Chapter One, Tutorial Two
Simple Arguments

The following passage provides an "argument", that is, it contains reasoning or evidence for a conclusion.

Sara and Beth are students in Logic 101 and are identical twins. Like many such twins, Sara and Beth share more than just physical traits: they tend to behave in similar ways, share interests down to very specific details, and are emotionally very similar. So, one can conclude with some confidence that Sara will love logic just in case Beth does.

Before moving on, make sure you can identify the conclusion of this argument.

Hint.

Notice that this argument is not particularly combative.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interpreting Arguments

We can express our natural language reasoning in many ways. Here's are example from above again:

Sara and Beth are students in Logic 101 and are identical twins. Like many such twins, Sara and Beth share more than just physical traits: they tend to behave in similar ways, share interests down to very specific details, and are emotionally very similar. So, one can conclude with some confidence that Sara will love logic just in case Beth does

Here the premises come first followed by the conclusion. Also, identifying the conclusion is easy: it follows the words "so, one can conclude". Clearly, reasons are given to persuade you: we have an argument. OK...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But other passages expressing arguments will be harder to interpret..

So, we'll need to work on identifying arguments and their structure within a passage. Let's begin with the first of these concerns. Passages that look opinionated might or might not include an argument. We need to think about "distinguishing arguments and non-arguments ".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distinguishing arguments From Non-Arguments

We need to keep in mind that there are many types of thinking that do not give arguments. So, here are five types of passage that you should be able to disentangle.

Moving on...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To begin, read the following passage and click on its conclusion.

Chris will likely be admitted to law school because he has done well at college and scored well on the LSATs.

(Note that this one sentence passage in the box is made up of several component statements. Each of these is in blue. Click on the one expressing the passage's conclusion.)