Applied Logic: Argument Analysis

Learning Goal: I’m working on a psychology multi-part question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.

Follow each of the steps below to understand the expectations needed to complete this assignment:

1. Watch the video linked below these instructions and take notes that you’ll use to complete the assignment.

2. Review the sample file in the Course Files module to understand how to format your document file. Your submission should precisely follow its format.

3. Create a document file that is one of the following file types: rtf, docx, doc.

4. Write a 50-word summary of the video topic. Do not describe the events of the video. The purpose here is to describe the context of topic. Do not include any of your own personal opinions or beliefs here. The summary should read like an encyclopedia entry meant to describe the topic to someone unfamiliar about it.

5. Describe why the topic is relevant to our conversations. What’s at stake? What problem are we trying to solve by discussing it? This is meant to be no more than one or two sentences that merely summarizes the topic relevance, nothing longer.

6. State the basic claims made by the participants in the video. These are conclusions stated that define someone’s position. There may be several conclusions made, but they are always different than the other claims in an argument because the other claims are meant to support the conclusions. This is the difference between premises and conclusions we’ve learned about in the course content. Example: “Capital punishment is immoral.” (a conclusion) “Why?” Anything that answers questions like why or how in an argument is a premise because it is what counts as supporting evidence of the conclusion made.

7. List premises offered as support of whatever conclusions were made.

8. After listing the conclusions and supporting premises, write a 150 word critique of the argument. Here you evaluate whether you think the premises offer strong or weak support for the conclusions presented. Do not merely state that it is strong or weak because that’s not an evaluation. The evaluation comes in stating why it is either strong or weak (i.e. this demonstrates an understanding of what actually makes arguments logically good or bad). This evaluation is not based on whether or not you agree with the conclusions. Agreement/disagreement with a position is irrelevant to evaluating the logical merits of an argument. What matters is how likely are the supporting claims to be true in relation to the conclusions. Also consider whether the participants have sufficient expertise, whether they cite relevant research or statistics, or whether they commit any of the logical fallacies when they build the case for their position. What are the basic assumptions made that may be true but are perhaps unknown?

Your critique must be within +/- 10 words of the specified wordcount to avoid point reduction (i.e. the safe range is between 140 to 160 words).

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