Description Assignment Details Part 1: Please find an argument to analyze. Be creative! Some suggestions are to use a commercial, letter to the editor (or op/ed piece). Analyze the argument you choose. What is the main purpose of the argument? Is it inductive? Deductive? Are there any fallacies being used? If so, which ones? Part 2: Does the argument align with a philosophical theory or theorist? Choose one philosophical theory or theorist and explain – from that perspective – what you would change to make the argument better. Think about the steps that you could use to improve the argument. For example, if you pick Socrates as a theorist think of how Socrates would reflect upon and engage the argument for change. Look for common fallacies like: Circular thinking – typically restating the premise in the conclusion and creating a “circular” argument Appeals to authority – generally this fallacy considers an argument that we should listen to based on some “false” or “non” authority. Is this happening in your argument example? False cause – in this fallacy the writer or speaker attributes a “false” cause to some effect or result (often you will see superstitious thinking used here). Sweeping generalizations – this fallacy occurs when an individual makes generalizations (usually stereotypical thinking) Equivocation – in this fallacy a person confuses two senses of the meaning of a word (like a free animal- is it free because it doesn’t cost anything or is it free because it is not in a “cage”?) Red herring – very common in political settings. This fallacy is a distraction (think of a big red fish – pretty distracting, right?)
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