Posted: October 27th, 2022

Critical Thinking

This assignment has two parts. Both parts will be completed in the same attached

Unit VIII Homework Template

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Part 1: Choose one of the three topics below. Write an argument with a clear conclusion (thesis) that you have created about this topic. Your conclusion must be a straightforward one-sentence assertion. Note that your thesis or conclusion can be something narrow within each topic. For example, “I should stop smoking” is a thesis or conclusion that falls under the topic of being healthy. Incorporate the following guidelines as you write:

  • Briefly introduce the issue or topic.
  • Identify at least two premises for your conclusion. 
  • Write at least one page for your argument and written response.
  • Your written response should include inductive aspects of your argument as well as deductive aspects.
  • List at least one fallacy that you may have committed but have avoided.  
  • Write at least one unstated assumption that is logically part of your argument. 
  • If your argument turns out to have a sub-argument (see Unit VIII Lesson), make sure you fill out a template for each argument. Follow the writing guidelines on pages 273 through 275 of Chapter 12 of our textbook. 

Possible TopicsQuestions that may help in coming up with a thesis (conclusion):Money managementHow should I manage my money? What spending habits can I change? How can I save more?Study habitsWhat is the best way to study? What can I do on a daily basis to study? What can I do on a weekly basis?Being healthyWhat can I do to be healthy? What daily habits can I change?

Part 2: After writing your argument paragraphs, fill out the conclusion, premises, inductive aspects, and deductive aspects in the chart at the bottom of the template. In the second chart, include your potential fallacies and hidden assumptions.

View the

Unit VIII Sample Homework

for an example of how your completed assignment should look. The first part of your completed assignment must be at least one page in length. No outside resources are required. APA Style is not required for this assignment.

UnitVIII Sample Homework

As we age, we must take into account that our memory will start to weaken. I, for example, am very much

aware I do not remember things as well as I used to. When we are young, we take for granted how fast

we remember things. As I hear of many cases of Alzheimer’s, I become concerned I may one day have

Alzheimer’s. It is a real possibility for many of us. Scholarly work shows intellectual activity helps to stave

off Alzheimer’s disease. Thus, I think it is a good idea to engage in as much intellectual activity as

possible. My reasoning is as follows: If I want to have a sharp mind, I should exercise my mind. I do want

to have a sharp mind. Therefore, I should exercise my mind. But, how do I do that? I have been reading a

lot about chess. Chess masters have very sharp minds. I should thus play chess on an everyday basis.

This is what I am concluding for now. It may very well be the case that I will get tired of chess and look for

some other intellectual activity, but for now I will stick to chess. It is so easy to play different people

nowadays thanks to the internet, and I have always enjoyed playing it.

Let us look at my argument in more detail. I seemed to have come to this conclusion via two premises.

Even though there have been a lot of things I have considered, there are only two important premises. My

first premise is I should exercise my mind, and my second premise is chess masters have sharp minds. Is

my argument deductive or inductive? This is a little tricky. I know it is not deductive because the

conclusion does not necessarily follow from the premises. It is true I should exercise my mind and chess

masters have sharp minds, but it does not necessarily follow that I should play chess to exercise my

mind. This is because there are plenty of other things I can do to exercise my mind like read philosophy,

read classic novels, or read science.

There is, however, an inductive aspect to the argument. After reading a lot about chess masters, I have

concluded that chess masters have sharp minds. Their memories are amazing! This conclusion, chess

masters have sharp minds, serves as a premise for my whole argument. But, this has to be inductive

because I am sure not all of them have sharp minds. I may encounter a chess master, for example, who

does not have a sharp mind. Because there is a chance of such an encounter, the conclusion that chess

masters have sharp minds has been arrived at by inductive reasoning. Chance and contingencies are

signs of induction. My whole argument also contains a deductive part or deductive component, a sub-

argument, “If I want to have a sharp mind, I should exercise my mind. I do want to have a sharp mind.

Therefore, I should exercise my mind.” This is deductive because if we assume the assertions “If I want to

have a sharp mind, then I should exercise my mind” and “I do want to have a sharp mind” are both true, it

will necessarily follow that I should exercise my mind (the conclusion) is also true. Recall that in a

deductive argument the conclusion follows necessarily given that the premises are true. The conclusion “I

should exercise my mind” is not a matter of chance or contingency.

My argument assumes playing chess is an exercise, perhaps analogous to how I can exercise my body. It

is a hidden assumption because it is not explicitly stated in my argument, yet it is an assumption that is an

important part of my argument as a whole. My conclusion seems to follow based on this assumption. Are

there any potential fallacies I have avoided? I think I have avoided the false dilemma fallacy by not

thinking the whole situation is black and white or an either-or scenario. In my reasoning, I do not, for

example, conclude I either play chess on an everyday basis or I will get Alzheimer’s disease. I have just

argued I should play chess because I should exercise my mind.

Conclusion: Premises: Inductive Aspects: Deductive Aspects:

I should thus play
chess on an
everyday basis.

1. I should
exercise my
mind.

2. Chess
masters have
sharp minds.

The premise that chess
masters have sharp
minds has been arrived
at via induction.

The conclusion (which is also
premise for the whole argument) has
a deductive aspect:

“if I want to have a sharp mind, I
should exercise my mind. I do want
to have a sharp mind. Therefore, I
should exercise my mind
(conclusion).”

Potential Fallacies (Hidden) Assumptions

I do not conclude that I either play chess on an
everyday basis or I will get Alzheimer’s disease. I
have just argued I should play chess because I
should exercise my mind. I have avoided false
dilemma.

I am assuming that playing chess is an exercise.

Unit VIII Homework Template

Insert your argument here.

Conclusion:

Premises:

Inductive Aspects:

Deductive Aspects:

Potential Fallacies

(Hidden) Assumptions

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