February 28, 2012

comments to today's session

A couple of thoughts to some of the examples from the class:

session 3, p. 11 (print-out) - Ad Hominem example. The point is that you can't say that someone had been wrong plenty of times before, so he must be wrong again. I agree with that. But can we say because he was wrong in the past, there IS a PROBABILITY that he might be wrong again? That could still affect the audience (the way we want) but would be true :)

session 3, p. 12 (print-out) - hasty generalisation. The example was: few bad cars don't mean the brand is of poor quality. I agree with that, fair enough. However, I believe that the example is miising one key thing - it didn't mention the sample size. I know that most of us would argue that this goes without a saying, and a sample of 500k+ cars was assumed (volumes of big car manufacturers). But if the sample was 5k and 1000 cars were not good then 'few bad car, really mean poor quality.

session 3, p. 13 (print-out) - circular reasoning made me think of people who when trying to come up with a definition of a particular word, use the word (they are trying to define!) in the definition. That's unacceptable...

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