14. In a recent judicial decision, District Court Judge Lemuel Featherstone argued that bazookas and flamethrowers are not protected by the Second Amendment. Apparently, Judge Featherstone believes that the U.S. Constitution is obsolete and should be repealed by judicial fiat. But the rights protected in the Constitution lie at the very core of America’s values and traditions. All true Americans must hope that Judge Featherstone’s ruling is swiftly overturned.15. Everybody is reading Joey Potboiler’s new novel, Fighting Vixens of Cell Block D. It must be good.16. We can never be justified in believing that a miracle has occurred, for proof of a miracle requires very strong evidence. But the only evidence we have is the testimony of witnesses; and their testimony is worthless because they believe in such preposterous things as miracles.
26 Jeopardy17. Almost all members of the U.S. Congress are opposed to term limits. Well, naturally they are opposed! They do not want to be barred from being returned to office as long as they care to run. But since they are the beneficiaries of the status quo, their arguments against term limits can be dismissed as so much self-serving drivel.18. Professor Stanton M. Buttersworth conducted extensive and long-term studies of the television-watching habits of school children. On the basis of these studies, Professor Buttersworth has concluded that children who watch more than two hours of television a day do not perform as well in school as those who watch less than two hours a day. But Professor Buttersworth must be wrong about that. Television is a source of news, entertainment, and information—and all for an extremely modest cost. Life would be much less interesting without television.19. Dad, I can’t believe you won’t let me get “I Love Spike” tattooed on my left buttock. After all, I’m sixteen years old, and you told me you and Mom both got your first tattoo when you were sixteen.20. Many new software programs have bugs in them. Bugs are insects. So, many new software programs have insects in them.
27 Jeopardy21. Ferdie: You shouldn’t step in the bucket when you swing that baseball bat. You lose all your power that way.Casey: What would you know about baseball, squirt? A scrawny geek like you couldn’t hit a baseball if it was sitting on a tee. Why don’t you go play with your pocket calculator or something?22. Bob: I notice you drink a lot of coffee in Styrofoam cups. Each year Americans throw away 25 billion Styrofoam cups, and they’re not biodegradable. Have you ever considered switching to a reusable coffee mug?Joan: Don’t give me that! If you’re so keen on saving the earth, why don’t you recycle all those aluminum cans you drink from?23. Teacher: Diana’s mother called the other day and complained about the three hours of homework Diana is required to do each night. Apparently, Diana’s mother believes that schoolchildren should spend all their time talking on the phone, surfing the Net, and hanging out at the mall. Some parents can be so unreasonable.24. David Trimble has argued that it’s more expensive to live in New York than it is to live in Chicago. But New York is a great place to live. It has great restaurants, museums, and nightspots. I just don’t buy David’s argument at all.
28 25. Mo: Tiger Woods, the professional golfer, must be an animal hater. Curly: Why do you say that?Mo: He’s shot a lot of birdies in his career, hasn’t he?Curly: Sure.Mo: Well, anyone who would shoot a defenseless little birdie must be an animal hater.
29 Answers to Fallacies of Relevance 1. begging the question 2. no fallacy 3. attacking the motive 4. equivocation 5. appeal to force 6. begging the question 7. appeal to pity 8. two wrongs make a right 9. bandwagon argument10. look who’s talking11. personal attack12. attacking the motive13. no fallacy14. straw man15. bandwagon argument16. begging the question17. attacking the motive18. red herring19. look who’s talking; possible weak analogy20. equivocation21. personal attack22. look who’s talking23. straw man24. red herring25. equivocation
30 More JeopardyIdentify the fallacies of insufficient evidence committed in the following passages. If no fallacy is committed, state “no fallacy.”
31 Jeopardy1. Giving half your money to charity is either morally obligatory or morally prohibited. But giving half your money to charity is not morally prohibited. In fact, it would be highly praiseworthy. Therefore, giving half your money to charity is morally obligatory.2. IRS agent: Mr. Peckinsniff, there is nothing in these documents that proves that you haven’t been cheating on your taxes. Therefore, I must assume that you have been cheating on your taxes.Kids play too many video games. That’s why there’s so much juvenile crime today.4. The famous novelist Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World and other great works of fiction, held that near-sightedness can be corrected by eye exercises. Given the opinion of so eminent a person as Huxley, we may be confident that near-sightedness can indeed be corrected by eye exercises.
