Syllabus

PHIL 151 May-June 2016 syllabus

 

 

 

Introductory Logic      May 16- June 18, 2016

PHIL 151                                  http://logic.umwblogs.org

Dr. Craig Vasey Trinkle 238 ext 1342 .  cvasey@umw.edu

 

Department of Classics, Philosophy, and Religion.

University of Mary Washington

 

First off, I have to share with you an honest assessment of the situation: although there is some convenience to the on-line format, it is harder to learn something well in an on-line environment than it is in a face-to-face classroom. This is in part because there is no one to confront you, encourage you, put you on the spot, repeat things to you, congratulate you, etc. Your own motivation is all you can rely on. It’s also because there is no one to ask questions of and get immediate feedback; this means you have to take more responsibility for knowing what questions you need answered, and asking them through one of our modes of communication.

 

The website I’ve set up contains all the information I deliver in classroom lectures –as written pages. There are a number of oral recordings and Powerpoint presentations that will also be helpful. I will be available via email and live online chats or Skype, to answer questions. These are all resources, but the key is: how will you put them to use?  In an on-line class, you are on your own to do that.

To a greater degree than you may be accustomed to, you must read carefully, repeatedly, and well in order to be successful here.  That begins with reading this syllabus carefully, repeatedly, and well.  Some of you may be more accustomed to casual scanning when you read; if so, you need to change that.  By the way, your work for this class will require that you read the entire on-line book, section by section in the order in which the chapters are arranged. Repeatedly, and well.

 

You must make yourself stay focused and make yourself work at Logic every day for a few hours.  I would say this is going to require about 20-25 hours each week.  This is crucial; you’ll need to constantly review what you’ve encountered and learned, or else it will fall right away. That is, you won’t learn anything if you don’t review it regularly and if you don’t return to the subject for at least a little while every day. Avoiding it for a few days will be extremely counterproductive.  Because of this need to stay focused, there are numerous assignments and quizzes; don’t view them as a nuisance, but as the best help I can offer to get you to keep focused and to keep up with the task of learning Logic.

Consider: if this summer class were a face-to-face class, we would be meeting two hours/ day for four days/ week, and on top of that you would be doing about 2 hours of homework every day. That would be minimal.  The on-line class requires more effort and more time on your part.  Factor this into your planning for these five weeks. Be especially cognizant of your need to manage your time in Week 3; the midterm exam is in addition to the usual workload that week

Now to the course content:

 

Introductory Logic is a course that every student should take during the first year of college. No other course will be as dedicated to the task of understanding and sharpening analytical abilities and skills in general; the benefits of doing this course-work will show up throughout your college career and beyond college as well.

 

Some thinkers talk about Logic as a field concerned with the analysis of arguments, but that is much too narrow, since argument analysis presupposes appreciation of numerous conceptual distinctions and analytical techniques. We will be covering the basic conceptual foundations of Logic, as well as Informal Fallacies, Categorical Logic, Sentential Logic, and offering an introductory look at Predicate Logic. Although it is a Philosophy course, Logic can be thought of as a “practical skills” course. Success in a practical skills course of study requires practice, regular practice. The ideas or concepts themselves are not difficult to grasp, but the mastery of them only comes through the practice of applying them. Many students are tempted to think that since the concepts seem easy and obvious, little work is needed in the course. They are the ones who get C’s and lower in the course.

For this summer on-line version of the course, weekly papers reviewing the week’s material, a weekly response to another student’s paper (being thoughtful about the difference between what you and s/he provided as an account of the week’s material), and a requirement of twice-weekly discussions of exercises from the on-line book, will ensure that you are monitoring your grasp and appreciation of material. About a third of your grade will come from these papers and responses.  Performance on quizzes (very frequent short multiple choice quizzes) and exams will account for about two thirds of your grade.  A chat session via Canvas will be available every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday from 5 to6 PM; I’m open to changing this time if I get feedback from you indicating we should (we could vary the hours on different days).  You can also contact me by email (cvasey@umw.edu), and Skype sessions are also an option.  You should send me questions by email or join the chat session with questions whenever you are puzzled or bogged down.  However, DO NOT email me through or at Canvas; I do not use Canvas for receiving email, although I will post announcements through it. If you use that approach, I will not see your message.

You will be posting your weekly papers and assignments, and responses, to the appropriate Discussion folder in Canvas.  Whenever you submit something to me by email or to the Discussion Forum, MAKE SURE YOUR NAME APPEARS IN THE FILENAME.  It is not my responsibility to make sure that the correct name appears on the files submitted –if your name is not there, then I don’t know who submitted it.

