Assignment # 3 for Philosophy Course

Short-Answer Questions make it brief

1. (1 pt.) Explain in your own words why you think you should exercise the “principle of charity” when interpreting the arguments of others? Relate it to your personal values. That is, how would exercising the “principle of charity” help you become a better person by your standards?

2. (1 pt.) Reconstruct the following argument using the techniques we learned in our textbook (translating non-statements into statements; including implicit premises; removing ambiguity; making precision out of vagueness) and place the argument in standard form (as presented on p. 79): 

“Its okay to lie to children about the existence of Santa Claus until theyre older, isnt it? So its okay not to tell my fiance that I used to be a man until after were married.”

3. (1 pt.) Reconstruct the following argument as in the previous question (NOTE: find the conclusion by asking yourself what the point of all this is; you can cut out quite a bit of fluff. That being said, there are sub-conclusions that will make the argument more complextry your best): 

“Recently I was knocked off my bicycle by a van coming out of a side road. I was concussed, despite wearing a cycle helmet, which was damaged by the impact of hitting the road. At the hospital, doctors suggested that, without the helmet, I could have died, or at least been in intensive care. And yet there seems to be considerable resistance in some cycling groups to any law requiring the wearing of helmets. Ministers have said it would be impossible to enforce such a law, but couldnt the same argument apply to seat belts? It is not difficult to see who is wearing a helmet. In Australia, it is illegal to ride a bike or for a child to use a scooter without a helmet. Cyclists have accepted this law. Are Australians more law-abiding than we are? Head injuries cost the NHS [the health care system] a considerable amount of money. I fail to see why helmets are required for motorbikes and not on bicycles, as the head injuries can be much the same. (Letter to the Daily Telegraph, 8 April 2011).

4. (1 pt.) Ask a question about A) the reading itself or B) how to apply the ideas from the reading to everyday life.

Long-Answer Prompt ( At Least 100 Words)

5. (2 pts.) Catch an argument made my someone else. This could be an argument made by someone you know in person or on social media or it could be an argument made by a public figure (politician, celebrity, or “social media influencer”)wherever. Try to capture what they said as accurately as possible and then answer the following question:

A) Was their argument an enthymeme? That is, were there implicit premises (assumptions) or even an implicit conclusion?

B) Was their argument a simple argument (one premise and one conclusion), a chain argument (with sub-conclusions), or a convergent argument (with many premises)?

C) [IMPORTANT] Reconstruct their argument by including missing propositions and putting in standard form as described in our textbook.

D) Do you think their argument was good now that you distilled it to its essence? Regardless, what could you do to make it stronger? Use the principle of charity as discussed in our textbook.


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