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Precise and Imprecise Thinking

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Presentation on theme: "Precise and Imprecise Thinking"— Presentation transcript:

1 Precise and Imprecise Thinking

2 The situation: Your best friend informs you that he saw your girlfriend/boyfriend getting a massage from another person before class today. Should you be upset?

3 Ambiguity A word, phrase, or sentence is ambiguous when it has more than one meaning. Semantic Ambiguity: Not clear what the words mean.

4 Semantic Ambiguity Prostitutes appeal to pope.
Kids make nutritious snacks. Panda mating fails; veterinarian to take over. I can assure you that no person would be better for the job.

5 Syntactic and Pronoun Ambiguity
A claim has more than one meaning because of its structure/syntax. Juvenile court to try shooting defendant. Complaints about NBA referees growing ugly. 2 sisters reunited after 18 years at checkout counter. Man eating piranha mistakenly sold as pet fish. Grandmother of eight makes hole in one.

6 Fallacy of Division Assuming that what is true of the whole is true of its parts. CR students, compared to students at other California community colleges, are less likely to earn their degrees. Therefore, you are less likely that other Calif. CC students to earn your degree. Toyotas are the most reliable automobiles. Therefore, your Toyota is reliable.

7 Fallacy of Composition
Assuming that the group has the same properties as the individual members of the group. A tiger eats more food than a human being. Therefore, tigers eat more of the world’s food than human beings. Every individual existing thing in the universe had a cause. Therefore, the universe of things had a cause.

8 Exercise 3-8 The Raider tackle threw a block at the Giants linebacker.
Please close the door behind you. We heard that he informed you of what he said in his letter. “How Therapy Can Help Torture Victims.” Charles drew his gun.

9 6. They were both exposed to someone who was ill a week ago. 7
6. They were both exposed to someone who was ill a week ago. 7. Chelsea has Hillary’s nose. 8. I flush the cooling system regularly and just put in new thermostats. 9. “Tuxedos Cut Ridiculously.” 10. “Police Kill 6 Coyotes After Mauling of Girl.”

10 11. “We promise nothing.” 12. A former governor of California, Pat Brown, viewing an area struck by a flood, is said to have remarked, “This is the greatest disaster since I was elected governor.” 13. “Besides Lyme’s disease, two other tick-borne diseases, babesiosis and HE, are infecting Americans in 30 states, according to recent studies. A single tick can infect people with more than one disease.” 14. “Don’t freeze your can at the game.” 15. Volunteer help requested: Come prepared to lift heavy equipment with construction helmet and work overalls.

11 16. “GE: We bring good things to life. ” 17
16. “GE: We bring good things to life.” 17. “Tropicana 100% Pure Florida Squeezed Orange Juice. You can’t pick a better juice.” 18. “It’s biodegradable! So remember, Arm and Hammer laundry detergent gets your wash as clean as can be [pause] without polluting our waters.” 19. If you crave the taste of real German beer, nothing is better than Dunkelbrau. 20. Independent laboratory tests prove that Houndstooth cleanser gets your bathroom cleaner than any other product.

12 21. We’re going to look at lots this afternoon. 22
21. We’re going to look at lots this afternoon. 22. Jordan could write more profound essays. 23. “Two million times a day Americans love to eat Rice-a-Roni, the San Francisco treat. 24. “New York’s first commercial human sperm-bank opened Friday with semen samples from 18 men frozen in a stainless steel tank.” 25. She was disturbed when she lay down to nap by a noisy cow.

13 26. “More than half of expectant mothers suffer heartburn
26. “More than half of expectant mothers suffer heartburn. To minimize symptoms, suggests Donald O. Castell, M.D., of the Graduate Hospital in Philadelphia, avoid big, high-fat meals and don’t lie down for three hours after eating.” 27. “Abraham Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg address while traveling from Washington to Gettysburg on the back of an envelope.” 28. “When Queen Elizabeth exposed herself before her troops, they all shouted ‘hurrah.” 29. “In one of Shakespeare's famous plays, Hamlet relieves himself in a long soliloquy.” 30. The two suspects fled the area before the officers’ arrival in a white Ford Mustang, being driven by a third male.

14 31. “AT&T, for the life of your business. ” 32
31. “AT&T, for the life of your business.” 32. The teacher of this class might have been a member of the opposite sex. 33. “Woman gets 9 years for killing 11th husband.” 34. “Average hospital costs are now an unprecedented $2, per day in California. Many primary plans don’t pay 20% of that amount.” 35. “I am a huge Mustang fan.”

15 36. “Visitors are expected to complain at the office between the hours of 9:00am and 11:00am daily.” 37. “Order your summers suit. Because is big rush we will execute customers in strict rotations.” 38. “Please do not feed the animals. If you have any suitable food, give it to the guard on duty.” 39. “Our wines leave you with nothing to hope for.” 40. “Our promise—Good for Life.” 41. Thinking clearly involves hard work. 42. “Cadillac—Break Through.”

16 Horoscopes Can you find examples of vagueness, ambiguity, over generalization, or fallacies of division or composition? How seriously should we take horoscopes?

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