GCU COm562 week 2 Reading Exercise

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GCU COm562 week 2 Reading Exercise

Topic 2 Reading exercises from:

Copi, Irving M. Introduction to Logic, 14th Edition.


Identify and explain the fallacies of relevance in the
following passages:


1. If you can’t blame the English language and your own is
unforgivingly precise, blame the microphone. That was the route Jacques Chirac
took after his nuclear remark about a nuclear Iran. “Having one or perhaps a
second bomb a little later, well, that’s not very dangerous,” Mr. Chirac said
with a shrug. The press was summoned back for a retake. “I should rather have
paid attention to what I was saying and understood that perhaps I was on the
record,” Mr. Chirac offered, as if the record rather than the remark were the

—Stacy Schiff, “Slip Sliding Away,” The New York Times, 2
February 2007

2. Nietzsche was personally more philosophical than his
philosophy. His talk about power, harshness, and superb immorality was the
hobby of a harmless young scholar and constitutional invalid.

—George Santayana, Egotism in German Philosophy, 1915

3. Like an armed warrior, like a plumed knight, James G.
Blaine marched down the halls of the American Congress and threw his shining
lances full and fair against the brazen foreheads of every defamer of his
country and maligner of its honor.

For the Republican party to desert this
gallant man now is worse than if an army should desert their general upon the
field of battle.

—Robert G. Ingersoll, nominating speech at the

Republican National Convention, 1876

4. However, it matters very little now what the king of
England either says or does; he hath wickedly broken through every moral and
human obligation, trampled nature and conscience beneath his feet, and by a
steady and constitutional spirit of insolence and cruelty procured for himself
an universal hatred.

—Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776

5. This embarrassing volume is an out-and-out partisan
screed made up of illogical arguments, distorted and cherry-picked information,
ridiculous generalizations and nutty asides. It’s a nasty stewpot of
intellectually untenable premises and irresponsible speculation that frequently
reads like a “Saturday Night Live” parody of the crackpot right.

—Michiko Kakutani, “Dispatch from Gomorrah, Savaging the
Cultural Left,”

The New York Times, 6 February 2007.

6. I was seven years old when the first election campaign
which I can remember took place in my district. At that time we still had no
political parties, so the announcement of this campaign was received with very
little interest. But popular feeling ran high when it was disclosed that one of
the candidates was “the Prince.” There was no need to add Christian and surname
to realize which Prince was meant. He was the owner of the great estate formed
by the arbitrary occupation of the vast tracts of land reclaimed in the
previous century from the Lake of Fucino. About eight thousand families (that
is, the majority of the local population) are still employed today in
cultivating the estate’s fourteen thousand hectares. The Prince was deigning to
solicit “his” families for their vote so that he could become their deputy in
parliament. The agents of the estate, who were working for the Prince, talked
in impeccably liberal phrases: “Naturally,” said they, “naturally, no one will
be forced to vote for the Prince, that’s understood; in the same way that no
one, naturally, can force the Prince to allow people who don’t vote for him to
work on his land. This is the period of real liberty for everybody; you’re
free, and so is the Prince.” The announcement of these “liberal” principles
produced general and understandable consternation among the peasants. For, as
may easily be guessed, the Prince was the most hated person in our part of the

—Ignazio Silone, The God That Failed, 1949

7. According to R. Grunberger, author of A Social History of
the Third Reich, Nazi publishers used to send the following notice to German
readers who let their subscriptions lapse: “Our paper certainly deserves the
support of every German. We shall continue to forward copies of it to you, and
hope that you will not want to expose yourself to unfortunate consequences in
the case of cancellation.”

8. In While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam Is Destroying
the West from Within (2006), Bruce Bawer argues that “by appeasing a
totalitarian [Muslim] ideology Europe is “imperiling its liberty.” Political
correctness, he writes, is keeping Europeans from defending themselves,
resulting in “its self-destructive passivity, softness toward tyranny, its
reflexive inclination to appease.” A review of the book in The Economist
observes that Mr. Bawer “weakens his argument by casting too wide a net,” and
another reviewer, Imam Fatih Alev, says of Bawer’s view that “it is a
constructed idea that there is this very severe difference between Western
values and Muslim values.”

