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Critical thinking Analysing Arguments Analysis and Identifying arguments .

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Determine whether the following passages contain arguments or not and give reasons for your answer. (A few sentences are enough when stating your reasons; about 100 words total). For those passages that do contain arguments, state the main conclusion in full. Note that a passage may contain (mention or describe) an argument without necessarily endorsing that argument. (a) Most authoritarian rulers who undertake democratic reforms do so not out of any intrinsic commitment or conversion to democratic ideals, but rather because they foresee or recognize that certain changes in their society make...

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Determine whether the following passages contain arguments or not and give reasons for your answer. (A few sentences are enough when stating your reasons; about 100 words total). For those passages that do contain arguments, state the main conclusion in full. Note that a passage may contain (mention or describe) an argument without necessarily endorsing that argument. (a) Most authoritarian rulers who undertake democratic reforms do so not out of any intrinsic commitment or conversion to democratic ideals, but rather because they foresee or recognize that certain changes in their society make it impossible for them to hold on indefinitely to absolute power. (b) Less interest in food is a common physical symptom of depression, leading to substantial weight loss in the severe forms. Marked sleep disturbance, particularly early morning waking (typically about three o’clock) also points to a severe state. Other changes include variation in mood intensity, the morning being the worst time with improvement towards evening (diurnal variation); the slowing down of thinking and movement, sometimes to the point where speech may be impossible to follow (retardation); a sense of restlessness which causes people to pace up and down, wring their hands and pull their hair (agitation). Adapted from Sidney Bloch and Bruce S. Singh. Understanding Troubled Minds: a guide to mental illness and its treatment. New York University Press, 1999. Page 1 of 2 Question 2: Standard form Put each of the arguments from the following passages into standard form (shouldn’t require more than about 150 words total), observing these points: · Make sure each premise and conclusion is written out as a complete sentence. · Make sure that all premises and conclusions are clearly labelled. · Do not include statements that are not an essential part of the argument, even if they can be found somewhere in the passage. · Paraphrase the essential points of the argument if possible. (a) Advertisement: HomeGlo Paints Inc. has won the prestigious Golden Paintbrush Award given to the one paint manufacturer in the country that has increased the environmental safety of its product most over the past three years for HomeGlo Exterior Enamel. The Golden Paintbrush is awarded only on the basis of thorough tests by independent testing laboratories. So when you choose HomeGlo Exterior Enamel, you will know that you have chosen the most environmentally safe brand of paint manufactured in this country today. (b) When the minimum wage was introduced in the UK it did not, despite the predictions of many commentators, lead to an increase in unemployment. Spain has an economy that is similar in many relevant respects to that of the UK. So when Spain introduces a minimum wage next year, we can be fairly sure that it will not lead to an increase in unemployment there either.

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This passage certainly contains argument. In an argument, it is important that there is premise as well as a conclusion that is drawn out of the given premise. If we look at the conclusion in the passage it is evident in the initial and the last words of the passage, which states that it becomes impossible for holding on indefinitely to absolute power by the most authoritarian rulers who undertake democratic reforms. The premise to this conclusion includes that they foresee or recognize that certain changes in their society influence it.

This passage des not demonstrates an argument. Again, for a statement to qualify as an argument, it is important that there is presence of premise as well as a conclusion. However, in the case of the given passage, there is no evident conclusion that can be found. The statements that form the part of the passage are more of generally related situations rather than the premises that lead to a concluding remark, which is essential for a statement to be categorised as an argument. The passage is full of examples that lead to substantial weight loss in the severe forms.

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