1. Say what conclusion the author probably intends readers to draw, and evaluate the argument using three (3) of the methods you learned in Unit 3 (that is, identifying the form of the argument, thinking of another argument of the same form with obviously true premises and an obviously false conclusion, thinking of circumstances in which the premises of the argument could be true and the conclusion false, questioning the premises, and discussing whether the language used in the argument is unacceptably vague or ambiguous).
If there were “buffer zones” for wildlife protection around national parks, then it is possible that large mammals such as bears could have enough habitat to survive. But that is not so—we allow strip mining and every other type of development right outside of national parks, with no restrictions. The conclusion is obvious.
2. a. Test the following syllogistic form for validity using a Venn diagram. Be sure to label your diagram, and indicate whether the syllogism is valid or not.
Some S are P
All M are S
Therefore, some P are not M
b. If possible, supply the missing premise or conclusion of the following enthymeme in such a way that the resulting syllogism is valid. Write the resulting syllogism in standard form and test it for validity using a Venn diagram. Be sure to indicate how you are abbreviating the terms involved, label your diagram clearly and indicate whether the syllogism is valid or not. In addition to determining whether the argument is valid or invalid, explain what other things you would take into account in evaluating it.
Legislation that can’t be enforced leads to disrespect for the law, so legislation making marijuana possession a criminal offence leads to disrespect for the law.
3. What fallacies, if any, are present in the following passages? Be sure to explain and justify your answer, that is, if you say that a fallacy has been committed, show where the fallacy occurred, how the passage exhibits the characteristics of the fallacy and explain why you think it is a fallacious argument.
a. Canadian military men died in foreign fields because Canada declared war on other countries, not vice versa. The mere fact that we fought does not necessarily make our cause or causes virtuous.
Few Canadians really paused long enough to really investigate the reasons for our foreign adventures.
I had a long talk with a veteran of World War II. He was a hand-to- hand combat instructor and a guard at Allied headquarters in Italy. I questioned him on the reason for Canada’s involvement. He replied unhesitatingly that we fought because Britain told us to. That was the only reason. It is quite clear that the only reason for world wars is that countries that have no business in the conflict get involved. From a letter to the Toronto Sun, November 17, 1983. Quoted in Leo A. Groarke and Christopher W. Tindale, Good Reasoning Matters! 3rd ed. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press, 2004, p. 284.
b. Background: In this passage, William Thorsell is arguing that the waging of war is a necessary means of opposing tyrants such as Saddam Hussein. His piece, “The Decisive Exercise of Power,” appeared in the Toronto Globe and Mail for December 19, 1999. In the 1930’s the aversion to war in France and the United Kingdom was so pervasive that some pacifists preferred their own subjugation to resistance in the face of violence. Dandies in the
In the 1930’s the aversion to war in France and the United Kingdom was so pervasive that some pacifists preferred their own subjugation to resistance in the face of violence. Dandies in the best schools developed. . . . eloquent rationales for inaction and appeasement, even treason, to avoid the contest for power that was so obviously rising in Europe. They rejected the wisdom that good and evil are perpetually in conflict, and that it is only for good men to do nothing for evil men to triumph. . . . Remarkably, some of the leading nations in the world still don’t appear to ‘get it’ when Saddam Hussein reappears. At root, it seems to be a matter of non-recognition. They just can’t see the man for who he is, just as many people just couldn’t see ‘Mr. Hitler’ for who he was (the limits of the parallel noted). If you cannot recognise your enemy, you will not defeat him, except by luck of circumstance, and that will rarely do. Thorsell, William. “The Decisive Exercise of Power.” Globe and Mail (December 19, 1999).Quoted in Trudy Govier, A Practical Study of Argument, 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2001, p. 206.
4. Read the following sections in the article “Nightmare in Green” by Jarrett Wollstein in the Digital Reading Room.
The Environmental Elite, Implementing the World Environmental Regime (from The Biodiversity Treaty to the end of the section), Sustainable Development, and Fighting Back.
Write a short essay in which you summarise the arguments in these sections of Wollstein’s article and evaluate them according to any of the methods you have learned in the course so far that seem appropriate.