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CSU CHICO / Philosophy / PHIL 102 / Why do we need an argument when there is an issue?

Why do we need an argument when there is an issue?

Why do we need an argument when there is an issue?

Description

School: California State University Chico
Department: Philosophy
Course: Critical Thinking
Professor: Wai-hung wong
Term: Spring 2016
Tags: PHIL 102, CSU Chico, and critical thinking
Cost: 25
Name: PHIL 102: Week 1 Notes
Description: This packet for Week 1 (Chapter 1) includes: -What to Read -Exercises & Answers -Three powerpoint presentations converted into PDF's
Uploaded: 02/11/2016
109 Pages 33 Views 2 Unlocks
Reviews

Maggie Scott (Rating: )



Self-Testing Questions 


Why do we need an argument when there is an issue?



In order to test your understanding of the concepts you are supposed to  have learned, ask yourself the following questions and answer them (either  in writing or just in your mind) without looking at the book:

1. Why do we need an argument when there is an issue? 2. What are the two main parts of an argument?

3. What is the purpose of offering an argument?

4. Can you persuade someone without offering an argument?  Why?

5. What is the difference between a claim that is objective and a  claim that is subjective? (Give some examples.)

6. What are cognitive biases? (Give some examples.)

* If you don't know how to answer any of the above questions, you should reread the  relevant section(s).


What is the purpose of offering an argument?



Exercises 

Do the following exercises (answers have been posted in this learning  module):

Exercise 1-1

Exercise 1-3

Exercise 1-4

Exercise 1-5

Exercise 1-6

Exercise 1-12

Exercise 1-14

Exercise 1-1

▲1. An argument consists of two parts, one of which is intended to provide a reason for  accepting the other part.

2. True

3. False

▲4. False

5. True

6. True

▲7. True

8. False

9. True

▲10. False. As an example of an opinion that isn't subjective, we (the authors) are of the  opinion there is life somewhere else in the universe. If there is life, our opinion is true. If  there isn't, then it is false. We don't know whether our opinion is true or false, but we do  know that it is one or the other, and we know that whether it is true or false is independent of  whether we think there is life somewhere else in the universe.


Can you persuade someone without offering an argument? why?



We also discuss several other topics like What is an absolute space?

11. False  

12. Moral subjectivism

▲13. C. The first order of business is to determine what the issue is.

14. True

15. False

▲16. True

17. True

18. False

▲19. D

20. False

Exercise 1-3

▲1. Not objective

2. Objective Don't forget about the age old question of What do conceptual scheme relativists believe?

3. Objective

▲4. Not objective

5. Objective

6. Objective  

▲7. Not objective

8. Not objective

9. Objective

▲10. Objective

11. Not objective

12. Objective

Exercise 1-4

▲1. Subjective

2. Not subjective

3. Not subjective

▲4. Subjective.

5. Not subjective

6. Subjective

▲7. Not subjective

8. Subjective

9. Subjective

▲10. Not subjective, unless the speaker intends to imply that Kerry's chin is unattractive, in  which case the assertion would be subjective. If the speaker is taking a position on whether  Kerry’s chin is quite unusual, the claim also would be subjective, even if he or she did not  mean to imply that it is an unattractive chin.

Exercise 1-5

▲1. Argument

2. Not an argument

3. Not an argument

▲4. Not an argument

5. Not an argument

6. Argument

▲7. Not an argument

8. Argument

9. Argument

▲10. Argument We also discuss several other topics like What are the types of a pitch?

Exercise 1-6

▲1. No argument

2. The conclusion is that we will have to find someone else who owns a truck. 3. The conclusion is that bans on firearms are unproductive.

▲4. The conclusion is that computers will never be able to converse intelligently through  speech.

5. The conclusion is that The Carrie Diaries isn’t very good.

6. No argument

▲7. The conclusion is that chemicals in teething rings and soft plastic toys may cause cancer. 8. The conclusion is that as long as the number of lethal weapons in the hands of the American  people continues to grow, so will the murder rate. Don't forget about the age old question of How is ageism a form of discrimination and prejudice that has negative impacts on all members of society?
Don't forget about the age old question of Why was china not interested in importing anything else?

