Philosophy Arguments Questions

Philosophy Arguments Questions

Most of the questions are multiple-choice, but some are short answer questions, and the last five are problems where you diagram the arguments.

1. I don’t think Dr. Morris’s theory about the Big Bang is correct because I know for certain that he is a convicted felon.

a. begging the question b. ad hominem c. hasty generalization d. weak analogy e. hypothesis contrary to fact

2. Trump should be impeached because he is guilty of impeachable crimes and presidents guilty of impeachable crimes should be impeached.

a. ad hominem b. hasty generalization c. Dicto simpliciter d. begging the question e. straw man

3. We need to outlaw pornography as soon as possible because the continued manufacture and sale of pornography will lead to an increase in sex-related crimes such as rape and incest. And this in turn will gradually erode the moral fabric of society and result in an increase in crimes of all sorts. Eventually a complete disintegration of law and order will occur, leading in the end to the collapse of civilization. a. straw man b. begging the question c. post hoc d. slippery slope red herring

4. I think my plan to end the dispute is better than all the other plans that have been put forward by members in our club. After all, I’ve spent a lot of time working on my plan.

a. straw man b. begging the question c. false dilemma d. ad hominem e. irrelevant conclusion

5. Professor Harris said that he will give a talk about heart failure in the biology lecture hall. It must be the case that a number of heart failures have occurred there recently.

a. begging the question b. straw man c. slippery slope d. amphiboly e. equivocation

6. If a student misses more than four classes he or she will be dropped from the course. Since Cathy (a student in the class) was dropped from the course it follows that she missed more than four classes. a. begging the question b. false dilemma c. affirming the consequent d. amphiboly e. slippery slope

7. Since the Royal Society is over 300 years old it follows that Professor Ellis, who is a member of the Royal Society, must be over 300 years old.

a. begging the question b. fallacy of division c. amphiboly d. slippery slope e. Hypothesis contrary to fact

8. Either we adopt a one-world government, or regional wars will continue forever. We certainly can’t tolerate constant war. Therefore, we must adopt a one-world government.

a. begging the question b. appeal to the emotion of fear c. false dilemma d. slippery slope e. hasty generalization

9. Since humans are like animals in that they both have to eat food and drink water to live, it follows that since animals don’t have to study and go to school, humans shouldn’t have to do so either.

a. false dilemma b. false analogy c. begging the question d. dicto simpliciter e. hasty generalization

10. There are certain philosophical problems that will never be solved for the simple reason that some questions philosophers ask are questions that human beings, no matter how intelligent they may be, are simply not able to answer. a. straw man b. slippery slope c. begging the question d. false dilemma el hasty generalization

11. David: I think we need to reduce the amount of income taxes we pay so more people can live a decent life.

Karen: I really think, David, that your idea of eliminating taxes is a terrible idea because if we don’t pay taxes then we won’t be able to pay for our public schools, roads, libraries, etc.

What fallacy has Karen committed?

a. appeal to fear b. straw man c. equivocation d. begging the question e. slippery slope

12. Dr. Thomas: I am convinced that global warming has reached the point where we can no longer stop it from getting worse.

Dr. Wills: I disagree with you, Dr. Thomas. What evidence do you have for your view?

Dr. Thomas: That’s my view and I’ll stick by it. Do you have any evidence that shows it is wrong?

What fallacy has Dr. Thomas committed?

a. begging the question b. straw man c. slippery slope d. misplacing the burden of proof e. false dilemma

13. I’ve met three people from France and they all love philosophy. I conclude that most people from France love philosophy.

a. straw man b. hasty generalization c. dicto simpliciter d. false dilemma e. composition

14. Since the crime rate went way up after the tax rate was increased we can only conclude that increasing taxes will result in increasing the crime rate.

a. begging the question b. false analogy c. misplacing the burden of proof d. post hoc e. dicto simpliciter

More multiple choice questions.

15. Taking one of these pills every day may prevent you from ever having a heart attack. (An advertisement for a certain type of pill) The word “may” is what kind of rhetorical device?

a. euphemism b. dysphemism c. downplayer d. stereotype e. weaseler

16. Is Susan a liar? Well, I don’t say she is, but you can decide for yourself.

a. downplayer b. weaseler c. innuendo d. dysphemism e. proof surrogate

17. John: There is every reason to believe that there is intelligent life somewhere else in our galaxy.

David: What are some of the reasons?

John: There are many studies that indicate that there is intelligent life in our galaxy

What fallacy has John committed?.

a. downplayer b. weaseler c. proof surrogate d. innuendo e. stereotype

18. I think the law that I must wear a seat belt when I drive is a good law because it’s for my own good.

This type of legal reasoning is an example of what kind of moral perspective:

a. legal moralism b. legal paternalism c. harm principle d. offense principle e. deontological moralism

19. Torture should be outlawed because no one has the right to torture another person for any reason whatsoever. People can never be treated as a means to an end–no matter how good that end may be.

This kind of moral reasoning is an example of ______________.

a. utilitarianism b. deontological ethics c. religious absolutism d. virtue ethics e. moral relativism

20. There should be a law against smoking cigarettes because smoking is a major cause of cancer, which kills thousands of Americans each year.

Which of the following is a missing premise that is needed to make the argument valid (even if it is not the only missing premise that is needed to make the argument valid)?

a. studies show that smoking causes cancer b. we should enact laws that save human lives c. if we enact a law against smoking it will save thousands of lives

d. too many people get cancer each year because of smoking e. studies show that there is a correlation between smoking and cancer

21. In a valid argument _______________. A. it is impossible to have false premises and a true conclusion b. the premises and the conclusion are true c. the premises and conclusion may all be false d. the conclusion must be true e. the conclusion is at best probably true

22. What does each of the letters of QUERTOL stand for. (use a phrase to explain each letter). This question is not multiple choice. You need to answer it. Explain what each letter of QUERTOL means in a brief sentence.

