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Inductive Argumentation

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Inductive arguments take specific premises to make general conclusions. A strong inductive argument is most probably the case, and a weak inductive argument is most likely not the case. A causal inductive argument is very similar. It works like this: When X happens then Y happens. X probably causes Y.

Consider these two causal inductive arguments:

1. Every day of my life, the sun has risen in the morning. Tomorrow morning is another day; therefore the sun will probably rise.
2. Every time I flick this switch, the living room light goes on. Therefore this switch probably controls the living room light.

Discussion:

1. Do these arguments seem obvious? Why or why not?
2. Understanding the structure of inductive arguments, how do you rate the strength or weakness of perceived causal relationships within arguments?

Remember to support your answers with logic, examples, and arguments.

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Solution Preview

The thing about inductive arguments is that they are necessarily inferential. This means that there is really no sure way of proving empirically whether or not something is true. As regards the first argument, for example, ...

Solution Summary

This solution provides a brief overview of inductive argumentation, as well as its definition and application by example.

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Inductive Argument : examples and analysis

1. Think of an inductive argument or example of inductive reasoning (either valid or fallacious) that you encountered over the past 1-2 weeks. Share it and analyze it.
Was the example of induction that you encountered valid or invalid? Write 2-3 paragraphs that reflect upon the argument and your process of evaluation.

2. The art of inductive interpretation: Select an image with a caption, an editorial cartoon, or a comic. It should involve both image and text. You can find these images by searching Google Images.

Write 3 paragraphs in which you:
a. Introduce your image and provide a description.
b. Discuss the relationship between the image and the text, and state what argument the text is making by using one of the inductive argument structures that were mentioned in this lesson.
c. Discuss whether you find the image/text pairing as effective, and provide examples to explain why (or why not).

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