32 JeopardyFrom a student Dear Professor Lott: I can’t believe you took off points from my paper because it contained numerous spelling errors. You sea, I always spell-check whatever I right, so I no my writings contain know spelling errors.Legislators in Texas want to make it a criminal offense for citizens not to use seat belts when they drive. Mark my words: If they get away with this, it won’t be long before they ban beer drinking and cigarette smoking. Then they will restrict our intake of cholesterol, perhaps setting up cholesterol testing sites along major highways. We must not let this infringement of our liberties get started, or there will be no stopping it.No one objects to a lawyer looking up a legal case during a trial. Why, then, shouldn’t students be permitted to look up an answer during an exam?8. Most Hollywood movie stars believe in reincarnation. I know because I heard it on the Jerry Springer show.
33 Jeopardy 9. Herbie: Are you still reading that wacky New Age magazine? Alice: Yes.Herbie: Well, at least you admit it’s wacky.10. Either you favor unrestricted abortion on demand or you favor a constitutional amendment banning all abortions. I know you don’t favor unrestricted abortion on demand. Therefore, you favor a constitutional amendment banning all abortions.11. It rains a lot in San Diego during the summer. I know because I spent two weekends in San Diego last summer, and both times it rained like cats and dogs.12. An extensive, diligent search of the zoo failed to find any trace of the missing gorilla. Therefore, the gorilla probably isn’t in the zoo. It must have escaped.
34 Jeopardy13. Billy, I know you want to go to school today, but you have the flu and you should stay home. If you go to school, you might give the flu to some of your friends and classmates. They, in turn, might give it to their friends and classmates. Eventually, the flu might spread throughout the school.14. Green tea is leafy, green, aromatic, and tastes great as an iced or hot beverage.Marijuana is also leafy, green, and aromatic. Therefore, marijuana tastes great as an iced or hot beverage too.15. All workers deserve to be treated with respect and paid a decent wage. That’s why I pay all the employees at my chicken processing plant at least a nickel above the minimum wage and give them a half-day off for Christmas and Easter.16. Professor Gene Poole, the distinguished microbiologist, has argued that using animals in medical and scientific experiments is morally wrong. Given Professor Poole’s impressive credentials, we should conclude that using animals in medical and scientific experiments is morally wrong.
35 Jeopardy17.Immediately after the governor spoke at the outdoor rally, a bolt of lightning struck City Hall, injuring several people. For the safety of all the residents of this city, it is imperative that the governor not be asked to speak here again.18.Two years ago I drank a Pond Water Lite beer, and the beer was watery and tasteless. Six months ago I drank a Pond Water Lite beer, and the beer was watery and tasteless. Two weeks ago I drank a Pond Water Lite beer, and the beer was watery and tasteless. I guess all Pond Water Lite beers are watery and tasteless.19.Tabloid headline: UFOs: Extraterrestrials or Demons?20. No one has proved that the lost continent of Atlantis doesn’t exist. Therefore, the lost continent of Atlantis probably does exist.
36 Jeopardy21. Your accusation that I am verbose, voluble, long winded, and loquacious is completely unfounded. I’ve never uttered a sentence in my life that contained more than twelve words.22. Ninety-year-old Bill Tucker has asked that he be released from prison because he is old, infirm, and dying of brain cancer. Unfortunately, Mr. Tucker’s request will have to be denied. If we release Mr. Tucker, we would have to release prisoners that are even less deserving than he is. Eventually, any prisoner with a hangnail or a stubbed toe could successfully petition for early release.23. Every time I’ve gone to the concession stand for a beer the basketball team has gone on a scoring streak. Hmm, two minutes to go and the team is trailing by six. I guess it’s about time for a beer.24. On Monday I wore my favorite blue jeans, my homemade skunk-oil hair tonic, and was turned down by Angie for a date. On Tuesday I wore my favorite blue jeans, my homemade skunk-oil hair tonic, and was turned down by Hazel for a date. On Friday I wore my favorite blue jeans, my homemade skunk-oil hair tonic, and was turned down by Iris for a date. I guess if I want a date, I’m going to have to stop wearing my favorite blue jeans.
