Assignment: Argument Analysis!


Deductive Argument Example:

Claim: It is wrong for parents to allow children to watch violent movies

Analysis: My argument is deductive. My first premise is the broad general principle that children daily face examples of violence in the real world. My next premise is that watching violent movies helps children to think about how to deal with violent behavior. My conclusion is that watching violent movies is okay for kids. This argument has indicator words “if” and “then” so it is truth-functional. It would be stated this way: If children face violence daily then they need to think about how to deal with it. Violent movies help them to think about violence and how to deal with it. Therefore, it is okay for children to watch violent movies.

Inductive Argument Example:

Claim: It is wrong for parents to allow children to watch violent movies

Analysis: This is an inductive argument. While the very first premise of the argument uses deductive reasoning, it is not part of a chain, so it is treated as Premise 1. Premise 2 is about the unreality of violent movies, and Premise 3 is about violence as a solution to conflict. Premise 4 compares the world of movie violence to real-world violence. These are four independent reasons, any one of which offers support that the conclusion, violent movies are not okay for children, is probably true.

Read the following argument examples in this activity.

Argument 1:

Dick and Jane have insured their house and cars with Farmer’s Mutual for 10 years. During this time, they filed only one claim for $500, and the premiums have risen 100%. Two weeks ago, while backing out of the garage, Jane damaged the right fender. They didn’t fix it, and yesterday, while Jane was parked at the supermarket, someone hit the right side of the car, damaging everything but the right fender. When Jane checks the insurance policy, she discovers that while the supermarket accident is covered, the damaged right fender is not.

Jane says, “Let’s claim that all the damage happened at the supermarket. It’s only fair. The insurance company has made thousands of dollars from our premiums alone, not to mention all the other people they insure, so they’ll hardly miss the few thousands that their repairs will cost. Many of their friends have done the same – included items that were not part of actual collision damage. It’s unlikely that they we will be discovered, because the fender could easily have been damaged in the collision.”

Argument 2 

In a world where medical resources are in ever-shorter supply, allocation of those resources is becoming an issue. Critical care units (ICU) put heavy demand on hospital resources. Adult medical intensive care units (MICU’s) are often occupied by elderly patients in the final stages of chronic illnesses. Neonatal ICU’s, however, are reserved for premature infants that need critical care in the first few days of life. Surveys of mortality rates in relation to amount of care for both units show that on a cost/benefit basis, outcomes for NICU patients are statistically better than those for MICU patients. Since hospitals should prioritize outcomes, it is clear that resources should be allocated more heavily to the NICU.

Using the examples in the introduction of this activity, address the following:

1. Briefly analyze each argument as follows:
– State the issue and the conclusion.
– For each argument, analyze the argument:
– State if it is deductive or inductive.
– Explain how the argument follows the form of an inductive or deductive argument.
– Reference words, phrases, the structure of the argument, or any other facts or observations you believe support your claim.
2. Diagram the argument.