The course content is delivered at http://logic.umwblogs.org,   The chapters at the website (listed along the right hand side) are arranged in the order of the syllabus, and contain Powerpoint reviews of material as well as homework exercises for daily and weekly practice.  I will be adding short voice recordings (mp3 format) this summer to help with key concepts and to help walk through sample exercises. For Monday quizzes, you will access them anytime each Monday in the Discussion Forums and return to my email address as an attachment within 30 minutes of accessing them.  For exams, I will send you the exam through Canvas at the time and day you specify, you will have a determined time period in which to complete it and send it back

 

Course Goals: Students will learn how to distinguish arguments from non-arguments, and inductive reasoning from deductive reasoning; how to identify fallacies of everyday reasoning; and how to interpret, represent, and determine consequences regarding arguments in three symbolic modes (categorical, propositional, predicate). This course satisfies a General Education requirement in the area of Quantitative Reasoning.

 

Syllabus.

I highly recommend you save and/or print the syllabus from the link at the top of this page.  In Word there is a lot of formatting that you can’t see on this page, especially color-coding to draw your attention to different points.

I am not giving you a precise day-by-day schedule below because this course is asynchronous and I cannot expect you to all be on exactly the same schedule. On the other hand, as I said above, working on this every day is really essential. I’m telling you where you should be in the text by Tuesday and Thursday each week; it’s up to you on Sunday each week to make sure you are aiming for the Tuesday goal.  You’ll have a paper due each Saturday reviewing the work of the week, and a response paper each Sunday.  Deadlines are days and times by which you must submit materials –you are also welcome to submit them in advance of the deadlines.

 

Before we begin the course, read through the syllabus carefully twice. Send me an email no later than May 16 telling me that you have read and understood the syllabus: weekly papers, weekly assignments, weekly response papers, on-line Canvas quizzes, Monday quizzes, how to contact me. If I do not have this email from you by May 16, I will dock 10 points off your grade at the end of the semester.  Make sure you understand the pace and nature of the assignments, and that you are clear on the due dates.  Any questions?  Email me or come to the chat in Canvas on Monday at 5 pm.

At Canvas, take a good look at Quizzes and the Discussions page.  Assignments are listed in the order in which they are to be done; there are quite a few of the forums –these are the on-line substitutes for looking you in the eye in the classroom and putting you on the spot. The Monday Quizzes will show up in the Discussion Forum each Monday; until then they are unpublished.

Week 1 May 16-May 21  Basics: terminology for arguments and non-arguments; deduction and induction; counter-examples: Read the Introduction and all of Chapters 1-5.  (You need not read all of the Jabberwocky selection in Chapter 2, but at least the first few verses.)

By Tuesday you should have finished Chapter 3, and have all the basic terminology from chapters 2 and 3 well in hand: Use/ mention, meaning (sense/ reference); premise and conclusion indicator words, seven kinds of non-arguments. Post discussions of homework exercises from all three chapters, as well as questions in the Forums for me. Commit these distinctions to memory: practice listing the non-arguments in your head several times a day.

By Thursday you should have completed Chapter 4 (the distinction between, and the evaluative language for, induction and deduction—including knowing the five patterns of deductive, and the six patterns of inductive, reasoning) and Chapter 5 (validity and counter-examples). You are working on committing quite a vocabulary list to memory this week. Practice memorizing the vocabulary by writing the various lists multiple times daily. You will find that this really works! You can do it!

A review discussion of all of this should be in your 4-5 page Paper & Assignment due Saturday, May 21 by Noon. Advice on how to approach these papers: think of it as though you wanted to impress you parents when they said “What did you learn this week at school?” It would take some explaining, and you’d have to put it in your own words, watching out for the likelihood that from time to time they would say “I don’t really quite see what you mean, or why that matters,” and you’d need to make it clear. (Do not write the paper as a letter to your parents, however! Write it as a college-level paper! Also, be sure to meet all my expectations about quality– see below, p. 7.)

Assignment 1:  (The “assignment” is not part of the 4-5 page paper. It is in addition to those pages.)

  1. Follow the examples called “The price of gas,” “The case of the ACA,” etc., and make up one good example of each of the 7 non-arguments on a subject of your choice.
  2. Also make up 2 examples for each of the deductive and inductive patterns (this will make a total of 22 argument examples).