9. The conclusion is that times have changed.  

10. No argument

Exercise 1-12

▲1. a

2. c

3. b

▲4. b

5. a We also discuss several other topics like Where did romulus set up a sanctuary for criminals?

6. b

▲7. e. The issue is whether it is surprising that the winner of this year's spelling bee is a straight  A student whose favorite subject is science.

8. b

9. c

▲10. c. But notice YOUR FRIEND hasn't given a reason for thinking the governor has been  good.

Exercise 1-14

▲1. MRS. is addressing both issues raised by MR.  

 2. MOORE raises the issue of whether the administration’s latest Afghanistan proposal will   make matters worse. PARKER says nothing about that issue.

3. SHE has raised the issue of whether HE gives her enough help around the house, as well as  the issue of whether HE ever does anything. HE responds to the second issue explicitly and  by implication to the first issue. SHE responds by raising the question of who does the most.

▲4. CAUTIOUS is addressing the issue raised by HEEDLESS, of whether people should  complain about what we are doing in Afghanistan.

5. MR. RJ raises the issue of whether more casinos are needed around here. MR. JR says  nothing about that issue.

6. JOE FITNESS raises the issue of whether he should fix the chain on his bike. COUCH POTATO responds to that issue.

▲7. OLD GUY is addressing YOUNG GUY’S issue of whether baseball players are better now  than forty years ago. He does not support his position with an argument, however.

8. STUDENT ONE raises the issue of whether studying is a waste of time. STUDENT TWO does not respond to that issue.  

9. PATRIOT does not take issue with PHILATELIST’S statement that U.S. postage stamps  are now being printed in Canada. He or she instead raises the question of whether that is a  good thing.

▲10. SECOND NEIGHBOR is addressing the issue raised by FIRST NEIGHBOR, which is  whether SECOND NEIGHBOR has a right to make so much noise at night. SECOND  NEIGHBOR thinks he has the right.

11. STUDY PARTNER TWO doesn’t take issue with whether they should get a pizza.  Instead, he or she raises the question of whether to get an anchovy pizza.

12. FEMALE STUDENT raises the question of whether the Internet is overrated. MALE  STUDENT doesn’t address that issue.

▲13. DEVON is not addressing RAMON’S issue, which is whether this English course is a  complete waste of time.

14. CULTURALLY CHALLENGED PERSON’S SPOUSE has asked CULTURALLY  CHALLENGED PERSON to go to a concert, he has declined, and she is trying to force him.  They are both addressing the same issue.

15. REPUBLICAN has raised the issue of whether Obama’s budget requests makes sense.  DEMOCRAT does not address that issue.

▲16. PARKER isn’t addressing Moore’s issue, which is whether Thomas Brothers or Vernon  Construction does better work. Instead, he addresses whether Thomas Brothers charges too  much.

17. URBANITE raises the issue of whether the new requirements are a good thing  environmentally. SUBURBANITE does not address that issue.

18. CRITIC has questioned the morally propriety of selling junk bonds without emphasizing  the risks. ENTREPRENEUR responds to that issue.

▲19. On the surface, it may seem that both hands address the issue of whether a person such as  ONE HAND can feel safe in her own home. But ONE HAND’S real issue is whether the  large number of handguns makes one unsafe in one’s own home. OTHER HAND ignores this  issue completely.

20. ONE GUY has raised the issue of whether DVD recorders are overpriced. ANOTHER does not address that issue.  

21.FED UP has raised the issue of whether to exercise an early retirement option and move to  his place in Arkansas. FRIEND addresses this issue.  

▲22. JENNIFER does not address the issue raised by KATIE, which is whether she  (JENNIFER) would be better off riding a bike to school. JENNIFER in effect changes the  subject. Instead of addressing whether she would be better off riding a bike to school,  JENNIFER starts talking about KATIE, as if KATIE’S behavior somehow invalidates what  KATIE has asserted. This is like item 5, in which MR. JR changes the subject in a similar  way.

