Argument Analysis and Diagramming II
- Bracket all propositions
- Number bracketed
propositions according to their order of occurrence in the argument
- Circle premise and
conclusion indicators (but not other connective or transitional terms)
- Diagram the logical
structure of the argument
B. ARGUMENT LIST
1. Deductive Arguments
- Argument based on
- Argument from definition
- Categorical syllogism
- Hypothetical syllogism
- Disjunctive syllogism
2. Inductive Arguments
- Argument from analogy
- Inductive (empirical)
generalization: universal (UG) and statistical (SG)
- Argument from authority
- Argument based on signs
- Causal inference
- Statistical syllogism
- Simple enumeration
C. ARGUMENTS FOR ANALYSIS AND
1. Mathematically-challenged adult: Since
x + y = 10, and x = 7, it follows that y = 5.
2. Concerned parent: Jane will never be able to solve that difficult
problem in advanced calculus in the limited time allowed. She has never
studied anything beyond basic algebra, and even in that she earned only a
D. Moreover, all she does is party from Thursday night to Sunday night.
3. Former President Bill Clinton: Welfare programs are intended to
help poor people, but existing programs are not helping: they encourage poor
unmarried women to have babies, they discourage poor people from seeking
jobs, and they perpetuate a habit of dependence. The welfare system should
consequently be reformed.
4. Education merchandise telemarketer: An encyclopedia is a very
valuable possession for a family to own. For adults, it’s a quick reference
tool. For children, it provides a form of learning that complements what
they receive in school. Why? Because in school they have to follow a
structured program, whereas an encyclopedia lets them go from topic to topic
following their own curiosity.
5. Young basketball fan: Either Kobe Bryant is guilty of sexual
assault or his alleged victim is mentally unstable. But Kobe Bryant is not
guilty of sexual assault. Consequently, his alleged victim is mentally
6. Problem-solving CCRI logic student: Since my car won’t start, I’ll
have to take the bus, so I need to take exact change for the fare.
7. Anti-trust federal prosecutor: It is rarely economical for two
cable companies to lay cables in the same area. For this reason, they do not
directly compete with each other. This suggests that cable TV is a natural
monopoly, and should therefore be regulated by the government.
8. RISD Student: Graffiti art has several advantages over art
entombed in museums. It can function as a vital part of a living
environment, typically in urban settings. Accordingly, the everyday person
going to work or out jogging can experience it in the context of his or her
daily activities. Therefore, on this basis, graffiti art challenges the
average citizen to consider its social and cultural criticism.
9. Anti-cult activist: All
religious cults require members to obey the
leader without question.
However, an autonomous person would never
obey a religious cult leader without question.
So, there are no autonomous individuals in
10. Thomas Sepe, CCRI President: Academic cheating impedes one’s
educational development because it means relying on someone else’s
knowledge, whereas the precise purpose of education is to learn how to rely
on your own knowledge.
11. MADD (Mothers Against
Drunk Drivers) activist: Getting teenagers drunk in order to
teach them their driving limitations is like using Russian roulette to teach
gun safety. It’s
dangerous to use Russian roulette to teach gun safety since someone might
get killed. Similarly,
getting teenagers drunk in order to teach them their driving limitations is
12. Citizens bank promoter:
Citizens bank is committed to serving you. We have recently made a
multimillion-dollar investment in data processing equipment. We are open
more hours per week than any of our local competitors. Our automatic teller
is open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. And our staff consists
only of certified professionals.
13. The terms good and bad do not refer to objective qualities
independently belonging to a thing since one and the same thing may be good,
bad, and indifferent at the same time. For a particular piece of music may
be good for someone who is celebrating, bad for someone who is in mourning,
and neither good nor bad for someone who is deaf.
—adapted from Benedict Spinoza, The
Educational theorist: If Jeanne studies a foreign language this
semester, then she’ll learn how the structure of language can affect the way
we think. And, as it turns out, Jeanne will be studying French this
semester. Therefore, Jeanne will learn how the structure of language can
affect the way we think.
15. TV exercise guru: Regular exercise strengthens muscles, helps the
cardiovascular system, and lowers cholesterol. Therefore, if you want to be
healthy, you should exercise regularly.
16. Fundamentalist Islamic cleric: History will prove that the
infidel United States unfairly demonized our brother in Allah, the venerable
Osama bin Laden. For one thing, the United States conveniently neglects to
mention brother bin Laden’s numerous acts of compassion toward the oppressed
and homeless Palestinian refugees. Nor do they mention his steadfast
financial support of the Islamic clergy, which clearly indicates his
profound religious nature. Also, America is—as the great Ayatollah Khomeini
once proclaimed—the great Satan. Consequently, anything
it says is vicious propaganda and lies.
17. Carl Everett, professional baseball player: The shadows in
the Apollo photos seem to point in different directions. Accordingly,
artificial lighting was used when taking the pictures. So, the Apollo photos
were taken in a studio on Earth. Therefore, it is not true that the Apollo
astronauts landed on the moon.
18. Prison chaplain: Mr. McVeigh, if you do not survive death, then
at the moment of death you will not be conscious. But if we do survive
death, then you will be born into new life. Therefore, if you are executed
for mass murder you have nothing to fear.