Project #3: Evaluating Arguments in a Philosophical Essay
**USE THE ATTATCHED “PROJECT READING” FOR THE ASSIGNMENT
**ONLY THE FILES ATTATCHED ARE TO BE USED AS BACKGROUND INFO.
In this assignment, you will demonstrate the techniques of analyzing and evaluating arguments by applying them to arguments related to a complex
philosophical topic. As we discussed in class, philosophy does not deal with claims that can be proven by appealing to simple “facts”; instead, philosophers
try to form reasonable arguments to defend conclusions about important, abstract issues. Each group is assigned an essay on a classic philosophical topic,
and each essay contains several arguments that play a role in supporting the author’s overall viewpoint.
Constructing your paper
Your project should have two parts:
Analyze three individual arguments in your group’s essay.
First, select one passage that contains an inductive argument and another that contains a deductive argument. For each, perform the steps of analysis we
Rewrite the argument in standard form, clearly identifying the premises and conclusion.
Identify whether the argument is inductive or deductive. Explain your answer by pointing to specific features in the arguments.
Evaluate the argument: For the inductive argument, is it strong or weak? For the deductive argument, is it valid or invalid? Make sure you use these terms
correctly, and be specific in explaining your answer.
Discuss whether you think the premises are true, and thus whether the argument is sound (deductive) or cogent (inductive). Again, explain your answer in a
way that makes clear that you understand these concepts.
Next, identify a third argument in the passage that commits one of the informal fallacies we studied. Name the fallacy that the argument commits, and
explain in detail why you think the argument commits that fallacy.
This part of your paper should be about 2 ½ – 3 pages long (roughly one page for each argument you analyze).
In the reflection, develop your own argument on the topic under discussion. Do you agree or disagree with the author’s position? Why? Put forward your own
conclusion about the issue and defend it by forming your own arguments in support.
If you agree with the position put forward in the essay, don’t simply repeat what the author says; develop arguments that touch on points the author doesn’t
Regardless of your own position, discuss what intellectual vices you think those on the other side of the issue may be guilty of.
This part of your paper should be about 1 – 1 ½ pages long, bringing your paper to a total of at least four pages.