Deconstructing Argument

Argument video
ATTACHED FILE(S)
This exercise will have you examine written or spoken argument. You may select these from the “Current Events” section of our course, or choose one of your own. In addition, if you’re particularly attached to a speech or written artifact you’ve examined earlier in the term, you can do so here as we’ll be examining it under a different lens utilizing reasoning. This assignment is worth10points.
Your initial post should include the following:
· A link to the piece you have chosen to analyze
· A brief summary of the piece
· How do they incorporate reasoning in their claims (inductive, deductive, causal, analogical)
· Are there any major fallacies committed? If so, which ones, and where?

Inductive Reasoning
Inductive reasoning moves from the specific to general. With this type of reasoning, you take data from several specific, similar incidents and draw a generalization based on this data. The examples below provide simple forms of inductive argument and expand upon what’s in the chapters in the textbook.
Example 1 – Procrastination
· I put off studying until the last minute and aced my math test
· I put off studying until the last minute and aced my COMM midterm
· I put off studying until the last minute and aced my Spanish midterm
Conclusion: I can put off studying until the last minute and still do well on my tests
Example 2 – Parking
Whenever I take morning classes at De Anza, I have trouble finding parking.
(Data: Each day that you have come to campus for a 9:30 AM class and had trouble finding parking)
Conclusion:Parking will be more difficult to find during morning classes.
Example 3 – Travel
“I’ve flown 7 times this year and booked through United Airlines. Each time, my flight was delayed by an hour. A few times, I missed my connecting flight as well.”
(Data: Each of your trips with United Airlines)
· Conclusion #1:Booking with United Airlines is likely going to result in a flight delay
· Conclusion #2:If I book through United, chances are I’m going to get delayed AND miss my connecting flight.
Example 4 – Dating
“I’ve gone on over 50 first dates using a few online dating services and none of them have developed into the long term relationship I desire.”
(Data: each unsuccessful date)
Conclusion #1:The chances of finding a long-term relationship with online dating is low.
Conclusion #2:One can find a date easily using online dating services
If you’re comfortable with inductive reasoning, click on the next tab at the top of this page to move on to deductive reasoning.
Deductive Reasoning
In contrast to inductive reasoning, deductive reasoning moves from the general to the specific. The following terms are important in deductive reasoning:
Major Premise:A generalization about a large group or class.
Minor Premise:A specific statement about a specific member of the group or class
Conclusion:The statement that links the major and minor premise (similar to a warrant)
When examining a deductive argument, it’s also important to make (and analyze) arguments that are bothvalidandsound.Easier said:
Valid:Both premises are true (i.e. it follows the “formula” for a deductive argument)
Sound:The premises and conclusions are closely related.
Keep in mind the following with deductive reasoning:
· If someone accepts both premises, then they have to accept the argument (or at least, look very silly backpedaling. .)
· Most “absolute” deductive arguments are trivial (“All men are mortal; Socrates is a man; Socrates is mortal)
· Many deductive arguments you encounter will not always have both premises clearly stated.
Next, let’s work with some examples:
Example 1 – Instructor Qualifications
· Major Premise: Anyone who teaches in the De Anza Speech Communication department must have a college degree.
· Minor Premise: Brandon Gainer teaches in the De Anza Speech Communication department.
· Conclusion:Brandon must have a college degree (see, he’s more than the diversity effort).
Example 2 – Parking
· Major Premise: All 4 hour night classes at De Anza always get out before their ending time.
· Minor Premise: Financial Accounting is a 4 hour night class at De Anza
· Conclusion:My financial accounting class will get out before its official end time.
Example 3 – Travel
· Major Premise:All trips booked through United Airlines result in a flight delay.
· Minor Premise:My trip to London this summer is booked through United.
· Conclusion:My trip to London will have a flight delay.
Example 4 – Dating
· Major Premise:People you meet on online dating sites are not long term relationship potential.
· Minor Premise:The person I am currently dating is someone I met on an online dating site.
· Conclusion:The person I am currently dating is not long-term relationship material.
Hopefully these examples clarify deductive reasoning a little bit more. Next, we’ll cover causal reasoning. Be sure to click on the tab at the top of the page.
Causal Reasoning
Causal reasoning is a type of inductive reasoning where one event (a.k.a.antecedent) contributes to or brings about the other event (a.k.a. theconsequent).
Examples
· Attending class frequently (antecedent) leads to receiving better grades in the class (consequent)
· Smoking cigarettes (antecedent) leads to lung cancer (consequent)
· Lowering calorie intake (antecedent) leads to a reduction in body weight (consequent)
General Rules of Causal Reasoning
1:Causal Relationships areinferred,not directly observed
You can observe that a consequentfollowsan antecedent, but not that the consequentcausesthe event:
Example #1: You may witness a horrific car accident where a driver dies after a wild night of drinking, but a coroner would have to determine theexactcause of death.
