Affirming the consequent of an if-then statement is a fallacy in deductive logic, but can be useful for problem-solving in inductive scientific methods.



Question 11 (8 points)

 Affirming the consequent of an if-then statement is a fallacy in deductive logic, but can be useful for problem-solving in inductive scientific methods.  Explain how affirming the consequent works differently in deductive and inductive contexts, giving an example of each, and explain the degree of confidence one should have in the conclusions reached in each example.


(Write your argument in 75-100 words)



Question 12 (6 points)

 Explain the difference between the Hasty Generalization fallacy and strong Inductive Generalization. Give examples that illustrate the differences.


(Write your argument in 100-125 words)



Question 13 (4 points)

 Consider the following dialogue between a physician and patient.  To what extent does the doctor succeed in justifying this diagnostic technique?  Explain your answer.

Dr. D:  Now for checking your heart. Do you feel that? [pricks patient’s left little finger with a needle].

Patient: Ow! Yes! But what does pricking my finger have to do with heart disease?

Dr. D: The heart is on the left side of the body, and in heart attacks, victims will normally get pain in the left arm.  So I believe that we can predict heart disease by testing the left hand for pain sensitivity.  I compare reactions to pricking the little finger of the left hand to pricking the other fingers.

Patient: Really?  (ow!) That sounds a little wacky.

Dr. D:  No, it’s quite reliable! I send patients with unusual sensitivity in that finger to a cardiologist to follow up.  So far he has found indications of heart disease in only 5 of 32 patients I have sent. But that is because my test is more sensitive than his. I can spot that there is early heart disease before any other known test.


(Write your argument)



Question 14 (4 points)

 Assess how strong the following argument is.  Explain your reasoning.

Beyonce is a lot like Serena Williams. Both are African-American women, both are famous, both are very talented, and both have a lot of fans.  Serena Williams is a great athlete.  Therefore, Beyonce is a great athlete, too. 



(Write your argument in 75 words)




Question 15 (10 points)


Identify the conclusion and assess the following argument. Identify strengths, weaknesses and any fallacies, and explain why you think we should accept or reject the conclusion based on this presentation.

VEGETARIANS, STOP GRILLING US! -  by Barb Acewd (edited)

    For the past four decades, we have been bombarded by vegetarian propaganda – by comparisons between factory farming and the Holocaust, by pictures of immobile chickens crammed in tiny cages, and by posters demonizing the backyard neighbour grilling steaks. These are obvious attempts to fire up emotions and rake the meat-eater over the barbeque. I intend to provide much in the way of reason for eating meat.

    To begin with, eating meat is natural for humans, and it would be ethically wrong to defy what nature has in store for us. True, we have evolved to eat vegetation, but we have also evolved to eat meat. We share traits in common with meat-eaters, for example, premolars and canine teeth (for ripping and slicing tougher foods), and binocular vision (for spotting and catching pretty). Thus, biologically, we are designed to eat meat. Morally, then, we ought to adhere to that design.

     Vegetarians should evaluate the consistency of their position. They advocate saving

animals, but they have no problem destroying plants. Most vegetarians think it’s okay to

uproot and kill a perfectly healthy carrot simply to eat it. Why, then, should they get all

choked up over killing a pig or a chicken for the same reason?

    Let’s not forget that most people in the world eat meat, and they have been doing so for millennia. So many people cannot be wrong, and our mandate shouldn’t be to insult

fellow humans.

     Finally, switching to a vegetarian lifestyle is truly a senseless exercise. It won’t affect the amount of meat sold at a grocery store or the number of animals killed each year. If I don’t buy that pound of hamburger meat at Thrifty’s, somebody else will. I can make the sacrifice and cut meat out of my diet, but it won’t make a difference in the world. At best, it will just make me feel a little better about myself.

     In short, despite the hype, there’s no sense in getting fired up over the meat industry. We have to see beyond the propaganda and apply a little effort in

scrutinizing the issue.



(Write your argument in 200 words)



Question 16 (4 points)

 Transformative Education:  Discuss one insight from this term that is personally meaningful for you -- the kind of thing that you will find important long after you forget names of fallacies and how to spell ‘antecedent’.  Describe as clearly as you can what the new insight is, how it differs from what you used to think (or how it is changing the choices you make), and why this new insight is worth hanging onto.  There are LOTS of good ways to engage this question. Examples include:

  • A concept that now has a richer, deeper meaning than it did before (truth, adequacy, relevance, cause, respect, charity, etc.)
  • A new, exciting idea that you had never considered before (an “aha! moment”)
  • A long-held personal belief, behavior or character trait that you are now reconsidering
  • A practical strategy or insight that you are using helpfully in an important area of your life
  • Evolution in your sense of yourself (e.g., your role or responsibilities in discussions or public debates; changed interaction with those who disagree with you; confidence or courage to make a difficult choice)
  • A topic for which you have discovered unexpected curiosity or passion for further exploration

Marks for this response will emphasize your reflection upon course materials (something from this course, rather than general education or growth); the accuracy, relevance and detail of the examples you use; the insight you demonstrate regarding the importance of the material and your awareness of yourself, others, and the world within which you are an active participant, and as always, clarity of expression.

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