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Structure and Content of Arguments

1. EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT AN ASSERTION
President Abraham Lincoln wrote the following sentence in a letter to a friend:
"Is slavery is not wrong then nothing is wrong."
How would you interpret what Lincoln says? (What does he mean? Does he think slavery is wrong?)

2. STRUCTURE AND CONTENT OF ARGUMENTS
IBMs computer, Watson, defeated two champion human players at Jeopardy. The victory led some people to claim that the machine possessed powers of understanding on a level with humans. Against this view, philosopher John Searle argued that the machine did not and could not understand anything. It merely did what it was designed to do, namely, to simulate understanding . Computers can store vast amounts of information that they can retrieve with great speed on the basis of appropriate clues. But, Searle argues, computers are incapable of understanding, in the literal sense of the term.
Does this passage have an argument on a missing generalization as an implicit premiss? What role any additional material not part of the premisses or the conclusion plays in this passage?

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1. EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT AN ASSERTION

I strongly interpret what Lincoln says as a direct opposition to the institution of slavery. By analyzing the semantics of his words, I believe he is asserting that it is wrong since he poses ...

Solution Summary

Two sample pieces are briefly deconstructed to determine the arguments' strengths.

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