1 Are Some Valid Arguments Arguments With No Loopholes Bad Arguments

1      Are some valid arguments (arguments with no loopholes) bad arguments?

(i.)  Yes             (ii.) No            (iii.) Don’t make my day!   (iv.) Maybe yes and maybe no  Ch 1

2.      If an argument is not loophole-free (i.e., it is invalid), might its premises be true? Ch 1

(i.)   Yes            (ii.) No           (iii.) The question is entirely meaningless   (iv.) No one really knows

3. Bad arguments need to have good reasoning (good support) and true premises. Ch 1

(i) True            (ii) False              (iii)  It depends on lots of things    (iv) Maybe!

4. why are gut feelings that a conclusion is true not a reliable indicator of how well the premises support it? Ch 2


5. Construct a spurious duplicate for the following argument: Ch 2

P: Steven Bannon  is caught by paparazzi forcing Donald Trump onto the floor and brutally shearing his blond hair.


C: The pictures taken by the paparazzi will damage Bannon enormously.

Loophole: A large silverfly walks over the damaging picture while it is in the developing tray.

Spurious duplicate:


6. Argument B comes from argument A by making the conclusion of argument B less specific (i.e. less informative) than that of A (without changing the topic) and using the premises of argument A. Is it possible for argument A to have loopholes which argument B does not have?  Ch 2

(i.)   Yes            (ii.) No         (iii.)  It is impossible to answer this question  (iv.) Did a lion tell you this?

7. If you find many loopholes to an argument, and conjecture there are many more loopholes you would be able to think of if you had the time to do that, then the support the premises give to the conclusion is

(i) Perfect—10    (ii) the worst possible-0   (iii) Close to 0     (iv) maximal ignorance—5   Ch 2

8. If there is information in the structure of the space of situations in which an argument’s premises are true which shows that the premises are true and the conclusion is false in 2/3 of the space, and the argument’s premises are true, is it rational to believe that the negation of the conclusion is true?            

(i.)   Yes                 (ii.) No                  (iii.) It could not be rational in either case (iv.) You stupid non-classicist!

Ch 2

9. If the conclusion of a valid argument is false, then the premises of the argument MUST be   Ch 2

(i) True            (ii) False          (iii) Neither true nor false                    (iv) Either true or false

10. If x is causally necessary for y, then it is necessary that y is  

___________________________________________________ for x.    Ch 17

11. Construct an evil twin for the following valid argument (it has the form Modus Ponens):   Ch 15 (Logic)

P1: If A then (B provided C follows from D)

 P2: A

 C: B provided C follows from D

12. It is always the best policy in deciding upon what is the most plausible implicit premise to select one whose form is a conditionalization.     (i) True     (ii) False     (iii) Neither true nor false      (iv) Both true and false   Ch 14

13. If x is a node in a hierarchically organized tree structure, then it is   ________________________________     for all nodes in the tree structure lower than it. Ch 17

14. P1: 96% of all Rutgers/Newark students will get drunk this weekend. P2: Booze-Head is a Rutgers/Newark student. What can be concluded about Booze-Head from these premises? (Read the material on statistical syllogism.) Ch 19



15. When we conjecture x causes y and perform an experiment to prove this is so, how do we rule out the case that y causes x AND x and y occur at the same time? (Read the material on performing scientific experiments.) Ch 18



16. If you encounter a substitution instance of Modus Ponens in which the second premise is false, is it rational to believe the conclusion?  Ch 2 and Ch 15

(i) YES       (ii) NO     (iii) There is no determinate answer   (iv) It is unknown

17. Suppose that you conduct a poll for a Presidential Election (in the United States) by going to various workplaces to interview people working there. Suppose you have a true random sample of all working places in the United States. Is your poll subject to the fallacy of bias? Ch 20

(i)  YES        (ii) NO      (iii) You cannot, in practice, tell   (iv) You cannot, in principle, tell

18. Name the fallacy: “She says Kanye can’t sing his way out of a paper bag. But, don’t forget, she has bad breath—bad enough to stop you dead in your tracks.”   Ch 23


19. Name the fallacy: “We have no evidence that the abridgment of civil liberties in the wake of 9/11 has led to any curtailment in the democratic life of the nation. We can only conclude that there has been no curtailment in the democratic life of the nation.”  Ch 23


20. Name the fallacy: “Eating raw beef kidneys is better than nothing. Nothing is better than taking this course in critical thinking. Therefore, eating raw beef kidneys is better than taking this course in critical thinking.”  Ch 24


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