PHILOSOPHY 103
Introduction to Logic

MICRO ESSAY 1

Pick-An-Argument

  1. Review the “Notes on Style and Content for Micro-Essays” in your syllabus.

  2. Select any argument from any source you like.* It can be one from your personal interactions, a newspaper, blog, website, whatever you like.
  3. In your introductory paragraph, explain where you heard/read the argument you are going to analyze, then summarize the position you will take concerning the argument in your thesis statement.
  4. In the body of your paper summarize the argument. Then identify the premises and conclusion and, put the argument into standard form (see chapter 1).
  5. Identify whether the argument is Inductive or Deductive, and why you believe it to be so.
  6. Then, evaluate the argument (explain why you think it works [is strong/cogent or valid/sound] or does not work [is weak/uncogent or invalid/unsound] . I do not want you to discuss the issue that surrounds the argument. Rather, I want you to analyze the person’s reasoning. In order to do this, think very carefully about what is claimed in the premises and whether or not that actually provides support or offers evidence for the conclusion. Applying the principle of charity, do you think the argument could be strengthened? If so, indicate in your conclusion how you would make the argument better.

(Note: Make sure you follow all style and content requirements articulated in your syllabus.)

*If you choose an argument from your text, it CANNOT be one answered in the book.


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