CriticalThinking Tutorial 10 Overheads

CriticalThinking Tutorial 10 Overheads

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1 Chapter 8: Assessing Adequacy1.1 The Criterion of AdequacyThe main things to look out for:1. Strength of the conclusion.2. Strength (of support) of the premises.3. Consequences of the conclusion being false1.2 Appeals to Authority (II)Hughes provides five criteria for an adequate appeal to authority:1. The authority must be identified.2. The authority must be generally recognized by the experts in the field.3. The particular matter in support of which an authority is cited must liewithin his or her field of expertise.4. The field must be one in which there is genuine knowledge.5. There should be consensus among the experts in the field regarding the par-tucular matter in support of which the authority is cited.1.3 Analogical ReasoningIn any argument that uses an analogy one draws an inference about some unkownproperty of some thing A based on a similar property of a thing B and an analogybetween B and A.What to look out for:1. Relevant similarities2. Relevant dissimilaritiesAn analogy fails if there are too few relavent similarities and an any (or signifi-cantly) relevant dissimilarities.1Consider the following example:Giving fathers a period of paid leave when their wives give birth wouldnot be prohibitively expensive. In Sweeden, where such a policy hasbeen in effect for more than a decade, only 12% of Sweedish men takethe leave.What are the relevant similarities? What might be relevant dissimilarities? Is theanalogy strong enough to get you ...

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1 Chapter8: AssessingAdequacy 1.1 TheCriterion of Adequacy The main things to look out for: 1. Strengthof the conclusion. 2. Strength(of support) of the premises. 3. Consequencesof the conclusion being false
1.2 Appealsto Authority (II) Hughes provides five criteria for an adequate appeal to authority: 1. Theauthority must be identified. 2. Theauthority must be generally recognized by the experts in the field. 3. The particular matter in support of which an authority is cited must lie within his or her field of expertise. 4. Thefield must be one in which there is genuine knowledge. 5. Thereshould be consensus among the experts in the field regarding the par-tucular matter in support of which the authority is cited.
1.3 AnalogicalReasoning In any argument that uses an analogy one draws an inference about some unkown property of some thing A based on a similar property of a thing B and an analogy between B and A.
What to look out for: 1. Relevantsimilarities 2. Relevantdissimilarities An analogy fails if there are too few relavent similarities and an any (or signifi-cantly) relevant dissimilarities.
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Consider the following example: Giving fathers a period of paid leave when their wives give birth would not be prohibitively expensive.In Sweeden, where such a policy has been in effect for more than a decade, only 12% of Sweedish men take the leave. What are the relevant similarities?What might be relevant dissimilarities?Is the analogy strong enough to get you the conclusion?
1.4 Appealsto Ignorance An appeal to ignorance can only be relevant with additional information, such as evidence that the conclusion is true and/or evidence that attempts to establish teh falsity of the conclusion have failed.
1.5 TheSlippery Slope Fallacy We are not entitled to conclude from a chain of probable inferences A will probably lead to B; B will probably lead to C; C will probably lead to D; D will probably lead to E; E will probably lead to F that ‘A will probably lead to F’. Why? The probabilities of the inferences muliply when combined, and so if one inference has a low probability it significantly reduces the prob-ability of the conclusion.
1.6 CausalFallacies 1.6.1 PostHoc Just because event E2follows event E1, it does not mean that E1causes E2. Here is an example: In Aesop’s fable the rooster reasoned as follows:Every morning without fail, the sun rises just a few minutes after I start crowing.I must be the greatest creature in the world since I cause the sun to rise every day.
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1.6.2 ConfusingCause and Effect Cause and effect always occur together and so sometimes it may be difficult to distinguish the effect and the cause.The fallacy ofconfusing cause and effectis committed if the causal direction is the wrong way around.Here is an example: Almost everyone who dies seems to die in a hospital.Hospitals really are dangerous places.
1.6.3 CommonCause The fallacy ofcommon causeis committed if it is claimed that there is a causal relationship between events E1and E2when in fact both E1and E2are caused by some eventC. Hereis an example: Recent studies have shown that people who are commonly regarded as being successful have much larger vocabularies than average.This is no accident.Having an extensive vocabulary is an important factor in producing success.
1.7 Questionsfor Discussion Determine whether the following are empirical or non-empirical claims: 1. Christiansbelieve that the Bible is the word of God. 2. The humanrace was not created by God but evolved from lower forms of life. 3. Youshould apologize to Miss Rothwell as soon as possible. 4. Scienceexplains why things happen Identify the nature of the weakness in the following arguments: 1. There is no such thing as an unselfish act.If you examine any so-called unselfish act, such as donating money to charity, you will always find that there is a selfish motive.There has to be, for nobody can do anything unless they think that it will give them some kind of satisfaction.Seeking self-satisfaction is the only reason why anyone does anything.So every act is selfish.
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2. Inhis bookUtilitarianism, John Stuart Mill defends the view that the ul-timate test of right and wrong is the greatest happiness principle.This principle states that we should always seek to promote the general happi-ness, which he defines as the greatest happiness of the greatest number of people. Toshow that this principle is true, Mill argues as follows:Each per-son’s happiness is a good to that person.Therefore the general happiness is a good to the aggregate of all persons. Each of the following arguments relies on a premise that might be regarded as irrelevant. Identifythe offending premise and suggest an argument that shows that it is irrelevant. 1. Thereare no absolute values,i.e., no values that are valid for all times and all places.To see this you only have to look at the wide variety of values that have been held by other societies and at earlier times in our history.Pick any value you like:there will be some socitey somewhere that has rejected it. Yousimply cannot find a value that has been valid at all times and all places. 2. Thereare few people that believe that prostitution is morally acceptable, but in fact it is immoral behaviour.It is contrary to the accepted standards of our community as reflected in public opinion and in the legal system.The vast majority of Canadians strongly believe that prostitution is immoral and therfore quite properly reject any proposal to legalize prostitution. Comment on the strengths and weaknesses of the following arguments: 1. Perhapswe cannot know for certain that many animals feel pain, but there are three reasons for holding that they do.First, they exhibit behaviours that in humnas is invariably associated with feeling pain.Second, they have a central nervous system that is similar to humans’.And third, the ability to feel pain would have the same kind of evolutionary advantage for many animas that it does for humans. 2. Athleteswho earn multi-million dollar salaries deserve them.Those who are so critical of these “astronomical” salaries conveniently overlook two reasons that make such salaries entirely justified.First, these athletes are superemely talented. Theyare able to perform better than almost everyone else, includ-ing most other athletes.Second, they have only a few short years to make their fortune, since in most cases they will have reitred from professional 4
sport by their mid-thirties.To compare their salaries with what most people earn you would have to spread atheletes’ million-dollar salaries out over forty years to make the comparison fair.
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