Inductive and Abductive Reasoning, assignment help

General instructions:

1)  Select two arguments (from e.g. op-ed pages of a newspaper, or from some other source   of your choice) that you take to contain inductive or abductive reasoning (according to guidelines in #2). 

  Include a copy the text of the argument with your submission (just copy and paste the text of the argument(s)), and a source of the argument.

  Feel free to use the sources that you used for the first homework assignment.  If you use the video clips as your source, please transcribe the argument that you take to contain a fallacy.

2)  Please complete two of the following three sections (a, b, c, or d). 

NOTE: you may not turn in two versions of the same section.

For extra credit: complete the other two sections, for another 10 points each; the extra credit part may not duplicate an item that you completed for the regular assignment. 

 

(a)  Enumerative induction: Find an argument that uses enumerative induction to establish its conclusion.  Questions for the analysis: Identify the sample group and the target group.  Is the sample size adequate?  Is it representative of the target group?  If not, is it biased?  Non-random?  Self-selected?  Explain the deficiencies of the argument.  How strong is the argument?

 

(b)  Analogical induction: Find an argument that uses analogical induction to establish its conclusion.  Questions for the analysis: What are the things compared in the analogy?  Are they relevantly similar?  Are they dissimilar?  How many instances are compared?  How diverse are these cases?  How strong is the argument?  If the argument is weak, can you think of ways to strengthen it?

(c)  Causal inference: Find an argument that makes a causal argument.  Questions for analysis: Does the inference use one of Mill’s methods?  Are all the relevant factors properly identified?  Is the alleged causal connection due to coincidence?  Temporal order?  Are the cause and the effect properly identified?  How strong is the argument?

(d)  Inference to Best Explanation (aka. abductive reasoning): Find an argument that employs abductive reasoning (for examples, see the notes for Lecture 18).  Questions for analysis: Is the explanation (‘hypothesis’) consistent?  Does it satisfy the criteria of adequacy (on all five points)?  When you apply the TEST procedure, what alternatives are considered?

3)  Turn in your typed analysis.  Using the standard formatting (12 point font, double-spaced), your answer should take about a page (ca. 300 words) for each section.  Please indicate the answers by headings/titles.  There will be a drop box on Blackboard for you to submit your answer. 

4)  You may turn in this assignment in parts (i.e., if you complete an analysis on enumerative induction, you may turn it in before completing the rest of the assignment).  If you do this, please turn in a hard copy (or send your submission to the instructor as an e-mail attachment); Blackboard will allow you to submit just one file.

 
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