23. DEZRA raised the issue of whether KEN should mow the lawn in his bare feet. KEN does  not respond to this issue.  

24. YAO raised the issue of whether the fact iMacs never get viruses isn’t a nice feature of the  computer. MAO doesn’t respond to that issue.

▲25. HERR UBERALLES thinks they spend more than they should on heating. FRAU  UBERALLES reminds him that she gets cold easily, which she thinks justifies the heating  expense. She addresses the issue raised by him.

Chapter 1 What Is Critical Thinking,  Anyway?

This chapter introduces some very basic concepts in critical thinking, such  as cognitive biases, the concept of an argument, the distinction between  objective claims and subjective claims, and the relation between truth and  knowledge. Read the whole chapter once and then reread the following  sections:

Objective Claims and Subjective Claims (p.4)

Arguments (pp.7-8)

Cognitive biases (pp.14-19)

What You Are Supposed to Have Learned After reading this chapter, you should understand:

1. Why we need critical thinking.

2. The difference between a sentence that is a claim and a  sentence that is not a claim.

3. The difference between an objective claim and a subjective  claim.

4. The purpose of an argument.

5. The basic structure of an argument.

6. What cognitive biases are.

7. The difficulty of getting rid of cognitive biases.

The Basics!  

Chapter 1: First of Three  Parts

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

1  

When you try to support or  prove a claim, you give a what?  • An argument  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

2

The part of an argument you try  to support is called the what?  • The conclusion  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

3

The part that does the  

supporting is?  

• The premise (or premises)  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

4

An argument can have how  many conclusions?  

A. One only  

B. More than one  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

5

How many premises can an  argument have?  

A. One only  

B. More than one  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

6

“Carl would like to help out, but he  won't be in town. So we'll have to find  someone else who owns a truck.”  

Is this an argument?  

A. Yes  

B. No  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

7

“Carl would like to help out, but he  won't be in town. So we'll have to find  someone else who owns a truck.”  

What’s the conclusion?  

A. First sentence  

B. Second sentence  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

8

“The Directory of Intentional Communities  lists more than two hundred groups across  the country organized around a wide variety  of purposes, including environmentally aware  living.”  

Argument?  

A. Yes  

B. No  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

9

“Fears that chemicals in teething rings and  soft plastic toys may cause cancer may be  justified. Last week, the Consumer Product  

Safety Commission issued a report  confirming that low amounts of DEHP, known  to cause liver cancer in lab animals, may be  absorbed from certain infant products.”  

Argument?  

A. Yes  

B. No  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

10

“Can it be established that genetic humanity  is sufficient for moral humanity? I think there  are very good reasons for not defining the  moral community in this way.”  

Argument?  

A. Yes  

B. No  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

11

“Was Bush a good president? Heck yeah!  He was great! If you don’t know that, your  parents must be brother and sister.”  

Argument?  

A. Yes  

B. No  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

12

“Computers will never be able to converse  intelligently through speech. A simple  example proves this is so. The sentences  ‘How do you recognize speech?’ and ‘How do  you wreck a nice beach?’ have entirely  different meanings, but they sound similar  enough that a computer could not distinguish  the two.”  

Argument?  

A. Yes  

B. No  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

13

“Computers will never be able to converse  intelligently through speech. A simple  example proves this is so. The sentences  ‘How do you recognize speech?’ and ‘How do  you wreck a nice beach?’ have entirely  different meanings, but they sound similar  enough that a computer could not distinguish  the two.”  

What is the conclusion of this argument?  A. The first sentence  

B. The second sentence  

C. The third sentence  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

14

“Will hot water freeze faster than cold water?  A lot of people have that idea, but they are  wrong. Cold water freezes faster than hot  water.”  

What sentence contains the conclusion?  A. The first sentence  

B. The second sentence  

C. The third sentence  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

15

?

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. 16  

Ha! It isn’t an argument!  

“Will hot water freeze faster than cold  water? A lot of people have that idea, but  they are wrong. Cold water freezes faster  than hot water.”  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

17

“Who do I think will win American Idol  next time? Not Fred Thompson.”  

