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MODR 1760 Midterm: MODR Midterm practice questions.pdf

Modes Of Reasoning
Course Code
MODR 1760
Hilary Davis
Study Guide

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AP/MODR 1760E: Reasoning about Morality and Values
Summer 2014
Review for Test #1 on Argument Basics
Test Format:
The test is marked out of 50 points and has 4 parts. In all parts you are given a choice
of which questions to answer. There is also a Bonus question worth up to 2 points.
The test is designed to be done in under 2 hours.
Part 1 (10 marks) Short Answer Questions
Some of these questions are comparisons/contrasts; others require you to articulate
the weaknesses of a position.
The first exercise set in each chapter focuses on definitions and short answers (1.1, 2.1,
3.1, 5.1).
Each question is work 5 points; you must answer 2 out of 3
Sample questions:
What is required for an argument to be sound? Does it make sense to speak of an
inductive sound argument? Why or why not?
Articulate the two approaches we can take when evaluating an argument.
Define self-interested thinking (OR group think/subjective relativism/social
relativism) and explain 2 of its weaknesses.
Part 2 (10 marks) Breaking Down and Diagramming arguments.
You must do 2 questions from a choice of 3. Each is worth 5 pts.
Each argument must be broken down into premise/conclusion form and then
Hint: Some of the questions are very similar to those in the self-assessment quizzes at
the end of Chapter 3.
Hint: Don't worry about whether or not the argument is valid/invalid; strong/weak; or
if the premises are acceptable. This is about describing the bare bones of the
Sample questions:
These are Canada geese. Canada geese mate for life, so these Canada geese are paired
up forever.
The CN Tower will probably be attached by terrorists within the next 2 years. The
latest intelligence reports from CSIS confirm this prediction. Plus terrorists have
already stated publicly that they intend to destroy various symbolic structures or
monuments in North America, including the CN Tower and the Parliament Buildings.
If the rule against lying were really a universal moral rule, then it should come
naturally to everyone. But it does not come naturally to everyone, because we all know
lying is actually very common. So the rule against lying is not a universal moral rule.
You shouldn't vote for any independent candidate in the next election. Independents
never win, and everyone wants the person they vote for to win. Also, independents
have a tendency to be a little wacky. And we definitely don't need any more wacky
politicians in power.
Creationism is an inadequate theory about the origins of life. It conflicts with science,
and it is incapable of predicting any new facts.
Life on Earth today is better than it has ever been. We have technologies that our
grandparents could only dream of. Life expectancies keep going up and up. And,
despite all the criticisms, I just don't think there's anything wrong with our modern
consumer culture.
Part 3 (15 marks) Deductive Argument Patterns.
You must identify the correct argument pattern and indicate whether it is valid or
Hint: study from questions in Exercise 3.5
Hint: label 'p' and 'q' in the argument and write out the conditional or disjunctive
claims. If this is in your answer book it may give you partial credit if your identification
of the pattern is wrong.
Hint: there are only 6 deductive argument patterns; none are repeated in this section.
You must do 3 questions from a choice of 4. (5 marks each)
Sample Questions:
If ESP were real, psychic predictions would be completely reliable. Psychic predictions
are completely reliable. Therefore, ESP is real.
If ESP were real, psychic predictions would be completely reliable. ESP is not real.
Therefore psychic predictions are not completely reliable.
If laws could stop crime, there would be no crime. But there is crime. Therefore, laws
cannot stop crime.
If I perceive what appears to be a red door, then there really is a red door there. There
really is a red door there. Therefore, I perceive what appears to be a red door.
If it rains, Alex will get wet. If Alex gets wet, he will be upset. Therefore, if it rains,
Alex will be upset.
If ESP were real, psychic predictions would be completely reliable. ESP is real.
Therefore psychic predictions are completely reliable.
Part 4 (15 marks) Fallacies
For each question select the correct fallacy, indicate the premise that it effects in the
argument, and explain why it is weak reasoning.
Hint: Focus on questions from Exercises 5.2 and 5.3
Hint: Sometimes breaking the argument down into premise/conclusion form will make
the fallacy more obvious.
You must answer 3 out of 4 questions. (5 points each)
Sample Question:
All of us cannot be loved because all of us cannot be the focus of deep affection.
a) appeal to emotion; b) begging the question; c) equivocation
Other questions for practice:
The federal budget deficits are destroying this country. Just ask any working stiff, he'll
tell you.
The Occupy Wall Street protestors say they're against greed and corporate corruption.
But they're really just a bunch of whiny, unwashed hipsters who are trying to avoid
having to get a real job.
A lot of people think that football jocks are stupid and rude. That's a crock. Anyone
who has seen the fantastic game that our team played on Saturday, with three
touchdowns before halftime, would not believe such rubbish.
We are told that prostitution is a growing national problem, but that isn’t the half of it!
At least half of the men and women in this country today are prostitutes. They sell
their bodies or their minds in jobs that are personally meaningless and socially
Does acupuncture work? Can it cure disease? Of course, It has been used in China by
folk practitioners for at least 3000 years.
The study found that 80 per cent of women who took the drug daily had no recurrence
of breast cancer. But that doesn't mean anything. The study was funded in part by the
company that makes the drug.
A parricide is in the same relation to his father as a young oak to the parent tree, which,
springing up from an acorn dropped by the parent, grows up and overturns it. We may
search as we like, but we shall find no vice in this event. Therefore there can be none in
the others where the relations involved are just the same. (David Hume, Treatise on
Human Nature)
Professor, I deserve a better grade than a D on my paper. Look, my parents just got a
divorce. If they see that I got a D, they will just blame each other, and the fighting will
start all over again. Give me a break.
Of course I believe in miracles. I defy you to show me one bit of proof that miracles
don't happen.
Student government is a mistake from the beginning. Look what happens in homes
Test 1 Format
May 21, 2014
7:37 PM
MODR 1760 Page 1
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