23. Why are many arguments we make in everyday life enthymemes? Short answer

24. What is the issue (I am using “issue” in the way the book uses it) of the following argument?

Argument: Government mandates for zero-emission vehicles won’t work because only electric cars qualify as zero-emission vehicles, and electric cars won’t sell. They are too expensive, their range of operation is too limited, and recharging facilities are not generally available.

25. Supply the missing premise of the following argument (enthymeme) to make it deductive valid.

Schools should teach children how to play chess because chess is not only a fun game to play but it also teaches children to think abstractly and to learn to think things through carefully before deciding what to do.

26. John is very certain of what he believes because he only reads books and listens to speakers who agree with him. What cognitive bias has John become a victim of? a. bandwagon b. belief bias c. confirmation bias d.false-consensus effect e. availability heuristic

27. The difference between deductive and inductive reasoning lies in the fact that _________. a. inductive arguments are used in science but deductive arguments are not b. deductive arguments are limited to mathematical and logical arguments whereas inductive arguments concern our everyday life c. the certainty that you can claim for a deductive argument is greater than the certainty you can claim for an inductive argument d. deductive arguments always infer a specific claim from a universal claim (a claim that refers to every member of some class) to a specific claim while inductive arguments always infer a universal claim from appealing to individual cases e. a valid deductive argument must have a true conclusion whereas a strong inductive argument may have a false conclusion

28. In one of my audio recordings I talked about five different kinds of arguments (factual, interpretative, pragmatic, predictive, and evaluative.

What do I mean by a pragmatic argument? Next, give an example of a pragmatic argument.

29. In one of my audio recordings I discussed different forums or places where arguments take place. What are three of the places or forums that I mentioned? What did I mean when I said some are more formal than others?

30. What do Moore and Parker (the authors or Critical Thinking) mean by “critical thinking”?

31. The reason Gould offers for why we prefer creation myths to evolutionary modes of explanation is that:

a) they are more factual b) they identify heroes and sacred places c) they are easier to understand than complicated evolutionary explanations

d) they create social cohesion e) none of the above

32. Why, according to Gould, should we care about the duel (and all that followed from it) between Castlereagh and Canning?

a. because it is an analogy to our own existence b. it reveals to us the complex nature of historical explanation c. because it is a fascinating story in itself d. because it demonstrates that history can be an informative as biology or chemistry e. because it demonstrates that many historical explanations are nonsensical

33. In “The Eureka Phenomenon,” Asimov says that the Eureka phenomenon a. happens very rarely b. is no more than a myth promulgated by romantic scientists c. probably happens but not as often as some scientists say it does d. probably happens often but there is a conspiracy to hide this fact e. happens occasionally but so far no one has been able to explain how it occurs

34. In my audio discussion of E.B. White’s essay “Moonwalk” I said that White’s reference to Iwo Jima _______. a. weakened his essay b. contributes to the Logos aspect of the essay c. contributes to the Ethos aspect of the essay d. contributes to the Pathos aspect of the essay e. shows that E.B. White’s essay is racist

35. In “Love Is a Fallacy,” by Max Shulman, when “Max” tells Polly that one reason she should be his girl friend is that the reason she knows the fallacies is that he taught them to her she accuses him of committing what fallacy? a. Dicto simpliciter b. hypothesis contrary to fact c. slippery slope d. false dilemma e. poisoning the well

**For the remaining six questions Diagram the arguments. Only diagram statements that are premises or offer a counterclaim to another statement. For counterclaims cross the “therefore” arrow with lines (as on p.56 of your book). If a statement is neither a premise nor a counterclaim ignore it (do not diagram it).

36. 1) All men crave material success because 2) it serves as an insurance policy against sexual rejection. This is true because 3) women love men who are successful. 4) Both men and women want power, and 5) success is the form of power women feel most deprived of. Thus,, 6) women try to achieve it vicariously through men. 7) As the 5-foot-6-inch Dustin Hoffman once put it, “When I was in high school, women wouldn’t touch me with a 10-foot pole. Now I can’t keep them away with a 10-foot pole.”

37. 1) The use of ethanol as an additive in gasoline is really a bad idea. 2) Ethanol is produced from corn, and 3) when 40 percent of the annual corn crop is burned up in car engines, that obviously raises the price of corn for food. 4) Also, adding ethanol to gasoline is highly inefficient. 5) Ethanol yields about 30 percent less energy than gasoline, and 6) it’s more expensive to transport and handle than gasoline.

38. 1) Although Shakespeare wrote several hundred years ago and might seem outdated, 2) he is worth reading today because 3) his plays are some of the very greatest plays ever written. 4) Some scholars think Hamlet, for example, is the greatest tragedy ever written. 5) Also, Shakespeare was not only a great dramatist but a great poet. 6) His Sonnets are some of the greatest poems ever written. 7) Finally, no one can understand Western culture without having read some of Shakespeare’s plays.

39. 1) The rain forest of Brazil produces oxygen for the whole world, yet 2) it yields no monetary return to that country. Given that 3) the industrialized nations consume the most oxygen, 4) those nations ought to play Brazil an annual fee for the use of its rain forest.

40. 1) America’s farm policy desperately needs revamping. 2) Seventy-three cents of every farm program dollar ends up in the pockets of the nation’s super-farmers. As a result, 3) the mid-sized family farms are being squeezed out of existence. Also, 4) our farm policy courts environmental disaster. 5) Federal subsidies encourage farmers to use enormous amounts of fertilizer and pesticides. 6) These chemicals percolate down through the soil and pollute limited groundwater. cycle