An Online Resource for Logic Teachers and Students of Logic
Arguments and Non-arguments
In each case, does the passage present an argument? Or does it not contain an argument?
1 / 10
Some students do not attend class regularly. For instance, Elizabeth and Marty went together to school on Tuesday, but decided to return home to play Grand Theft Auto all day. Such behavior is indicative of poor study habits.
It’s merely an illustration of the opening claim with no inference.
2 / 10
Elizabeth and Marty went together to school every day this week and studied the material covered in class. Students who attend class regularly and study regularly usually do well in class. Thus Elizabeth and Marty probably did well in class this week.
It's an argument. There are a series of claims serving as premises leading to a conclusion (note the indicator word “thus”).
3 / 10
Elizabeth and Marty, you two are crazy! You should not have gone to the movies Tuesday, especially when you had a test in your biology class. You should go to school each day classes are in session.
It’s a combination of opinion and advice, but with no inference.
4 / 10
Elizabeth and Marty left their house to go to school on Tuesday, but on the way decided to spend the day at the movie theater instead. Their biology teacher was giving a test that day, and the two students were not there to take it. That is why they received a poor grade for their coursework that week.
It’s a causal explanation of the students’ poor grades with noinference.
5 / 10
Elizabeth and Marty went together to school on Tuesday, got in a minor automobile accident, and were late for their biology class. Their teacher was giving a test that day, and the two students were not there to take it.
It’s merely a report of the day’s events with no inference.
6 / 10
Sunzi wrote The Art of War, and The Art of War was written by a Chinese philosopher. Sunzi must then be a Chinese philosopher
The first two claims give good reason to believe the third claim.
7 / 10
Fatima likes pizza. Julio likes football. Takashi likes reading The Tale of Genji.
It's just an unconnected string of claims.
8 / 10
Rene Descartes was unable to see the relations between things, focused on breaking “problems” into smaller parts, and missed viewing systems holistically. Thus he has been deemed a “mechanistic” philosopher.
We find the word “thus” (which is often a conclusion indicator), but here it is pointing to the effect of a causal relation. That is, the final statement is explained by the previous ones, but there is no inference intended here.
9 / 10
Both Mahatmas Gandhi and Sri Aurobindo were philosophically minded, both were male, both were from India, and both wrote commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita. Gandhi fought against British occupation of India. Thus Aurobindo did, too.
This is an argument from analogy.
10 / 10
Maria studies every night for her chemistry class, and works very precisely in her chemistry lab work. She also attends class each day and takes complete notes. We can conclude that Maria will likely do well in her chemistry class.
Note the use of the conclusion indicator, “We can conclude that.”
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