The Nature of Arguments
Critical thinking makes use of arguments. In this weekâ€s lesson, you gained an overview of what arguments are and what it means for something to be a good or bad argument. In your week one assignment, you will be writing a five paragraph essay in which you explain and illustrate the nature of the critical thinking process.
Paragraph one should answer the following questions:
What is an argument?
What are some indicators of an argument?
What is an example of an argument?
Your example does not have to be detailed. It can be a single sentence or two. It can be informal â€“ thereâ€s no need to make a premise-by-premise argument. Make sure your argument contains a rational inference, otherwise it isnâ€t an argument.
Paragraph two should explain the meaning of cogent reasoning. In this paragraph, be sure to reference the three criteria for cogent reasoning.
Paragraph three should explain the difference between deductive valid and inductively strong arguments.
Paragraph four should explain the role of background beliefs, worldviews, and philosophies to the critical thinking process. Be sure to give examples of what some background beliefs might be.
Finally, in paragraph five, write about a time in which you used a rational argument to persuade someone. What was the argument about? What evidence did you utilize in order to make your case?
Your completed assignment should be written primarily in first person and should be 500-750 words in length. If you use sources in your writing, be sure to identify them. If you use any direct language from a source, be sure to place those words in quotation marks.
Your assignment should adhere to the stated page length requirement for the week and use APA style formatting including a title page and reference section. You should use Times New Roman, 12pt. font, double-spaced lines, and one inch margins. A description of APA style and the APA template can be found under the Assignments link in the left hand navigation menu of the course.
Constructing Deductive and Inductive Arguments
Arguments consist of premises and conclusions. Premises are structured so as to lend support to conclusions. The kind of support that a premise lends to a conclusion allows us to distinguish between deductive and inductive arguments. This week, you will be constructing both kinds of arguments.
1.In three premises each, construct one example of each following deductive argument form:
Make sure your arguments are deductively valid and that your examples are your own. Here are two examples of the general format that your arguments should take:
1.If it is raining, then it is pouring.
2.It is raining.
3.Therefore, it is pouring.
1.If Jack went to the grocery store, then he bought cookies.
2.Jack did not buy cookies.
3.Therefore, Jack did not go to the grocery store.
2.After you construct the preceding deductive argument forms, construct a three premise syllogism. For example:
1.All men are mortal.
2.Socrates is a man.
3.Therefore, Socrates is mortal.
3.After you construct a three premise syllogism, construct one of each of the following inductive argument patterns:
Induction by enumeration
Reasoning by analogy
Your examples of inductive argument patterns should not be expressed in premise form. Rather, they should be informally expressed in writing. You should have one paragraph for each pattern. Be as detailed as possible.
Finally, please remember to label your arguments. This makes it easier for them to be graded. Include your name, course section, and the date at the top of your assignment document.
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