Question

1. Read the passage in the following text box: Canadian...

1. Read the passage in the following text box:

Canadian fighter-bombers participated in an airstrike in Iraq yesterday. Four smart munitions were expended. Iraqi reports suggest that there was some collateral damage. 


Identify two terms or phrases that could be characterized as euphemisms and state what that term or phrase is a euphemism for. 

2. The boxed text contains a statement by the senior trial attorney for the American Family Association Center for Law and Policy, commenting on a 2004 ruling of the Massachusetts Supreme Court that prohibitions on same sex marriage violated the state's constitution:

This decision is on an order of magnitude that is beyond the capacity for words. The court has tampered with society's DNA, and the consequent mutation will reap unimaginable consequences for Massachusetts and our nation.


Identify one term or phrase in the passage that could be construed as a distorting use of emotional language and explain why the term or phrase selected is potentially distorting to the argument.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

3. From Shakespeare's Henry VI:

The duke yet lives that Henry shall depose.

Identify any vagueness, semantic ambiguity or syntactic ambiguity in the statement. If the statement is vague, explain why. If the statement is ambiguous, provide at least two alternative interpretations of the statement that illustrate the different meanings. 

4. The following statement is from a sign in a shop window:

Watch repairs here.

Identify any vagueness, semantic ambiguity or syntactic ambiguity in the statement. If the statement is vague, explain why. If the statement is ambiguous, provide at least two alternative interpretations of the statement that illustrate the different meanings. 

5. The following statement is from George W. Bush, speaking in Milwaukee Wisconsin on October 3rd, 2003:

  • "See, free nations are peaceful nations. Free nations don't attack each other. Free nations don't develop weapons of mass destruction."

Identify any vagueness, semantic ambiguity or syntactic ambiguity in this ironic statement. If the statement is vague, explain why. If the statement is ambiguous, provide at least two alternative interpretations of the statement that illustrate the different meanings. 

6. Read the argument in the boxed text:

When he was asked to find the cube root of 27, he got the answer wrong. He simply wasn't right about that. He was wrong, which means that there was something wrong with him. You can see, this man is a flawed human being.


There is a fallacy of equivocation in this argument. Identify the term that the arguer is equivocating upon and explain the shift in meaning in the arguer's use of that term. 

7. Read the argument in the boxed text (note: Sigmund Freud was a psychologist):

Sigmund Freud tells us that repression is the price we pay for civilization. Thus, all societies employ repression of their citizens to some extent.


There is a fallacy of equivocation in this argument. Identify the term that the arguer is equivocating upon and explain the shift in meaning in the arguer's use of that term. 

Philosophical Investigations PHILOSOPHY 1001
Answer & Explanation

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