Week One Paper & Assignment is due in the designated Canvas Discussion forum by Noon Saturday, May 21 as a Word document with your name in the filename.  The paper should be 4-5 pages long, followed by the Assignment (another 2-3 pages). (Add page numbers to your file using Insert and Page Number in Word.)  Your response to another student’s paper is due by Noon Sunday.

QUIZZES:  By Saturday you must complete Canvas Quizzes 1, 2 and 3. Each of these has a “retake” option –version “A.” These quizzes will be available beginning on Tuesday May 17 at 5 pm, until midnight Saturday May 21; you can take them anytime during the week but the smart approach will be to space them out, e.g., Quiz 1 on Tuesday, Quiz 2 on Wednesday, Quiz 3 on Friday. Each time, between taking the first quiz (Canvas Quiz 1) and taking the retake (Canvas Quiz 1A), you should post to the Canvas Homework Discussion forum about what you got wrong: ask a question, say why you thought the answer was what you thought, so you can get some helpful feedback. Take these quizzes seriously: they are the primary way for you to know whether you are really learning (internalizing, remembering, mastering) the material; and they count for 25% of your course grade.

 

Week 2 May 22-May 28   Informal Fallacies; Categorical logic: propositions, operations, syllogisms: Read all of Chapters 6 & 7.

Monday quiz 1. This will not show up in Canvas until 12:01 am on Monday.  Anytime on May 23, access the quiz, and return it to cvasey@umw.edu within 30 minutes, pledged.

By Tuesday you should have completed Chapter 6 (Informal Fallacies), and Chapter 7 through 7.1 (Venn Diagrams). Post discussion of HW examples.

 By Thursday, you should have completed the rest of chapter 7 on Categorical Logic. Post discussion of HW examples you work on.

Assignment 2.

  1. Fallacies. Post two examples you find, encounter or make up, of each of the 21 fallacies of reasoning. Memorize the four families of fallacies and the names of their members. Read the examples posted by other students of the fallacies assigned to them, and comment on them, especially if you wonder if they actually fit the pattern.  Although this is part of the Assignment due with your paper on Saturday, post these in Canvas in the Fallacy Forum  by May 24 so everyone can look at one another’s examples before diving into the next subject of the week.
  2. Categorical Logic.
  3. i) Fill in and post (at the Homework Discussions Week 2 Forum) the exercise called HW on square Feb 12  at the end of 7.2.1. Post this by May 26.      Also submit it with your paper on Saturday.
  4. ii) After you have practiced putting syllogisms in standard form and analyzing them in 7.3.1.1 (answers to these are provided in the section), go to 7.3.1.2 and choose five to do on your own. Submit these to the weekly homework discussion forum by May 27 with questions they cause you to have. (To be able to discuss the Venn diagrams without scanning them to me (which is an option too), you should do the following: label the left hand circle the Minor term, the right hand circle the Major term, and the bottom circle the Middle term. Number the seven segments beginning at the top left, then you can report which segments are shaded and which have x’s. This is not an optional exercise. If you do not submit five syllogism analyses, you get a zero on this entire week’s work (losing all 25 points). Why? Because I know from experience that if you cannot give me five syllogisms, you have not learned anything.  You don’t have to get them all right; you have to show that you are trying, and therefore, learning.
  5. Text analysis: MLK’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail. You will find the assignment in the horizontal menu at the top of the website. Detailed instructions and an example are provided there.

Week Two Paper & Assignment is due in the designated Canvas Discussion forum by Noon Saturday, May 28.  The paper should be 4-5 pages long, followed by the Assignment (another 2-3 pages).  (Add page numbers to your file using Insert and Page Number in Word.) Your response to another student’s paper is due by Noon Sunday.

QUIZZES  By midnight Saturday you must complete Canvas Quizzes 4, 5 and 6. Each of these has a “retake” option.  The quizzes are available all week until midnight of May 28; don’t wait until Saturday to do them.  Quiz 6 and 6A actually contain some material you will not have studied yet, so I will set their due dates for Tuesday of next week (May 31).

 

Week 3   May 29-June 4.  Propositional logic: truth functions, translation, truth tables, rules of inference, proofs: Read all of Chapters 8 & 9

Monday quiz 2. This will not show up in Canvas until 12:01 am on Monday. Anytime on May 30, access the quiz, and return it to cvasey@umw.edu within 30 minutes, pledged.

By Wednesday of this week you should have completed Chapter 8 (Symbolic Logic: propositional logic), and know how to build Truth Tables for analyzing statements, sets of statements, and arguments. Post discussion of homework exercises from Chapter 8.

