Philosophy 130: Quiz 1    name:  Key

Part 1: Key Concepts

Match the terms in the center column with the best fitting characterization or definition from the right.  Answer in the leftmost column. (24 pts.)

1. _A_

2. _N_

3. _W_

4. _I_

5. _B_  

6. _T_

7. _G_

8. _Q_

9. _C_

10. _M_

11. _J_

12. _D_

13. _V_

14. _X_

15. _K_

16. _H_

17. _E_

18. _R_

19. _O_

20. _L_

21. _S_

22. _U_

23. _P_

24. _F_

1. ambiguity

2. argument

3.  conclusion

4.  content

5. discount

6.  ethymeme

7.  fallacy of equivocation

8.  inference

9.  logical constants

10.  logical argument

11. name

12.  predicate

13. premise

14. principle of charity

15. principle of loyalty

16. slanting

17. slippery slope fallacy

18. statement

19. sound argument

20.  straw man fallacy

21.  subconclusion

22.  true statement

23. unsound argument

24. vagueness

A. occurs when an expression has more than one possible meaning and it is not clear which is intended
B. a statement the arguer offers as not undermining the conclusion
C.  expressions that provide an argument with its logical form such as sentence connectives (e.g., and, or, if . . . then) and quantifiers (e.g., all, some, many)
D. an expression that picks out a property or attribute that may be ascribed to things
E. mistakenly concluding that because fuzzy borders are hard to see that they are nonexistent, or that one can't avoid crossing them
F. the lack of a strictly defined boundary between what has a property and what does not have it. 
G. a fallacy of ambiguity that goes wrong because of semantic ambiguity
H. unjustifiably pointing a premise or conclusion towards the emotions, not the reason, of the
I. the part of the argument that can vary without varying the argument's logical form; i.e., what the argument is about
J.  an expression which identifies an individual to whom properties may be attributed

K. requirement that your clarification aim to remain true to the arguer's intent.
L. uncharitably representing an argument or position in a way that makes it too easy to attack.
M. an argument in which the truth of the premises would make it reasonable to believe the conclusion.
N. a series of statements in which at least one of the statement is offered as reason to believe another.
O. an argument that is both logical and has true premises.
P. an argument that is illogical or has one or more false premises.
Q. movement from premises to conclusion.
R. a sentence that can be true or false.

S. in a complex argument, the conclusion of one simple argument that also serves as premise for the next simple argument.
T. an argument with an implicit, or unstated, premise or conclusion.
U. a statement that corresponds to reality.
V. a statement offered as a reason to believe another statement in an argument.
W. a statement that other statements in an argument are offered as reason to believe.
X. requirement that you adopt a paraphrase that makes the arguer as reasonable as possible.

Part 2: Short Exercise

Classify the following passage as an argument, or mere illustration, assertion, or explanation.  If there is an argument, identify the conclusion.  If it's an explanation, identify the would-be conclusion.  (2 pts.)

1.  "I think robots appeal to us because we want slaves, and since people always want to be set free, we'll settle for one that is made of polyurethane and whose brain is a silicon chip.  That way we don't get any complaints." -- Jack Smith, Los Angeles Times. {EXERCISES 2(N) #9}

Explanation.  Would-be conclusion: Robots appeal to us.

Argument.  Conclusion: Robots appeal to us.

{1 point for either explanation or argument, 0 otherwise).  1 point for the correct (would-be) conclusion; ˝ for Robots appeal to us because we want slaves; 0 otherwise.}
Part 3: Longer Exercises                                    name:

Clarify the following argument, following the guidelines for eliminating wordiness and slanting and following the other guidelines for streamlining. (5 pts.)

1.  The fat cat Republicans have one passion – to make their bank accounts bigger, no matter how much suffering it causes all of the decent folks in our society who through no fault of their own happen to be poor and underprivileged,  So, whatever you do, don’t vote for those self-centered uncaring parasites. {Exercises 4(F) #1}

·        1. Republicans only want to enrich themselves.

·        2. Republicans don’t care about the poor.

·        :. C. You should not vote Republican.

{Full credit answer: removes all slanting and wordiness and changes the imperative conclusion to a should statement.}


Clarify the one of the following arguments following all guidelines for streamlining, specifying and structuring (eliminating slanting, using standard constants, etc.).  If there are implicit premises or conclusions supply them.  If you paraphrase to eliminate an ambiguity, underline the disambiguating expressions in the paraphrase and explain the ambiguity.  If it commits a fallacy name and explain the fallacy.  If intellectual shortcuts are used name the shortcut or shortcuts and evaluate their success.  (9 pts. total)  DO ONE ONLY!

2A.  "Paleontologist R. Bakker presented evidence, based on stride and leg length of some dinosaurs, that their walking speed averaged about three miles per hour -- about four times as fast as present day [cold-blooded] lizards and turtles, and comparable to the speeds of moose, deer, bull and other warm-blooded animals.  Because the average cruising speed reflects an animal’s [warm- or cold-blooded] metabolism, Bakker argues that dinosaurs were warm-blooded."  -- Science News

 2B.  TEACHER TO STUDENT: No, you can’t ask a question.  If I allowed that, I would have to answer everyone’s questions; and if I answer everyone’s questions, I’ll have no time to lecture.  {If P then Q; if Q then not R; R; :. Not P}



·        1. Dinosaurs’ average walking speed was more like that of present-day warm-blooded animals like moose, deer, and bulls, than like that of present-day cold-blooded animals like lizards and turtles.

·        2. Average walking speed reflects an animal’s (warm-blooded or cold-blooded) metabolism.

·        :. C.  Dinosaurs were warm-blooded.

It Uses the similarity shortcut.  It fails, in my opinion, due to the huge size difference between dinosaurs and lizards and turtles.  Perhaps the difference in cruising speeds is a reflection of this difference in size rather than difference in metabolism.


·        1.  If you can ask a question I’d have to answer everyone’s question.

·        2.  If I have to answer everyone’s questions I’ll not have time to lecture.

·        [3. I’ll have time to lecture.]

·        :. C.  You can’t ask a question.

In my opinion, this commits the slippery slope fallacy; if I take the first step in allowing your question it’s implausibly supposed that everyone else will have a question, so the teacher will have no time to lecture.  It might also be said that “have to” in “have to answer everyone’s questions” is either ambiguous or general between (1) hypothetically incurring the obligation to answer others’ questions if they have them (as plausibly one might) and (2) categorically needing to do so because everyone actually asks a question (which is highly improbable).