Unformatted text preview: Arguments by Example Arguments by Example Chapter 2 Weston, A. (2000). A rulebook for arguments. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Consider the argument … Consider the argument … Ahmad studies 8 hours a week and gets good grades. Souhail studies 7 hours a week and gets good grades. Umar studies 6 hours a week and gets good grades… Therefore, students can get good grades by studying about 7 hours per week. Are three examples enough? Are three examples enough? There are 300 or so male students at PMU: are three examples from among them enough? Argument by Example Rule 1 Argument by Example Give at least two examples – some arguments need more. How many examples would you suggest are needed for this argument? Do the examples really represent Do the examples really represent the larger group? On further investigation, we find out that Ahmad, Souhail, and Umar attended 4 years at a private high school in America before coming to PMU. With this in mind, is it reasonable to expect that other students will have the same study requirements? Argument by Example Rule 2 Argument by Example Use representative examples How would you choose a representative group for students at PMU? Background information Background information You find out that Ahmad, Souhail, and Umar are only taking two classes (10 hours total class time per week) because some of their CORE classes are not offered yet. Most PMU students are in the Preparatory Program, and taking 21 class hours per week. Does this information change the strength of your argument? Argument by Example Rule 3 Argument by Example Include any needed background information: do your research. Argument by Example Rule 4 Argument by Example Test generalizations by looking for counterexamples (alternative explanation) A counterexample does not necessarily weaken an argument: test the counterexample also. What if our counterexample student had almost no English when he started at PMU? Always Remember Always Remember Argument by example is not 100% valid; it is always possible that an exception to the conclusion exists. Thus, this type of argument is an inductive argument. An inductive argument is when we use facts or observations to make generalizations Summary Summary Testing Arguments by Example
1. 2. 3. 4. Are there enough examples to make the conclusion convincing? Are the examples representative of the larger group that the conclusion is made about? Have you carefully researched and included any needed background information? Can you find any counterexamples? ...
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- Fall '09
- Ahmad, example rule, PMU.