 

By Thursday, you need to know the eight Rules of Inference in Chapter 9. Until you have them memorized, you will be at a disadvantage, so write them over and over each day, and say them out loud as you do. Post discussion of homework exercises 9.2.1.

Write these eight rules from memory five times day for four days in a row. Check them each time to make sure you are getting them right and you understand what they say.

Assignment 3:

  1. A) Generate your own example of a tautology and a self-contradiction –in one case needing a 4 line truth table, in the other an 8 line table; make a complete truth table for them. (Use the table function in Word). If this puzzles you, ask a question!
  2. B) In Homework Discussion Week Three you will find two postings of exercises: one is on recognizing properly written compound statements (WFFs –“well-formed formulas”) and calculating truth values, and one is statement and argument analysis by Truth table. Submit these with your paper. Also submit five truth tables you build for exercises in 8.3.1, clearly saying how they show you what they show.   This is not an optional exercise. If you do not submit five truth tables, you get a zero for this week’s work (losing all 25 pts).  Why?  Because I know from experience that if you can’t draw these tables, you have not learned anything about truth table construction and analysis.  Use the “Table” function in Word (in “Insert”: choose 5 lines if you are drawing a 4 line table, 9 if you are doing an 8 line table, 17 if you are doing a 16 line table, so the statements can go along the top line).
  3. C) Find or make up two good clear examples of both versions of DeMorgan’s Theorem, and write them out both symbolically and in English. DM is a very important rule to know and to understand.

Week Three Paper & Assignment is due in the designated Canvas Discussion forum by Noon Saturday, June 4. The paper should be 4-5 pages long, followed by the Assignment (another 2-3 pages). (Add page numbers to your file using Insert and Page Number in Word.)  Your response to another student’s paper is due by Noon Sunday.

QUIZZES    By midnight Saturday you must complete Canvas Quizzes  7, 8, and 9. Each of these (except 9) has a “retake” option. The quizzes are available all week until midnight of June 4; don’t wait until Saturday to do them.  Quiz 9 reviews some basic concepts from the first chapters of the course. Some students have reacted to it in the past as a set of “trick questions.”  I disagree; the intent is not to trick you, but to make you focus on something you are probably (incorrectly) taking for granted that you understand.

Midterm exam. This first exam covers everything through Categorical Logic (Chapter 6). You can take it Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday of this week. Arrange with me via email the day and time you want to take it; I will email it to you, and you will return it as an attachment within 2 ½ hours.

 

Week 4  June 5-June 11. From Propositional Logic to Predicate Logic. Read all of Chapter 9, and Chapter 10.1.

Monday quiz 3.  This will not show up in Canvas until 12:01 am on Monday.  Anytime on June 6, access the quiz, and return it to cvasey@umw.edu within 30 minutes, pledged.

 

By Monday, you should be doing exercises in 9.4.2.  By Wednesday, you should be doing proofs using Conditional and Indirect Proof (9.5) Make use of the chatroom to get some help, or arrange a skype conversation. Post discussion of homework exercises.

By Thursday you should be translating exercises into the notation of Predicate Logic (Chapter 10.1). Post discussion of homework exercises.

Assignment 4:

  1. In 9.4.3 (Yet More Proof Exercises) do the fill-in-the-blank sheet and submit discussion of your answers to the homework discussion forum. Then go to the Natural Deduction Exercises links farther down the page. Read the example proofs in II, then do any four of the eight in section III.  In the link Natural Deduction Exercises 2, write and submit two proofs (to the homework discussion forum) from section V and two from section VI (your choice).  This is not optional. Not submitting your efforts (and your questions) at proofs will get you a zero for this week’s work (losing all 25 pts).  Why? Because learning how to do proofs is a matter of practice and working through being puzzled and frustrated; it is not enough to follow it on the board or in a powerpoint.   Important: Do not work unproductively on this material: it can be quite challenging. When you have trouble knowing what to do, don’t hesitate to send me an email or post a comment about it in the Discussion forum. Don’t drive yourself crazy or bang your head against the proverbial wall –it is normal to ask for some help in order to tune in to this. It is essential that you know and easily remember the eight Rules of Inference; you will not find your footing with this until you have internalized and understood them.

In Homework Discussion Week Four, you will find an exercise on determining Assumptions for Conditional and Indirect Proofs. Submit this with your paper.

  1. B) Find or construct your own examples of three arguments that can be represented in Predicate Logic (you can even use examples you find in Chapter 7 or Chapter 8 exercise sets) better than in Propositional Logic.

