• Step 1: After fully listening to President Kennedy’s argument, I would identify any hidden premises that might have been included in the argument. If any part of the argument was complex, I would make sure to break down all parts of the argument that were expressed in order to better evaluate it.
• Step 2: I would examine each part of the argument for any errors affecting the truth; I would ask pointed questions about the argument, taking nothing for granted. I would identify any instances of either/or thinking, avoiding the issue, over generalizing, oversimplifying, double standard, shifting the burden of proof, or irrational appeal.
• Step 3: I would then examine his argument for any validity of errors; in other words, I would consider any reasoning of President Kennedy’s thinking that would link his conclusions to premises. Following, I would then determine whether President Kennedy’s conclusions were legitimate or illegitimate.
• Step 4: If one or more errors were found in President Kennedy’s argument, I would request the President to revise his argument to eliminate them. I would argue that the changes that needed to be made should depend and be based off of the errors that were already found in his argument. University of Phoenix. (2009). The Art of Thinking. Retrieved from University of Phoenix, HUM_111 website.
• Double Standard: Basically, a double standard occurs when someone is judged by an action differently than those judged by the same action because of who they are or what position they may hold. Double standard is a form of a prejudice where someone’s race, color, job status, religion, or relationship is judged based off of the action they took.
• Irrational Appeal: An irrational appeal is defined almost exactly as it is stated: an appeal that is “irrational”. People who are guilty of this error affecting the truth make their appeals solely based of off traditional thinking or, make their appeals because they want to follow the same trend that everyone else seems to follow. Irrational appeal can also be the case because someone of authority is making the appeal, therefore not wanting to question the conclusion of the experts.
• Illegitimate Conclusion: Illegitimate conclusions are those that do not follow logically from the premises preceding it. A perfect example of this error affecting validity would be to say that because some politicians are corrupt, all politicians must be corrupt as well; hence, an illegitimate conclusion.
When it comes to evaluating an argument to find errors and to ensure the argument’s validity, it is necessary to take the proper steps as discussed on p. 219 in Ch. 12 of The Art of Thinking.
The first step in evaluating an argument is to fully express the argument on the position the argument is taking, identify any hidden premises, and express all parts of any complexities of the argument. The second step is to examine each part of the argument for possible errors affecting the truth (oversimplifying, shifting burden of proof, etc.). The third step in evaluating an argument is considering the reasoning that links the conclusion to the premises. Then determine whether the conclusion is legitimate or illegitimate. The fourth and final step in evaluating an argument is only necessary if one or more errors are found within the argument. If one or more errors are found within the argument, the argument must be revised to eliminate them.
When Complex matters are brought into discussion, especially when concerned about cause and effect matters, oversimplifying can distort the argument that is being presented. Oversimplifying can be identified simply by measuring the amount of truth within the statement. Taking the...