Monty Python

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1. Analyse the misguided reasoning that leads the villagers to conclude that the witch should be burnt in the Monty Python sketch. The 'Witch Scene', from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, follows some very illogical arguments. It is an argument that has gone very wrong from the beginning. In this particular scene, the villagers along with a knight, come up with an argument as to why the woman is a witch. The town's people say that she is a witch and should be burned. The knight uses his logic and says that if she is a witch and must be burned, then she must be made of wood. He then goes on to say that if she is made of wood, then she must float, and ducks float so therefore she must weigh the same as a duck. The villagers go on to weigh the woman. With the magic used in movies, it is shown that she indeed weighs the same as a duck. They conclude that because she weighs the same as a duck, then she must be made of wood, and hence she is a witch. The villagers use their crazy logic to come back to the original conclusion that the woman is a witch. Although, through logic that seems to only make sense to the villagers. This is just one scene from the movie that showcases the kind of irrational logic that is used throughout. There are three smaller arguments within in the main argument, with of course the main conclusion being that the woman is a witch. An argument is made up of premises to support a conclusion. Premises are the statements, usally one or more, that are used to support the conclusion (Halpern, p183). Premises are used in an argument to convince the reader that the conclusion is, or might be, true (Halpern, p183). The premises of the first argument are that the woman looks like a witch, she's dressed like a witch and that she turned a man into a newt. The conclusion is that the woman is a witch. The premises of the second argument are that you burn witches, that wood also burns so both witches and wood burns. Therefore witches are made of wood....
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