What sentence contains the conclusion?  A. The first sentence  

B. The second sentence  

C. This isn’t an argument.  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

18

"Some theorists believe it is appropriate to  prevent people who enter politics from  using their office to make financial gains.  Others feel it may be shortsighted to create  situations that violate the essence of  political representation. Neither point of  view is correct."  

What sentence contains the conclusion?  A. The first sentence  

B. The second sentence  

C. The third sentence  

D. This isn’t an argument.  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

19

"The victims' blood was on the glove they  found behind Simpson's house. That means  Simpson committed the murders.”  

Which of these statements implies that the  PREMISE is false?  

1. “Maybe someone planted the glove  behind his house.”  

2. “So what? They didn’t link the glove to  Simpson.”  

3. “It was the same blood type, but it  wasn’t their blood.”  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

20

“The lawn was reseeded this fall.  

Therefore, we won’t track mud into the  house in the spring.”  

Which of these statements implies that  the PREMISE is false?  

a. Maybe the new seed won’t germinate.  b. Maybe the seed will germinate but will  die out before spring.  

c. Both of the above  

d. None of the above  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

21

New Topic.  

What is an ISSUE??????  Issue: a question that’s been raised

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

22  

Can a single person raise an  issue?  

•Yes  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

23

“I know why I shouldn’t take that math course.  First, it's too hard, and I’ll probably flunk it.  Second, I’m going to spend the whole term in  a state of frustration. Third, I’ll probably get  depressed and do poorly in all the rest of his  courses.”  

The issue?  

A. Whether I should take the math course  B. Whether I would flunk the math course  C. Whether I will spend the whole term in a  state of frustration  

D. Whether I will get depressed and do poorly  in all the rest of his courses  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

24

“The defeat of the school voucher initiative  was a bad thing for the country because  now there won't be any incentive for public  schools to clean up their act. Furthermore,  the defeat perpetuates the private-school for-the-rich, public-school-for-the-poor  syndrome.”  

What is the issue?  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

25

The issue is…

A. Whether there is now any incentive  for public schools to clean up their act  B. Whether the defeat of the school  voucher initiative was bad for the country  C. Two issues are equally stressed in the  passage; whether there is now any  incentive for public schools to clean up  their acts, AND whether the private school-for-the-rich, public-school-for-the poor syndrome will be perpetuated.  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

26

“The party image of Choo-Choo State is not  exaggerated. Surveys indicate a majority of  Choo-Choo State students spend more time  ‘socializing’ than preparing for classes.”  

What is the issue?  

A. Whether the surveys are accurate  B. Whether the surveys show the party  image is exaggerated  

C. Whether the party image is  

exaggerated  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

27

“The party image of Choo-Choo State is not  exaggerated. Surveys indicate a majority of  Choo-Choo State students say they spend  more time ‘socializing’ than preparing for  classes.”  

What is the speaker’s POSITION on  the issue?  

A. The party image of Choo-Choo State is exaggerated.  

B. The party image of Choo-Choo State is not exaggerated.  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

28

“The party image of Choo-Choo State is not  exaggerated. Surveys indicate a majority of  Choo-Choo State students say they spend  more time ‘socializing’ than preparing for  classes.”  

Repeat: the ISSUE is…

• WHETHER the party image of  Choo-Choo State is exaggerated.  The speaker’s POSITION is…

• THAT the party image of Choo Choo State is NOT exaggerated.  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

29

“California’s telecom providers got a nice  break from Schwarzenegger. He waived their  fees for installing fiber optic conduit along  state-owned rights of way.”  

What is the issue?  

A. Whether Calif’s telecom providers got  a nice break from Schwarzenegger  

B. Whether Schwarzenegger waived the providers’  fees  

C. Whether Schwarzenegger did the  

right thing by waiving the providers’ fees  D. That Calif’s telecom providers got a nice break  from Schwarzenegger  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

30

PENELOPE: I think toilet paper  looks better if it unwinds from the  back side of the spool.  

PENNY: Not me. I think it looks  better the other way.  

Is Penny addressing the issue raised  by Penelope?  

