Arguments or Explanations

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Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 08:22 pm
ARGUMENTS OR EXPLANATIONS

I have to determine whether these contain arguments or not (as opposed to explanations). If they contain arguments I have to standardize them. If they do not contain arguments, I have to explain why. I have changed the specifics of the statements, but maintained the integrity, that way if someone is attempting to google their own answers to these questions they will not find them.

A. "Based on the material presented, I do not hesitate to find that the chairman should not continue to act as chairman," Justice B.L.stated in giving judgment for the divisional court. "The unceasing interference by the chairman in the cross examination of witnesses by counsel for the union, the hostility exhibited by the chairman for counsel for the union and---the most serious matter---the chairman making his award in the circumstances I have outlined, raise a reasonable apprehension of bias or a real likelihood of bias."

It seems to me that there is both an explanation and an argument in this text.

The introduction strikes me as an explanation: " 'Based on the material presented, I do not hesitate to find that the chairman should not continue to act as chairman,' Justice B.L stated in giving judgment for the divisional court."

Here Justice B.L. is simply accounting for why something happened. He simply explains that on the basis of the material before him, he has no hesitation in finding that the chairman should not continue to act as chairman. It strikes me however that the next part of the text is an argument and can be standardized as follows.

- Someone who raises a reasonable apprehension of bias or a real likelihood of bias is not fit to act as chairman.
-The chairman has preformed actions that raise a reasonable apprehension of bias or a real likelihood of bias
Therefore
-The chairman is not fit to act as chairman


B. Health Minister Boris Karloff deserves praise for advocating that the government switch cannabis from the Narcotics Control Act to the Food and Drug Act and that jail terms will no longer be handed out for simply possession. The minister also is correct in his stand on penalties for importing marijuana and hashish into Canada. He says the present minimum prison term of seven years and a maximum of life is far to harsh.

Explanation. The author of this piece offers two reasons why the Justice Minister deserves praise. The intention is not that he deserves praise, but why he does. Mind you he does give a claim (the Health Minister deserves praise) and then he does give reasons to support this claim. In this regard I am not able to distinguish enough between explanation and argument.

C. Galileo: But can you doubt that air has weight when you have clear testimony of Aristotle affirming that all the elements have weight, including air, and excepting only fire?

Argument. By appealing to authority, Galileo is not attempting to account for why air has weight (explanation), but rather that it does.

-Aristotle affirms that all elements (excepting fire) have a weight.
-[Aristotle is not to be doubted on this matter]
Therefore
-That air has weight is not to be doubted.

D. I heard that Wilson voted for Thornton, so Thornton must be a libertarian.

Argument. I have had to introduce a premise that seem implied.

-I heard that Wilson voted for Thornton
-[Only Libertarian's get Wilson's]
Therefore
-Smith must be a liberal

E. Because of the unusually wet spring, there was a high incidence of crop-failure. So the price of produce went up.

Explanation. At stake here is not whether or not the price of produce went up, but why it went up. This in unlike the previous example where reasons have to be given to establish that Smith really is a liberal.

So how did I do in identifying whether an argument or an explanation is given AND how are my standardizations?
 
Horace phil
 
Reply Thu 4 Jun, 2009 07:41 pm
@Horace phil,
Come on people...
 
 

 
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