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INSTRUCTIONS: This assignment consists of a short essay question, and some short logic questions. The main intent of these questions is to ensure that you have a sound grasp of the fundamentals of the material presented in this unit. The logic questions are intended to draw on some important logical concepts that will be relevant throughout the course. Although an understanding of basic logic terminology and argumentation is important in this course, logic for its own sake is not the focus of this course. As such, the short essay question should attract most of your attention with this assignment. There is a 3 to 4 page (1000 words) limit for the short essay question. I’m not so concerned with whether you agree with a particular author or not. The quality of your answer is based on your exposition of the competing positions, your comparative analysis of those positions and, lastly, your argument in support of the position you defend.
As with all the assignments in this course, the short essay question is not designed to be a “research” question. There is no requirement to get material from external sources such as websites like Wikipedia. In fact, doing so can count against you. The point of your essay is to formulate the course material and develop your critical response. You can do this by working with the course material and developing your own ideas about the issue. The essay is simply your opportunity to set that out in paper.
So, the material you need to successfully complete this assignment can be found in the online course materials available through the course website. There may also be some reading material that is part of the hard copy course readings package. You can find this information on the course materials section of the course website.
Questions: (The total possible mark for this assignment is 100 marks.) Short Essay Question – The Nature of Philosophy:
In Apology, Socrates refers to himself as a gadfly. Explain how this metaphor is considered to be characteristic of the discipline of philosophy and its relationship with other academic and intellectual pursuits. Explain Socrates’ argument for his assertion that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Do you agree with Socrates’ conclusion? Explain why or why not. (70 marks.)
Logic questions – You should try to limit yourself to two or three paragraphs per answer for each of these questions.
1. Explain the difference between an invalid deductive argument and a strong inductive argument. Why is it correct to consider one to be a “good” argument and the other one a “bad” argument? (10 marks.)
2. The following argument is deductively invalid. Indicate the form, or structure, of the argument, and provide your own counterexample (i.e., an example with all true premises and a false conclusion) that clearly shows the invalidity. (10 marks.)
All cynical people are disgruntled. Some meticulous people are cynical. Therefore, some disgruntled people are not meticulous.
3. Argument Construction (10 marks)
The following statement represents the conclusion for an argument. The statement is expressed in the form of two alternatives. Select one of the alternatives and think of as many reasons as you can in support of that alternative. With the alternative you have selected and the reasons you thought of, construct an argument with the alternative you selected as the conclusion and your reasons as premises. Make your argument as clear and convincing as possible for a person who doesn’t accept the alternative you chose as a conclusion. (i.e. when grading this question that is the position I’ll be adopting.)
The possession, ownership, and sale of handguns should/should not be outlawed.
Length: 5 pages (1375 Words)
The Nature of Philosophy:In Apology, Socrates refers to himself as a gadfly. Explain how this metaphor is considered to be characteristic of the discipline of philosophy and its relationship with other academic and intellectual pursuits.
In “The Apology”, Socrates denotes himself as a gadfly, clinging on the city just as an insect would cling to a horse. It is worth noting that, just as the gadfly constantly stings a horse hence preventing it from being slugging or sleeping, Socrates lived most of his life stirring things up which in turn prevented the city from being sluggish and careless.
Socrates referred to a noble horse that had become sluggish due to its large size. The sluggish horse that he meant was the city of Athens which had become careless and did not question the authority. Though his presence was irritating to the authority, his constant buzz was a wakeup call to the masses to face the truth that surrounded them.