Ch 8, 9, 17
• Find and post examples of deductive and inductive arguments. Do NOT use an argument example which clearly indicates it is an example of an inductive/deductive argument.
• For each example, evaluate its logical strength, using the concepts and ideas presented in the textbook readings, the lesson, and any other source you find that helps you to evaluate the validity (deductive) or strength (inductive) of the argument. You can use examples from the text, or you can find examples elsewhere.
o Editorials and opinion columns are a good source, as are letters to the editor. Blogs will also often be based on arguments.
o Use mapping and evaluative techniques to make sure it is an argument. • Is it inductive or deductive? Explain why. • Does it pass the tests of validity and strength? Explain
• APA format for in-text citations and list of references
Deductive Argument Example
“Tightening laws restricting the use and possession of firearms does not protect average law-abiding citizens; it only puts them at greater risk. Enforcing licensing restrictions, trigger locks, and waiting periods makes it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to defend themselves, and, as a result, encourages criminal activity. Only criminals benefit when ordinary citizens are deprived of their right to own a firearm and protect themselves, their homes, and their families” (Lott, 2000, p. 169)
Lott, J., (2000). More guns, less crime: Understanding crime and gun-control laws. University of Chicago Press.
The argument boils down to this:
• Laws that are obeyed by ordinary citizens and not obeyed by criminals are laws that put ordinary citizens at risk.
• Tight gun laws are laws that are obeyed only by ordinary citizens. • Tight gun laws put ordinary citizens at risk.
However, the argument itself is composed of three intertwined syllogisms:
Only ordinary citizens are persons who respect tight gun laws. Criminal persons are not ordinary citizens. Therefore, criminals do not respect tight gun laws.
Tight gun laws restrict only ordinary citizens. No criminal is an ordinary citizen. No criminal is restricted by tight gun laws.
Laws that disfavor the good are laws that favor the bad. Tight gun laws favor the bad. Therefore, tight gun laws disfavor the good.
Notice that you cannot remove any of the “legs” and maintain the claim. Notice, also, that the reasons are closely connected and depend on or follow from each other. Notice, also, that the first premise (called the major premise) must be accepted as true or the entire argument fails.
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