Week Four Paper & Assignment is due in the designated Canvas Discussion forum by Noon Saturday, June 11. The paper should be 4-5 pages long, followed by the Assignment (another 2-3 pages). (Add page numbers to your file using Insert and Page Number in Word.)  Your response to another student’s paper is due by Noon Sunday.

QUIZZES  By Saturday, you must complete Canvas Quizzes 10 and 11. Each of these has a “retake” option.   The quizzes are available all week until midnight of June 11; don’t wait until Saturday to do them.

 

 

Week 5  June 12-June 18.  Predicate Logic. Finish reading Chapter 10.

Monday quiz 4.  This will not show up in Canvas until 12:01 am on Monday. Anytime on June 13, access the quiz, and return it to cvasey@umw.edu within 30 minutes, pledged.

Monday you should be doing simple proofs using UI, EI, UG, and EG (10.2)  Post Discussion of exercises. Submit your effort to write a proof for the following:

  1. (x) (Tx > Vx)                     / (x) ((Tx . Gx) > Vx)

Tuesday, you should be working with CQ (10.3). Post discussion of exercises.

QUIZZES    By midnight Thursday, June 16, you must complete Canvas Quizzes 12 and 13.  Each of these has a “retake” option.  The quizzes are available as of Sunday; don’t wait until Thursday to do them.

Saturday June 18.  Final exam. Arrange a pick-up time with me, and return the exam within 2 ½ hours.

 

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WORK FOR THE COURSE:

  1. Four 4-5 page papers, posted to Canvas. Posted with the pledge that the paper was written prior to reading any papers posted by others. Post these papers as Word Documents. (TNR 12 pt, double-spaced, pages numbered, carefully proof-read.) Due Date: Saturday Noon.

Paper must discuss:

  1. a) a review of the material since the last paper: what you’ve studied and learned: presented in your words –no cutting, pasting, or quoting from any text;
  2. b) what significance it has; why it is worthwhile knowing; again, in your words;
  3. c) what you found to be the most difficult aspect of learning or mastering it;
  4. d) what steps you took to learn/ master the material (which/ how many exercises you did, what problems you encountered);
  5. e) what questions you want to hear discussion of;
  6. f) In addition to the paper reviewing the material, you must submit the Assignment for the week. This part is worth 8 of the 25 points, unless otherwise noted. In weeks 2, 3 and 4, you get no credit for the paper if you do not turn in the Assignment.

These papers are 25 points each, 25% of your overall grade. Grades on the papers will reflect: being on time (if any problem with Canvas, make sure to submit by email to prof), flawlessly written (no misspellings, no grammatical mistakes, etc.), and minimal 4 full pages in length (double-spaced, TimesNewRoman 12 pt; absolute maximum length: 5 pages), addressing all six areas, a-f above; being in your own words, clear, insightful, exhibiting good understanding. Lacking any of these, it is unlikely to be better than a 17 (a C).

  1. Four 2-page responses to the papers of others. You must respond specifically to points made in the paper of at least one other student, posted to Canvas by noon Sunday (i.e., within 24 hours of the due date of your own paper). You might offer what you think is a correction of something she said, you might try to answer a question he raises, you might suggest a clarification of a point, you might disagree about something; you cannot just say something empty like “she did a good job,” or “his paper was well done,” however.

These are 10 points each. These responses have to be constructive and genuine (as well as technically flawless). If they are merely perfunctory and on time (or not technically flawless), you get a 5.

III. 27 on-line quizzes.  These function somewhat the way homework would, in that they force you to keep moving and keep up with the material. Each quiz has an “A” version, a re-take.  They are 5 points each, and provide an extra-points option if you take them all, which can only help your final grade (35 additional points!) Unfortunately, these are multiple-choice style quizzes (inevitably), so they test you in a passive mode rather than an active mode. It is not wise to take the second version (the A version) until you have learned something from your experience taking the first; maybe you can figure out an error on your own, but if not, you should email or use the chat room or Discussion Forum for help.  Clarification: the second version is not simply a revised version of the first; it is a second quiz on the same material.

