1. What does it mean to ‘accept’ a premise?
2. How does a reductio ad absurdum work (logically speaking)?
3. What does it mean for a theory/explanation to be simple?
4. How do you show an argument is invalid by parity of reasoning?
5. What’s the difference between a substantial and non-substantial criticism of a premise?
6. Why does an inductive argument with a weak conclusion make the argument itself stronger?
7. We discussed two types of statistical arguments. Name them.
8. Name 2 criteria we use in evaluating the strengths/weaknesses of an abductive argument.
9. For a conditional of the form, “If X, then Y”, name what’s the sufficient condition for what and what’s the necessary condition for what.
10. What’s the difference between functional and procedural explanations?
Determine what kind of argument it is and evaluate its strengths and weaknesses.
1. Australia has suffered from several very serious droughts recently. Not too long ago, a series of droughts like this was unheard of. That was before Australia adopted daylight saving time. Now, Australia is on daylight saving time six months out of the year. The Extra hour of sunlight is slowly evaporating all of the moisture in Australia, leading to nearly perpetual drought. The government needs to abolish daylight saving time, since it’s causing such terrible droughts.
2. At the University of Prestige, psychiatrists conducted a study to determine the social factors that affect the well-being of coronary patients. There were 93 patients in the study; slightly more than 50 percent of them had bets of some kind (dogs, cats, fish, and one iguana). At the end of the year one-third of the patients who did not own pets had died, but only three animal owners had succumbed. The psychiatrists concluded that pet ownership may have a positive effect on the health of humans.
3. An investigator at Fanciepahnts Science Institute studied several thousand heroin users and learned that 70 percent of them had used marijuana before they tried heroin. He concludes that roughly 70 percent of all marijuana users will go on to try heroin.
4. Taxation of earnings from labor is on part with forced labor. Some persons find this claim obviously true: taking the earnings of n hours labor is like taking n hours from that person; it is like forcing the person to work n hours for another’s purpose. So, taxation from earnings is wrong.
5. The simplest form of the theological argument from design was once well known under the name “Paley’s Watch”. Paley’s form of it was just this: “If we found by chance a watch or other piece of intricate mechanism we should infer that it had been made by someone. But all around us we do find intricate pieces of natural mechanism, and the processes of the universe are seen to move together in complex relations; we should therefore infer that these too have a Maker—i.e. God.
1. The sharp increase in the death rate in ancient Antioch, in the year 364 CE, has been ascribed to many factors: to famine, to an influx of disease brought by soldiers returning from the Persian campaign, and to problems with the city’s water supply. It was probably the water supply: if it were food shortages, it would be unlikely that both no contemporary historian would mention it an that there would be no record of similar sufferings in the lesser towns of the area or the surrounding countryside. And if the soldiers had contracted disease in Mesopotamia, then, since they were seriously weakened by hunger and the strain of a long and arduous campaign, they would have died of disease in significant numbers. In such circumstances it is certain that Ammanius, and eyewitness, would have recorded those fatalities—so cruel after the humiliations and losses the soldiers had endured in battle—in his history. But he is silent on the point.
2. It is very unlikely that research using animals will be unnecessary or poorly done. Before an experiment using a vertebrate animal is carried out, the protocol for that experiment must be reviewed by an institutional committee that includes a veterinarian and a member of the public, and during the research the animal’s health and care are monitored regularly. Researchers need healthy animals for study in science and medicine, because unhealthy animals could lead to erroneous results. This is a powerful incentive for scientists to make certain that any animals they use are healthy and well nourished. Furthermore, research involving animals is expensive, and because funding is limited in science, only high-quality research is able to compete effectively for support.
Do the same thing as in Section III for the following argument. You can’t lose points, you can only gain them (so it’s in your best interest to do this no matter what).
Whatever is, is in God. But God cannot be called a contingent thing, for He exists necessarily and not contingently. Moreover, the modes of the divine nature [the creatures which depend on, or have been created by, God immediately] have followed from it necessarily and not contingently. But God is the cause of these modes not only in so far as they simply exist, but also in so far as they are considered as determined to any action. If they are not determined by God it is an impossibility and not a contingency that they should determine themselves; and, on the other hand, if they are determined by God it is an impossibility and not a contingency that they should render themselves indeterminate. Wherefore all things are determined from a necessity of the divine nature, not only to exist, but to exist and act in a certain manner, and there is nothing contingent.