The Case of Christie, the ACA, and Logic

Here are three sets of examples presenting the variety of non-arguments with respect to a common topic.  Practice this by making up your own examples on topics you care about, like lasagna, song lyrics, or the food in the dining hall.

 

The Case of Christie

1. The Christie “Bridgegate” scandal is too stupid.

2. Christie is toast because of his own arrogance.

3. Christie is being compared to Toronto’s Rob Ford.

4. If Christie has close advisers who will do this sort of thing, he’s not presidential material.

5. Christie’s a bully; look what happened in Fort Lee.

6. Christie’s chances in 2016 are in jeopardy because of “Bridgegate.”

7. Christie’s a bully; he pushes people around to get his own way.

8. Give the guy a break.

 

The Case of Christie   -answers

1. The Christie “Bridgegate” scandal is too stupid.

Opinion

2. Christie is toast because of his own arrogance.

Explanation

3. Christie is being compared to Toronto’s Rob Ford.

Report

4. If Christie has close advisers how will do this sort of thing, he’s not presidential material.

Conditional

5. Christie’s a bully; look what happened in Fort Lee.

Argument if you take the reference to Fort Lee as a premise; illustration if you take it as an example of bullying.

6. Christie’s chances in 2016 are in jeopardy because of “Bridgegate.”

Argument if you don’t already think so; but explanation if you do already think so, but don’t know why.

7. Christie’s a bully; he pushes people around to get his own way.

Explication

8. Give the guy a break.

Advice

 

The Case of the Affordable Care Act

1. The ACA is working because millions of people who were not insured before are insured now.

2. The ACA lets college students stay on their parents’ healthcare insurance until they turn 26.

3. The ACA is working; my friend Jim now has insurance despite his “pre-existing condition.”

4. The ACA would have a better public image if the media reported on the success instead of on the website problems.

5. You should sign up for the ACA even though you are young and healthy.

6. Obamacare is ruining this great nation.

7. The ACA is the law of the land because Congress passed it and the President signed it.

8. Expanding Medicare is wrong for Virginia.

 

The Case of the Affordable Care Act  –answers

1. The ACA is working because millions of people who were not insured before are insured now.

Argument

2. The ACA lets college students stay on their parents’ healthcare insurance until they turn 26.

Report

3. The ACA is working; my friend Jim now has insurance despite his “pre-existing condition.”

Illustration

4. The ACA would have a better public image if the media reported on the success instead of on the website problems.

Conditional

5. You should sign up for the ACA even though you are young and healthy.

Advice

6. Obamacare is ruining this great nation.

Opinion

7. The ACA is the law of the land because Congress passed it and the President signed it.

Explanation

8. Expanding Medicare is wrong for Virginia.

Opinion

 

History and Logic.  These statements come from If A, Then B: How the World Discovered Logic.

1. The option of escaping by sea has almost always been the driving force behind prolonged periods of intellectual change, and the history of logic depended on it too. (24)

2. It was especially easy in classical Greece for intellectuals to escape political control. Aristotle, for example, used this expedient to flee Athens in 323 B.C. (20)

3. In a large territorial empire such as Pharonic Egypt or imperial China, the ruler’s reach was long, so an intellectual with controversial ideas was in constant danger of arrest. Ibid.

4. If it had not been for a series of peculiar accidents –accidents of geography, trade, and politics – logic as a discipline might never have existed. (17)

5. Logic is the common tool of the social sciences no less than the physical sciences, and it can’t follow as an outcome of any other discipline…because logic defines what it means to “follow” in the first place.

6. Why did the study of rhetorical frauds and sophistical ploys, inaugurated by Aristotle in ancient times, remain largely undeveloped for more than two thousand years after his death until being revived in the nineteenth century by the eccentric English philosopher Jeremy Bentham?  The reason for this revival was the rise of public opinion as a modern political force.  (17)

7. In some respects, Aristotle’s Lyceum flourished in a political vacuum, intellectually remote from events on the ground. For example, Philip’s conquests had already put an end to the old city-state system of Greece, yet in his treatises Aristotle still speaks of the city-state (the polis) as if it were the only natural political unit. (34)

 

History and Logic — answers

1. The option of escaping by sea has almost always been the driving force behind prolonged periods of intellectual change, and the history of logic depended on it too. (24)

Report

2. It was especially easy in classical Greece for intellectuals to escape political control. Aristotle, for example, used this expedient to flee Athens in 323 B.C. (20)

Illustration

3. In a large territorial empire such as Pharonic Egypt or imperial China, the ruler’s reach was long, so an intellectual with controversial ideas was in constant danger of arrest. Ibid.

Argument

4. If it had not been for a series of peculiar accidents –accidents of geography, trade, and politics – logic as a discipline might never have existed. (17)

Conditional statement

5. Logic is the common tool of the social sciences no less than the physical sciences, and it can’t follow as an outcome of any other discipline…because logic defines what it means to “follow” in the first place.

Argument

6. Why did the study of rhetorical frauds and sophistical ploys, inaugurated by Aristotle in ancient times, remain largely undeveloped for more than two thousand years after his death until being revived in the nineteenth century by the eccentric English philosopher Jeremy Bentham?  The reason for this revival was the rise of public opinion as a modern political force.

Explanation

7. In some respects, Aristotle’s Lyceum flourished in a political vacuum, intellectually remote from events on the ground. For example, Philip’s conquests had already put an end to the old city-state system of Greece, yet in his treatises Aristotle still speaks of the city-state (the polis) as if it were the only natural political unit. (34)

Illustration

 

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