PHIL 447 Logic and Critical Thinking Final Exam Answers
(TCOs 3, 6, 7, 9) Here is a passage that contains a rhetorical fallacy.
Name that fallacy, and in a paragraph, explain why the argument is irrelevant to the point of the passage. Here is your example for this question:
I know I forgot to deposit that check into the bank yesterday. But I can’t do anything that pleases you. I brought you flowers yesterday and you didn’t even put them in water.
(TCOs 5, 8) In the example below, identify the presumed cause and the presumed effect. Does the example contain or imply a causal claim, a hypothesis, or an explanation that cannot be tested?
If it does fall into one of those categories, tell whether the problem is due to vagueness, circularity, or some other problem of language.
Also tell whether there might be some way to test the situation if it is possible at all.
Here is your example:
This part of the coastline is subject to mudslides because there is a lack of mature vegetation growing on it.
(TCOs 2, 4) Explain in what way the thinking of the following statement is wrong or defective. Give reasons for your judgment.
There must be something to palm reading. Millions of people believe in it.
(TCOs 3, 9) Briefly discuss how we look at sample size, sample diversity and bias in evaluating statistical studies. What factors do we look for and what questions do we ask in evaluating these aspects of a statistical study?
(TCOs 6, 7, 9) Here is a short essay about an investigation.
There are also four questions/tasks; write a paragraph to answer each one of them.
Identify what kind of investigation it is.
There are control and experimental groups. State the difference in effect (or cause) between the control and experimental groups.
State the conclusion that you think is warranted by the report. Discuss how size, diversity, facts you know about the make-up of each group, and statistical significance of d factored into reaching your opinion of what conclusion is warranted.
Scientists have learned that people who drink wine weekly or monthly are less likely to develop dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. (Daily wine drinking, however, seems to produce no protective effect.) The lead researcher was Dr. Thomas Truelsen of the Institute of Preventive Medicine at Kommunehospitalet in Copenhagen. The researchers identified the drinking patters of 1,709 people in Copenhagen in the 1970s and then assessed them for dementia in the 1990s, when they were aged 65 or older. When they were assessed two decades later, 83 of the participants had developed dementia. People who drank beer regularly were an increased risk of developing dementia.
-adapted from BBC News Online
(TCOs 3, 4, 6)
Read this passage below. When you have done so, answer these questions, writing a paragraph for each question. Your questions are as follows.
What is the argument the writer is trying to make (what is his claim or conclusion?
What are his premises?)
Find at least two fallacies in this argument and identify them; if you are unsure of the name of the fallacy, explain why you think the example you cite is a fallacy – that is, what is the faulty reasoning, or the unsound argument, or the misleading argument or statement?
Do the premises support the conclusion? If the argument is deductive is it Valid? Is it sound? If the argument is inductive, is it strong (good factual support for the conclusion; few or no rhetorical fallacies) or is it weak (poor factual support; support contains too many rhetorical fallacies)5. Identify the form(s) of rhetoric – ethos, pathos, logos – does the author employ more than one form? – is it used effectively or ineffectively?
(By way of explanation, Mick Vick is a football player who was convicted for setting up dog fights, and the description of how the dogs were treated makes for veryunpleasant reading.)
Vick deserves another chance. He’s served jail time for his crime, lost millions, and may even be “over the hill”.
Our oil partners in the Gulf chop people’s hands off for theft, and stone people for adultery. That’s fine with the good old USA under the New World Order. It’s business. So is the NFL.
Vick is just a street mutt, and ex-con, who deserves the right to work. We’d be castigating him if he didn’t get a job, wouldn’t we? Of course, the PETA folks will make his life miserable. I almost feel sorry for this newly-minted multi-millionaire. Let the games begin.
(TCOs 7, 8)
Read the passage and answer the questions below.
Rights are either God-given or evolve out of the democratic process. Most rights are based on the ability of people to agree on a social contract, the ability to make and keep agreements. Animals cannot possibly reach such an agreement with other creatures. They cannot respect anyone else’s rights. Therefore they cannot be said to have rights.
Furthermore, the rights of an individual depend on the capacity of the individual to make and apply moral laws. Animals don’t have the capacity to make and apply moral laws; therefore, animals don’t have rights.
What is the argument the writer is trying to make (what is his claim or conclusion)? What are his premises?)
Examine the premises; do they contain fallacies? If so, where is the faulty reasoning? if you are unsure of the name of the fallacy, explain why you think the example you cite is a fallacy – that is, what is the faulty reasoning, or the unsound argument, or the misleading argument or statement?4. Is this an argument from pathos, ethos or logos?
5. If the argument in inductive, is it strong or weak? If it is deductive is it valid? Is it sound? Explain your answers
(TCOs 6, 7, 9) Read this passage below. When you have done so, answer these three questions, writing a paragraph for each question.
Your three questions are:
1. What premises is the author using?
2. What conclusions does the author come to?
3. Does the passage follow an identifiable, logical pattern of development?
Either one thinks that there is no reason for believing any political doctrine or one sees some reason, however shaky, for the commitment of politics. If a person believes that political doctrines are void of content, that person will be quite content to see political debates go on, but won’t expect anything useful to come from them. If we consider the other case, that there is a patriotic justification for a political belief, then what? If the belief is that a specific political position is true, then one ought to be intolerant of all other political beliefs, since each political “position” must be held to be false relative to the belief one has. And since each political position holds out the promise of reward for any probability of its fixing social problems, however small, that makes it seem rational to choose it over its alternatives. The trouble, of course, is that the people who have other political doctrines may hold theirs just as strongly, making strength of belief itself invalid as a way to determine the rightness of a political position.