—“Clash Between European and Islamic Views,” in Books,

The New York Times, 8 February 2007.

9. To know absolutely that there is no God one must have
infinite knowledge. But to have infinite knowledge one would have to be God. It
is impossible to be God and an atheist at the same time. Atheists cannot prove
that God doesn’t exist.

—“Argument Against Atheism,”

http://aaron_mp.tr­ipod.com/i­d2.html (2007)

10. When we had got to this point in the argument, and
everyone saw that the definition of justice had been completely upset,
Thrasymachus, instead of replying to me, said: “Tell me, Socrates, have you got
a nurse?”

“Why do you ask
such a question,” I said, “when you ought rather to be answering?”

“Because she
leaves you to snivel, and never wipes your nose; she has not even taught you to
know the shepherd from the sheep.”

—Plato, The Republic


Identify and explain any fallacies of defective induction or
of presumption in the following passages:


1. My generation was
taught about the dangers of social diseases, how they were contracted, and the
value of abstinence. Our schools did not teach us about contraception. They did
not pass out condoms, as many of today’s schools do. And not one of the girls
in any of my classes, not even in college, became pregnant out of wedlock. It
wasn’t until people began teaching the children about contraceptives that our
problems with pregnancy began.

—Frank Webster, “No Sex Education, No Sex,” Insight, 17
November 1997

2. A national mailing soliciting funds, by People for the
Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), included a survey in which questions were
to be answered “yes” or “no.” Two of the questions asked were these:

“Do you realize
that the vast majority of painful animal experimentation has no relation at all
to human survival or the elimination of disease?”

“Are you aware
that product testing on animals does not keep unsafe products off the market?”

3. If you want a life full of sexual pleasures, don’t
graduate from college. A study to be published next month in American
Demographics magazine shows that people with the most education have the least
amount of sex.

—The Chronicle of Higher Education, 23 January 1998

4. There is no surprise in discovering that acupuncture can
relieve pain and nausea. It will probably also be found to work on anxiety,
insomnia, and itching, because these are all conditions in which placebos work.
Acupuncture works by suggestion, a mechanism whose effects on humans are well

The danger in
using such placebo methods is that they will be applied by people inadequately
trained in medicine in cases where essential preliminary work has not been done
and where a correct diagnosis has not been established.

—Fred Levit, M.D., “Acupuncture Is Alchemy, Not Medicine,”

The New York Times, 12 November 1997

5. In a motion picture featuring the famous French comedian
Sacha Guitry, three thieves are arguing over division of seven pearls worth a
king’s ransom. One of them hands two to the man on his right, then two to the
man on his left. “I,” he says, “will keep three.” The man on his right says,
“How come you keep three?” “Because I am the leader.” “Oh. But how come you are
the leader?” “Because I have more pearls.”


Identify and explain the fallacies of ambiguity that appear
in the following passages:


1. …. the universe is spherical in form … because all the
constituent parts of the universe, that is the sun, moon, and the planets,
appear in this form.

—Nicolaus Copernicus, The New Idea of the Universe, 1514

2. Robert Toombs is reputed to have said, just before the
Civil War, “We could lick those Yankees with cornstalks.” When he was asked
after the war what had gone wrong, he is reputed to have said, “It’s very
simple. Those damn Yankees refused to fight with cornstalks.”

—E. J. Kahn, Jr., “Profiles (Georgia),” The New Yorker, 13
February 1978

3. To press forward with a properly ordered wage structure
in each industry is the first condition for curbing competitive bargaining; but
there is no reason why the process should stop there. What is good for each
industry can hardly be bad for the economy as a whole.

—Edmond Kelly, Twentieth Century Socialism, 1910

4. No man will take counsel, but every man will take money:
therefore money is better than counsel.

—Jonathan Swift

5. I’ve looked everywhere in this area for an instruction
book on how to play the concertina without success. (Mrs. F. M., Myrtle Beach,
S.C., Charlotte Observer)

You need no
instructions. Just plunge ahead boldly.

—The New Yorker, 21 February 1977

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