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HU2000: Week 4 Assignment
How can critical thinking lead to sound inductive and deductive arguments?
This assignment helps you apply your knowledge from this week’s modules
and readings.
Inductive and deductive arguments are two different ways to come up with a
valid and sound argument. Both forms engage an individual in logical and
analytical thinking which require critical thinking skills. An argument is
considered true, strong, or valid when the premises (reasoning) supports the
conclusion. So arguments must be either deductively valid or inductively
strong.
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Recognizing Fallacies
Constructing sound arguments requires valid logic and reasoning. If your premises (reasoning) are
incorrect they are considered to be “fallacies”. There are several different types of fallacies that exist.
Once you recognize the fallacies you are more likely to avoid them in your reasoning.
(Hint: refer to textbook Chapter 11 for more information on fallacies.)
1. Match each fallacy with its definition in the chart below.
A. Begging the question
D Slippery slope
B. Hasty generalization
E. Appeal to authority
H. Questionable cause
C. False dilemma
F. Bandwagon
I. Two wrongs make a right
G. Appeal to fear
J. Misidentification of the cause
A. Also known as circular reasoning because the reasoning assumes the conclusion is true.
F. Sometimes occurs due to “peer pressure” or groupthink phenomenon when you may be
influenced to conform to the opinion of the group.
J. A causal situation where we are unsure of the actual root cause of the issue. It’s possible to
ignore a possible cause or to incorrectly assume a common cause.
I. This argument states that the action (or conclusion) is a justified response to another wrong action
(or conclusion).
H. This occurs when there is no real evidence for the argument. Superstitions are a good example
of this.
c. The “either/or” fallacy – the argument presents only two extreme alternatives and does not allow
for alternative options.
D. Indicates that one negative action will lead to another, and then another worse one, and so on
and so forth all leading to a terrible end result
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E. Basing a belief on a source or person who is not qualified to give an expert opinion on the subject.
G. The argument supports its conclusion not by evidence, but by demands or threats of punishment
or misfortune.
B. A general conclusion is reached based on a very small sample, so the reasons provide weak
support for the conclusion.
Deductive Argument
In a deductive argument, the premises (reasoning) provide such strong support for the conclusion that, if
the premises are true, then it would be impossible for the conclusion to be false. Deductive arguments
are VALID or INVALID.
EXAMPLE:
Valid – All children are young. Johnny is a child. Therefore, Johnny is young.
Invalid – All children are young. Johnny is a child. Therefore, all children are Johnny.
Complete each deductive argument below with a valid conclusion.
2. Premise 1: All humans are mortal.
Premise 2: I am human.
Conclusion: Therefore, I am Mortal
3. Premise 1: All birds have feathers.
Premise 2: Cardinals are birds.
Conclusion: Therefore, cardinals have feathers
4. Premise 1: There is a party at work today.
Premise 2: Jimmy is sick and not at work today.
Conclusion: Therefore, Jimmy will miss the party
Inductive Argument
An inductive argument is an argument that is strong enough that, if the premises (reasoning) were to be
true, then it would be unlikely that the conclusion is false. So inductive arguments are STRONG or
WEAK depending on the strength and frequency of the premises (reasoning).
EXAMPLE:
Strong - 74% of 20-year-old have a job. 89% of 30-year-olds have a job. Most 20- to 30year-olds are employed.
Weak: John, 20, has a job. Mary, 30, has a job. Most 20- to 30-year olds are employed.
**The first argument is much stronger due to the fact that the sample size is much larger.
Complete each inductive argument below with a conclusion. Your conclusion may be strong or weak
depending upon the strength of your premises.
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5. Premise 1: Four-year-old Jeremiah likes to play with blocks.
Premise 2: Four-year-old Mary likes to play with blocks.
Conclusion: Four-year-old children at the daycare center probably like to play with blocks
6. Premise 1: Jill studies two hours a day.
Premise 2: Jill is on the honor roll.
Conclusion: Students who study two hours a day are most likely on the honor roll
7. Premise 1: The houses on Washington Avenue are falling apart according to a real estate
developer.
Premise 2: Christopher lives on Washington Avenue.
Conclusion: Christopher’s house is more than likely falling apart
Evaluating Arguments
Evaluate the strength of each argument below based on the criteria for deductive and inductive
arguments. Explain why you believe the argument and conclusion is valid or strong, OR invalid or weak.
8. Deductive argument: To graduate from UMA, Sally must pass all of her classes. Sally passed all of
her classes at UMA. Therefore, Sally will graduate from UMA.
a. Is this argument valid or invalid?
valid
b. Explain your answer
This is valid because sally needed to pass al of her classes and she did so she will graduate
9. Inductive argument: I have a sore tooth. I also have a headache. Conclusion: I must have a cavity.
a. Is this argument strong or weak?
weak
b. Explain your answer
Just because you have a headache and a sore tooth does not mean you have a cavity, You could
have injured yourself.
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10. Deductive argument: All dogs are dangerous. The golden retriever is a dog. Therefore, the golden
retriever is dangerous.
a. Is this argument sound or unsound?
unsound
b. In your words, explain your answer for 10a.
Just because someone thinks all dogs are dangerous does not mean that it is true.
11. Inductive argument: When I wore my blue socks, my team won. When I wore my white socks, they
lost. I have to wear blue socks so my team wins.
a. Is this argument strong or weak?
weak
b. Explain your answer for 11a.
It does not matter what color socks you wear it is still a 50/50 chance that you win or lose.
Emotion Through Action
Read the short story, Emotion Through Action, and answer the questions below.
12. Explain the wife’s inductive reasoning for determining her husband’s level of safety at work.
Premise 1: The wife assumes that her husband works a desk job.
Premise 2: the assumes that her husband just does research and data entry.
Conclusion: The wife assumes that her husband has a safe job.
13. Explain how the husband knows that his wife is no longer comfortable with his job.
The wife finally found out that the husband is a field agent who puts his life on the line when he goes
to work.
14. The husband says: “I know what I’m doing. It’s not my first time.” Why is his argument a
generalization? Explain. (Hint: Refer to textbook pages 463-468 for more information about
generalizations).
This argument is a generalization because even though he thinks he knows what he is doing every
situation is different therefore he can’t always know what he is doing.
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Reflection
Reflect on what you have learned this week to help you respond to the question below. You may choose
to respond in writing or by recording a video!
15. Why is it important to make decisions or draw conclusions based on true, valid, and sound
reasons/arguments?
It is important to make decisions based on true, valid, and sound reasons because if you make a
choice with the wrong information it could lead to very bad things happening.
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