37 Jeopardy25. My wife is blonde, attractive, and appreciates it when I give her sexy lingerie for Valentine’s Day. My secretary is also blonde and attractive. Therefore, she would appreciate it if I gave her sexy lingerie for Valentine’s Day.
38 Answers to Fallacies of Insufficient Evidence 1. false alternatives2. appeal to ignorance3. questionable cause4. inappropriate appeal to authority5. inconsistency6. slippery slope7. weak analogy8. inappropriate appeal to authority9. loaded question10. false alternatives11. hasty generalization12. no fallacy13. no fallacy14. weak analogy15. inconsistency16. inappropriate appeal to authority17. questionable cause18. no fallacy19. no fallacy (no argument is given)20. appeal to ignorance21. inconsistency22. slippery slope23. questionable cause24. questionable cause25. weak analogy
39 Problem Identification & Formulation (Back to the Main topic for tonight)
40 Problem Identification & Formulation The Nature of Decisions & Problems involves known phases:Trigger eventAppraisal (Framing)ExplorationDeveloping alternative perspectivesIntegrationLike any process, CT process has a predictable set of steps or phasesTrigger: a problem we have to solve, or an argument we are asked to accept, etcAppraisal: Initial test to assess the merits of the information given: is it a fallacy or a well formed argumentExploration: evaluation of the information to assess truth ness of falsenessDeveloping Alternative perspectives: this is where we formulate alternative that are consistent with our beliefsIntegration: we formulate our decision, take action
41 Problem Identification & Formulation Trigger PointsPositive (Opportunity)Negative (Problem)
42 Problem Identification & Formulation Appraisal: What is the problemProblem vs. opportunityClearly defined vs. ill definedFraming the ProblemIdentify the ProblemDefine the ObjectiveDefine the GoalsDefine the CriteriaEvaluate the Effects of the Problem
43 Problem Identification & Formulation Problem FormulationForces of InfluenceContextual FactorsUrgencyImportanceIndividual vs. GroupPersonal AttributesThinking StylesStakeholdersStakeholders InterestCollective Perception
44 Problem Identification & Formulation Problem FormulationComparative MethodsTool ExamplesFinancial ReportsProcess Control ChartsTechnique ExamplesBrainstormingAffinity DiagramFishbone Diagram
45 Problem Identification & Formulation Problem StatementsFormulate an Effective Problem StatementClearConciseMeasurableComprehensive
46 Next Week… Decision Making Tools & Techniques Comparative Methods Subjectivity vs. ObjectivityComparative Methods
47 Next Week ReadingsReading: Interpersonal Skills in Organizations: chapter 19Reading: Decision Analysis: chapter 2, 6Reading: Articles for week 3Review: Venn diagram exampleReview: Problem Solving Tools and Techniques List
48 Next Week Individual Assignment Complete “Thinking Critically” Simulationlink on eResource week 5 materialTools and Techniques Paper:Prepare a 1,050-1,400-word paper discussing a decision-making tool or technique as described on the course website or another site on the Internet. Make sure your discussion includes a description of the tool or technique as well as an application example from external sources or from your workplace experiences. Explain when one would and when one would not use the tool/technique. Within a Learning Team ensure that two people do not choose the same tool or technique.
49 Next Week Team Assignment Part II: Problem Analysis Paper: Prepare a 700-1,050-word paper in which you frame the problem you selected in Learning Team Meeting One. In the paper, include a clear and concise problem statement and address the following:How did you become aware that there was a problem?What goals, objectives, and tools/techniques did you use to frame the problem?What effects does this problem have on the organization?To what extent can this problem be solved?What are the causes and forces of influence?What measurements can be made to determine when the problem is solved?Define the criteria for measuring a successful outcome.What alternative solutions can be identified?
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