  1. Homework. Actually doing homework (not just taking the quizzes) is necessary for an active grasp, a genuine understanding.  Twice each week (totaling 9 times; just once in the final week) you are expected to post discussion of your work on Exercises offered in the relevant sections of the relevant chapters; you might also post discussion of a quiz question. This will not be graded per se, but it will be expected and checked. If you do not do it, there will be a penalty: minus 1 point each time (2 pts per week or 9 pts total by the end of the course). This can be brief –it is not meant to be busy work, but to make you show that you are doing homework.   Like other work, it must be on time and proofread to receive credit.
  2. Monday quizzes. Each Monday when you go into the Discussions folder in Canvas, you will see a “Monday Quiz.” This is an active quiz on the material from the previous week, not a multiple choice quiz. From the time you open it, you have a maximum of 30 minutes to submit it back to me, pledged (the word “pledged” is sufficient) via email cvasey@umw.edu (make sure your name is in the filename when you attach it). These are 15 points each.
  3. Exams. In the third week, and on the final exam day, you will have access to an exam that must be returned within 2 ½ hours. It will consist of exercises using all the techniques learned, and essay questions about terminology and principles. The Honor Pledge will be required, and the slightest indication of a breach of it will bring a charge. 50 pts each. (On the final exam, exercises requiring CQ (Change of Quantifier) will count as Extra Credit.) Note that a Sample Final Exam is posted at the bottom of the webpage, along with a study sheet.

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Course Work and Grades:

100 points: Four 4-5 page papers with weekly assignments

40 points: Four 2-page responses to another’s papers

60 points:  Four 30 minute Monday quizzes (May 23, May 30, June 6, June 13)

100 points: Two 50-point exams

100 pts:  Twenty-seven on-line quizzes (ten questions each). There are two versions of each, so take one, learn from your mistakes (ask questions by email or the chat room!), then take the other.  (These are 5 points each, so you could earn as many as 135 points if you take them all and ace them all: an extra credit option is built in.)

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400 points possible

Course grades will be assigned in terms of total points earned by the end of the course:

Course grades:  A  360-400    B  320-359      C  280-319      D  240-279

 

 

Extra credit: You may turn in up to 3 Argument Analyses in weeks 2-5 for extra credit (worth 10 points each). These must meet the following criteria:

  1. a) Each must be from a newspaper no more than three days old when you turn it in. (It can be from the internet if it is from an internet edition of a newspaper, in which case, provide the url.)
  2. b) On the Argument Analysis form, you must follow all instructions completely. Copy the worksheet below and paste it into a Word document.

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Argument Analysis Worksheet       AA # ________      Date: ___

Before beginning this exercise, make sure that the passage you have identified is really an argument, and not something else! This optional assignment gives you extra points if you analyze an argument well (for up to 10 points each time, for up to three times total); but if you submit a non-argument, thinking that it is an argument, it will cost you 8 points! (Why? Because in that case you have not properly mastered the assignment, and so shouldn’t be doing it, and you will have wasted my time!)

To submit this, fill out this worksheet and submit it by email to cvasey@umw.edu. No more than one will be accepted per week. Note: You may not use the same examples on this exercise as you use on the end-of-the-week Assignment.

  1. Copy the argument in exactly the wording in which you found it:

Example: (delete this and fill in your own)

As evidence of Bush’s left agenda, Viguerie cites Bush’s signing of the No Child Left Behind bill, his wildly expensive prescription-drug-benefits bill, soaring farm subsidies, steel tariffs, higher federal deficits, plus “nation-building on a scale never attempted before.”

State the Source and Date: Free Lance Star Aug 25, 2007. p. A8. Alexander Cockburn, “Rove: Doesn’t Rhyme with ‘Love’ on Left or Right.” If it’s on line, provide the url.

  1. Analysis. Rewrite the argument as a series of discrete, numbered propositions that best capture the sense of the original. You do not need to repeat the exact wording of the original –very often it is best to “step back” from it and recast it in new words to make it as clear as possible. There is no set number of premises you have to generate.

Premise 1: Bush signed the No Child Left Behind act and prescription-drug-benefit bills.

Premise 2: Bush endorsed soaring farm subsidies, steel tariffs, etc

Premise 3: Anyone who endorses these sorts of things is a leftist.

Conclusion 4 : Therefore Bush is a leftist

  1. Is it an Inductive or a Deductive argument? Why do you say so? What pattern does it fit? Is it strong or weak? Why? Is it valid or invalid? Why? Is it a fallacy we’ve studied? If so, explicate how it commits the fallacy.

Deductive. It can be seen as an Argument from definition, because this arguer is claiming that you can’t promote these sorts of programs without being a leftist –he’s equating support for them with being leftist, as though this were a matter of definition.

But since it’s not at all clear that that is what “being a leftist” means or entails, this deductive argument is not valid. Since it’s not valid, it’s also not sound (since validity is one of two conditions that must be met for soundness).