Longer Arguments and Logical Fallacies Worksheet

Put things in your own words unless the question asks for a direct quote.

Part 1: Longer Arguments

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  1. Why are premises or conclusions sometimes left unstated in an argument? And, how does the principle of charity help in supplying these missing claims? Answer in 8-12 sentences, with two direct quotes from the text by Matthew Van Cleave. Quotes go in quotation marks with the in-text citation (Van Cleave, 2019, p. ___). (10 points)
  2. For each of the following, give the missing (unstated) claim that is intended by the speaker and makes the argument valid. (5 points each)

a. If EPCOT is a Disney park, then it will have carefully designed and engaging rides. And, it is in fact a Disney park. [supply the missing conclusion]

b. People should not abuse animals, since this causes unnecessary pain. [supply the missing premise]

3. For this question, find a longer argument to analyze related to the social or ethical issue you have chosen as your paper topic. This can be from an opinion essay, speech, or web page. Look for an extended argument that is 3 or more paragraphs long and defends a certain view on your topic. Make sure it has enough information for you to complete all parts of the question. Then, answer the following prompts. (10 points each)

  1. Give a link to the argument and briefly summarize its main ideas.
  2. What is the main conclusion of the argument? How do you know this is the main conclusion?

c. Find one short deductive argument within the extended argument and write it out in standard form. This will most likely be an argument of 2 or 3 premises leading to a conclusion. Paraphrase and supply missing premises or conclusion as needed to complete the argument. Use the principle of charity to make the argument valid, if at all possible.

d. Is the short argument you found valid? Is it sound? Why or why not? (If it is valid but one of its premises is controversial, you could say that its soundness is debatable or undetermined.)

Part 2: Logical Fallacies

  1. What is the fallacy of false dichotomy? And how does it operate in politics to distort or confuse certain issues? Answer in 8-12 sentences, with two direct quotes from the course text by Van Cleave. Quotes go in quotation marks with the in-text citation (Van Cleave, 2016, p. ___). (10 points)
  2. Give an example of each of the following, related to one of your hobbies or interests. Compose your own arguments for these questions. (10 points each) (a) An argument that commits the fallacy of composition
    (b) An argument that commits the fallacy of equivocation
    (c) An argument that looks like the fallacy of false dichotomy at first, but is in fact a good argument and not a fallacy

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