A. Yes  

B. No  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

31

Review  

• Argument  

• Premise vs. Conclusion  

• Issue vs. position on an issue  

• Conclusion is a person’s position on  an issue  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

32

PARKER: Bush’s latest Iraq proposal  is going to make matters worse.  

MOORE: You’re just saying that because  you’re a Democrat.  

Is Moore addressing the issue raised by  Parker?  

A. Yes  

B. No  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

33

R.J: As far as I am concerned, there  are too many casinos around already.  They should stop building new ones.  

R.J.’s GIRL FRIEND: Yeah? Well, that’s  a strange idea coming from someone  who plays the lottery all the time.  

Is R.J.’s girl friend addressing the  issue raised by R.J.?  

A. Yes  

B. No  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

34

KATIE: Hey, Jennifer. I hate to say this, but if  you picked up your stuff once in a while this  place would look a lot better.  

JENNIFER: Hey, you leave things laying  around too. You and your stupid boy friend.  

Is Jennifer addressing the issue raised  by Katie?  

A. Yes  

B. No  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

35

DEZRA: What are you doing riding a  motorcycle without a helmet? That’s totally  unsafe.  

DENNIS: C’mon. I’ve seen you driving around  without a seat belt.  

Is DENNIS addressing the issue raised  by DEZRA?  

A. Yes  

B. No  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

36

LEE: Nice thing about Macs…they  don’t get viruses.  

HAM: Of course you would say that.  You own one.  

Is HAM addressing the issue raised by  LEE?  

A. Yes  

B. No  

37  

HAM doesn’t address the issue of  

whether Macs get viruses.  

Instead, he addresses the issue of  

LEE’s motivation for praising  

Macs.

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

Want to see the second part?  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

38

Yeah! Bring ‘er on!

 

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© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. 39

The Basics (continued)  Chapter 1: Second of Three Parts

Divide the following statements into  two groups  

1. Does God exist? Yes! I was brought up as a  Christian!  

2. Turtles can walk backwards! I’ve seen ‘em!  3. Does God exist? Yes! Something created the  universe!  

4. Turtles can walk backwards when they feel  like it.  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

2

Two items are arguments.  

1. Does God exist? Yes! Something created the  universe!  

2. Turtles can walk backwards! I’ve seen ‘em!  3. Does God exist? Yes! I was brought up as a  Christian! [no argument]  

4. Turtles can walk backwards when they feel like  it. [no argument]  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

3

Which are arguments?  

1. I got sick because I didn’t get enough rest over  the weekend.  

2. The governor should resign because everyone  has lost faith in his leadership ability.  

3. Pine trees are called “evergreens” because  they don’t lose their leaves.  

4. You are making a mistake wearing that outfit  because it looks tacky.  

5. Jennifer doesn’t wear outfits like that because  she thinks they look tacky.  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

4

Only two arguments!  

1. I got sick because I didn’t get enough rest over  the weekend.  

2. The governor should resign because everyone  has lost faith in his leadership ability.  

3. Pine trees are called “evergreens” because  they don’t lose their leaves.  

4. You are making a mistake wearing that outfit  because it looks tacky.  

5. Jennifer doesn’t wear outfits like that because  she thinks they look tacky.  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

5

What’s the difference between  the following two statements???  

1. “There is a lot of smoke in here because there  is a fire out there.”  

2. “There is a fire out there because there is a lot  of smoke in here.”  

Only # 2 is an argument!  

A closer look…

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

6

1. “There is a lot of smoke in here  because there is a fire out there.”  2. “There is a fire out there because  there is a lot of smoke in here.” 

Cause! Evidence!

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

7

Write two statements of the form  

“X because Y.” Make only one an argument.  

Example:  

1. She just finished working out because she is  sweating.  

2. She is sweating because she just finished  working out.  

Argument! Gives a reason for thinking she  just finished working out.  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

8

Moral:  

“X because Y!” might be an ARGUMENT:  ???? She just finished working out because she is  sweating.  

Might also be CAUSE/EFFECT EXPLANATION:  ???? She is sweating because she just finished  working out.  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

9

NEW DISTINCTION:  

Objective vs. Subjective  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

10

DIVIDE INTO TWO GROUPS  1. Rice vinegar tastes better than white vinegar.  2. White vinegar removes lipstick stains; rice  vinegar doesn’t.  

