Instructions: Reconstruct all of the following arguments following all of these steps:
1. Your reconstruction should be in standard form, all unnecessary premises should be eliminated, and the arguments should be well-formed if possible.
2. All but one of these arguments is well-formed.
3. Indicate which one is ill-formed. Reconstruct it too.
4. Use the steps for argument reconstruction that we learned in class (see below).
5. Remember that the wording in phrases that mean the same thing must match between premises and conclusions.
6. And a well-formed argument must follow a valid or cogent argument pattern exactly.
(Do not simply separate the sentences and add numbers.)
Procedure for Reconstructing Arguments from our course materials:
A. Find the conclusion.
B. Find the explicit premises.
C. Add implicit premises or conclusions to make it strictly valid or cogent, consistent with the authors' intentions.
D. Make charitable revisions in language to make the argument valid or cogent if possible, and as strong as possible.
E. Make the language between premises and the conclusion match. If the argument has this form, for instance, "1. If P then Q. 2. P. 3. Therefore, Q" then make P in 1. and 2. match exactly.
F. Put argument into standard form. Number each premise, separate the premises from the conclusion with a line.
G. Add justifications after every line: [EP] explicit premise, [IP] implicit premise, [1,2] follows from 1 and 2.
Argument: One of the necessary precursors for life is water. That is, if there is life on a planet, then there must be water on the planet. And if there is water, then there will be traces of it in the atmosphere. Voyager has not been able to detect any traces of water in Mars' atmosphere. So we have concluded that there is no life on Mars.
1. If there is life on a planet, then there is water on the planet. [EP]
2. If there is water, then there will be traces of it in the atmosphere. [EP]
3. There are no traces of water in Mars' atmosphere. [IP]
4. There is no water on Mars. [2,3]
5. Therefore, there is no life on Mars. [1,4]
Reconstruct these arguments:
1. The President presents this argument:
If we want our economy to continue to grow, we must pursue even more free trade treaties between the U.S. and other countries. And Americans want our economy to grow. So the future path is evident.
2. The President offers this argument concerning immigration at a speaking engagement:
Every increase in border patrols between the U.S. and Mexico in the past has helped to lower illegal immigration and reduce the number of illegal immigrants taking American public funds. My immigration proposal includes provisions to increase border patrols. So my proposal will address these two problems.
3. If there was a widespread conspiracy among the corporate news media companies to control what information Americans receive, then we would expect there to be a great deal of conformity and similarity in what news those companies report. There is a great deal of conformity and similarity in the news. So, do you still think I am crazy for thinking there is a conspiracy?
4. We should mobilize a grassroots movement. If America needs school sponsored prayer, then we must amend the Constitution to allow organized school sponsored prayer. And if we want to amend the Constitution, then we must mobilize a grassroots movement. Clearly, America needs school sponsored prayer.
5. I recently read an article about George Will that said he coached Reagan in preparation for the 1984 Presidential debates. The next day, after the debates, Will appeared on David Brinkley and proudly proclaimed that Reagan was the winner of the debate. When challenged about the issue, Will insisted that he had no problem retaining his objectivity. Any news reporter who gets personally involved in the events being reported on the news and then reports on those events has a conflict of interests. Therefore, Will clearly he has a conflict of interests.
6. Yesterday, the CIA said in a press release that the CIA was not involved in selling drugs in California to make money for the Nicaraguan Contras. In the past, most of the things that the CIA says in their press releases have been flagrant deceptions. For example, unclassified documents now reveal that they openly lied about the Soviet military buildup that helped prompt the cold war. So they are deceiving us about selling drugs in California and the Contras.
7. Tokyo is doomed. If Godzilla cannot defeat Mothra, then Tokyo will be destroyed. But Ghidra is lurking nearby. And Ghidra will inevitably attack Godzilla and weaken him too much to defeat Mothra; Godzilla cannot defeat Mothra. So, you had better pack your bags, Tokyo is about to be destroyed.
8. This gets reported on the evening news:
Sources tell us that Godzilla, Rhodan, and Mecha Godzilla are all currently headed for Tokyo. Each one of them is intent on destroying the city. But the scientists tell us that if we do not want Rhodan to reach Tokyo, then we must destroy his power source on Monster Island. And if we want to drive Godzilla off, then we must radiate his internal fusion reaction. Furthermore, it has been shown that Mecha Godzilla is vulnerable to X rays. If we want him to return to Monster Island without devastating the city, we must subject him to an intense X ray source. It is widely agreed that we must save Tokyo at all costs; we do not want Rhodan to reach Tokyo, we want to drive Godzilla off, and we want Mecha Godzilla to return to Monster Island without devastating the city. So the threefold plan of action is clear.
9. If we allow longer diesel trucks on the highways, then payloads will increase. And if payloads increase then there will be severe impact on the highway road surfaces. If the highway road surfaces are severely impacted, then we, the taxpayers, will have to pay more taxes to pay for them. And the taxpayers do not want to pay any more taxes. Therefore, we should not allow longer diesel trucks on the highways.
10. The dishwasher isn’t working. If it isn’t working, then the problem is either the water pump, or the drain system, or the control board. The drain system is working. And the control board is new.