Hw 1-Logic

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Philosophy 201—Practical Logic
Loyola University New Orleans
Ben Bayer
Summer 2012

Homework #1
DUE: Tuesday, September 11th, (at 11:59pm, just before midnight)

Directions
For each of the listed fallacious arguments, select an answer to each of questions (a) and (b). For both (a) and (b), select ONE AND ONLY ONE answer from (i) through (vii). For most of the answers in (b) you will need to fill in the specified blanks with details from the argument to fully explain your answer. Please copy and paste the text of your answers for both (a) and (b) into your submission. For part (b) answers, type over the underscore, preferably in capital letters, to complete your answer.

Problems

1. A breadbox is lighter than a table. And a table is lighter than a feather. Therefore, a breadbox is lighter than a feather.

a. What is the specific name of the error or fallacy?
i. Premises are not known to be true: at least one is false ii. Begging the question: mere restatement
iii. Begging the question: restatement through synonymy iv. Begging the question: circular reasoning
v. Begging the question: implicit controversial premises vi. Begging the question: arbitrary redefinition of terms vii. Begging the question: other

b. How do know that this fallacy is being committed?
viii. Because the conclusion is immediately restated, nearly word for word. ix. Because the conclusion is supported by a chain of reasoning involving a premise that restates or presupposes the conclusion, __________________.) (If the conclusion is merely presupposed and not restated, write which explicit premise presupposes it: __________________.) x. Because the premises are relevant only if an implicit premise, _________________, is accepted. But this premise is the very idea most in need of proof. It is especially controversial because__________________. xi. Because a key concept, __________________, is implicitly redefined to make the conclusion come out as true. A more ordinary definition of that concept is something like __________________. xii. The premise, __________________, is false. We know this because __________________. xiii. Because the conclusion is immediately restated through the use of words with identical meaning: __________________ means the same as __________________. xiv. The idea most in need of proof , __________________, is being taken for granted as true, which we can tell because __________________.

2. Aliens are probing our thoughts. We can tell they are doing this from the fact that everyone has nightmares all the time. We know about these nightmares from the fact that nobody ever gets any sleep. It must be that nobody ever gets any sleep, because we’re all so busy all the time making tin foil hats late into the night. In case you don’t remember being up all night last night making tinfoil hats, this is obviously because aliens have been erasing your memories.

c. What is the specific name of the error or fallacy?
xv. Premises are not known to be true: at least one is false xvi. Begging the question: mere restatement
xvii. Begging the question: restatement through synonymy xviii. Begging the question: circular reasoning
xix. Begging the question: implicit controversial premises xx. Begging the question: arbitrary redefinition of terms xxi. Begging the question: other

d. How do know that this fallacy is being committed?
xxii. Because the conclusion is immediately restated, nearly word for word. xxiii. Because the conclusion is supported by a chain of reasoning involving a premise that restates or presupposes the conclusion, __________________.) (If the conclusion is merely presupposed and not restated, write which explicit premise presupposes it:...
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