3. None of the Supreme Court justices is good humored.  

4. Nine authors collaborated on that article.  5. Microsoft shares are significantly overpriced.  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

11

Three claims are SUBJECTIVE!  

1. Rice vinegar tastes better than white vinegar.  2. White vinegar removes lipstick stains; rice  vinegar doesn’t.  

3. None of the Supreme Court justices is  competent.  

4. Nine authors collaborated on that article.  5. Microsoft shares are significantly overpriced.  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

12

“Subjective judgment”: true if you  think it is true

✔ “This class is challenging!”  

✔ “Hillary is lots of fun.”  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

13

Objective judgment: it’s truth is  INDEPENDENT of what you think.

✔ “There are over 300 students in this class.”  ✔ “The Dow Jones went up yesterday.”  ✔ “There is life on Mars.”  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

14

Which of these is subjective?  

1. “That is a scary movie.”  

2. “That movie scared me.”  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

15

Which of these is subjective?  

1. “Tastes great!”  

2. “Less filling!”  

Both!

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

16

Which of these is subjective?  

1. “Teach doesn’t care if  

you wear a baseball  

cap in class.”  

2. “It is silly for Teach to  

care if you wear a  

baseball cap in  

class.”  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

17

And which of these is  

subjective?  

1. “These shirts are for sale.”  

2. “These shirts are on sale.”  

Neither! Both are objective.  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

18

Once more: Which is subjective?  

1. “God exists.”  

2. “God doesn’t exist.”  

Neither.  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

19

Again:  

???? Subjective judgment: its truth depends on  what you think; if you think it is true, it’s true for  you, and you can’t be mistaken.  

???? Objective judgment: its truth depends on  objective fact, not on what you think.  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

20

Relativism and Objective Claims:  

Relativism is the view that if your culture and some  other culture have different standards of truth or  evidence, there is no independent way by which  one culture’s standards can be seen to be more  correct than the others’.  

???? When a claim is objective its truth depends on  objective fact, not on what you or your culture  holds to be true.  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

21

Last concept:  

“Value judgment”  

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Value Judgment  

A value judgment judges the merit or  praiseworthiness or desirability of  someone or something.  

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Examples:  

???? “The best looking car ever? That would not be  the Scion.”  

???? “Bush was the best president since the one who  came before him.”  

???? “It was wrong for you to eat all their cheese.”  

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More examples:  

???? “Professor Stooler is one ugly dude.”  ???? “The side-stroke is superior to the crawl.”  ???? “You should honor your parents.”  

???? “I don’t deserve to be flunked!”  

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NOT value judgments:  

???? “Susan cheated on the final.”  

???? “Jennifer’s field goal percentage is higher than  Nicole’s.”  

???? “The Congressman lied to the grand jury.”  ???? “John Kerry has an unusual chin.”  

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Unfortunately, there are borderline  cases:  

???? “Greg is a dedicated father.”  

???? “Charles could stand to lose some weight.”  ???? “No normal human has a chin like Kerry’s.”  

The speaker might well be judging  

someone’s or something’s merits with  these statements.

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For now, we’ll stick to cases  most of us will agree on.  

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Which is a value judgment?  

A. That kid looks like his  

brother.  

B. That kid is better  

looking than his  

brother.  

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Which is a value judgment?  

A. Secretary Rice is tall  

and thin.  

B. Secretary Rice is too  

tall and thin.  

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And which of these is a value  judgment?  

A. Driving solo in the car-pool lane is wrong.  B. Driving solo in the car-pool lane is illegal.  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

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Which is a value judgment?  

A. This class is too difficult.  

B. Teach didn’t calculate my grade accurately.  

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One more: which of these is a  value judgment?  

A. These exercises are useful and entertaining.  B. Most students think these exercises are useful  and entertaining.  

© 2015 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.  

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ALL these are value judgments.  Divide them into two groups:  

1. Miller tastes great!  

2. You should treat your brother better.  3. That was the best Super Bowl ever.  4. Stealing is wrong.  

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