Example #2: You may see your friend who attends every class achieve a higher grade than you, but you would need to examine the whole picture to ascertain what led to the good performance.
2:A Cause must precede its effect.
Does playing Battlefield, Call of Duty, or any other first person shooter cause people to be violent? Or are people with violent tendencies drawn more to those types of games?
Common Errors Associated with Causal Reasoning:
Confusing Causation with Correlation:Stating that a correlation between two variables means that one causes the other. For example:
1. Vending machines in schools leads to obesity in students.
2. Taking airborne before you feel a cold coming on will prevent the cold
3. Getting your child vaccinated will contribute to them having autism
False Cause / “Post-Hoc” Fallacy: Assuming that one event is caused by the other simply because the proposed cause happened before the proposed effect. For example:
1: Gina calls Brandon every time the Giants play. After the conversation, the Giants win. Therefore, Gina assumes that a call to Brandon leads to the Giants winning.
2: Alex decides to get a slice of pizza from De Anza’s cafeteria. Later that day, Alex gets sick and discovers he has food poisoning. He states the pizza is the cause of this.
Tests of Causal Reasoning (or questions to ask yourself)
Is the causenecessaryto produce the effect?
· People argue that a college degree is necessary to succeed in today’s job market; however, there are individuals who donothave a degree and succeed.
Is the causesufficientto produce the effect?
· People argue that “love is all you need” in a relationship: However, can a couple simply being in love always result in a successful union?
· poverty is often the accumulation of multiple factors.
Is there analternativecausal explanation?
Are therecountervailingcauses that would prevent the effect from happening?
· Someone makes the claim that attending class regularly will result in a higher grade; however, a student who rarely shows up to class ends up having the highest score.
Reasoning by Analogy
When you reason by analogy, you are attempting to say that two separate cases are comparable in some
relevant
aspect. Analogies primarily serve to create a conceptual link between two things that are similar in some respect. In argumentation, analogies are employed as premises.
Typically, this will include three parts:
1. The analogy, which usually contains two cases (hence “A & B contain a similar feature )
2. Some type of statement that says from caseA, some proposition (P) follows
3. A conclusion, which says that sinceAandBare similar, ifPfollows from A, then it also follows from B.
Breaking it down a bit further, the formula looks like this:
1. CaseAis like caseB
2. ConcerningA,Pis true.
3. Therefore, concerningB,Pis also true.
If thinking in the abstract is making your head spin, let’s look at some more specific examples
Example 1
1. Managing a guild in an MMO(case A)is a lot like managing a team of employees in a business(case B)
2. As a guild leader, being effective means being able to manage schedules (for raids and events), handle conflict between members, and distributing resources (treasures from the raids). (said skills represent “P” in this example)
3. Therefore, if you you have those same skills if you want to be an effective manager.
Example 2
1. Practicing a martial art(case A)is similar to practicing dance(case B)
2. In martial arts, you need to pay careful attention to your breathing so that you can maximize your movements effectively.
3. Therefore, you probably need to pay careful attention to your breathing while practicing dance.
Determining an Analogical Argument’s Strength
Consider these factors when determining the strength of an argument by analogy
Degree of similarity:How similar are the two cases being presented? In the examples above, being an MMO guild leader and a manager at a company are further apart than the second example: Dance and martial arts are both physical activities.
Relevance:How relevant are the similarities presented in the conclusion? In our above examples, how crucial is breathing in martial arts? In the first example, how relevant are the skills presented?
Joe Rogan & Ted Nugent Disagree Over Marijuana
On this episode of JRE, Ted Nugent is explaining to Joe that a perfectly healthy body doesn’t need an outside source or in his case drugs to perform at your peak or become the greatest at something.Whereas Joe tries to reason that there’s a difference between addictive use and disciplined use, and that you can’t assume just any drug use is the reason why people’s lives turn down for the worse. It has to do with the habit of use.
Analogical Reasoning
Ted comparing his life to Wayne Kramer:
“He and I were both born in the same time, same influences, in Detroit. He started smoking dope, I didn’t. And then he started using heroin, then crack, and started stealing, got arrested, then landed in prison. I’m having the time of my life and he’s wallowing in a cesspool of dog sh*t…on the downward spiral because of drugs and alcohol.”
Casual Reasoning
“My sons and daughters, brothers and sisters at Thanksgiving dinner…beer. Beer is better than coca cola vastly. It’s when you start to enter the drool zone that I have a big problem where I can’t rely on you anymore because you’re comfortably numb.””I’m convinced that you will find your superior, definitive best without any outside influence.”
Fallacies
Ted admits he does drink wine occasionally, but doesn’t think that qualifies him as a drinker. However it contradicts himself claiming to be straight edge.
Ted says, “I don’t need anything to make me better, it’s already within me.” Joe argues that he is talking from a place of inexperience as a person who doesn’t use any drugs.

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