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Chapter 7

SOCI 2P00 Chapter Notes - Chapter 7: Hasty Generalization

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Chapter 7: How Good is the Evidence: Intuition, Personal Experience,
Case Examples, Testimonials, and Appeals to Authority?
Claims about “facts”
How good is the evidence: intuition, person experience, case exampes, testimonials, and
appeals to authority?
Factual claims can be conclusions, reasons, or assumptions
o “can we count on such beliefs?”
o The greater the quality and quantity of evidence supporting a claim, the more we can
depend on it, and the more we can call the claim a “fact”
What is your proof? How do you know that’s true? Where’s your evidence? Why do you believe
that? Are you sure that’s true? Can you prove it? -> ask these questions to determine
Factual claims
o 1) Descriptive conclusions; 2) Reasons used to support either descriptive or prescriptive
conclusions; and 3) Descriptive assumptions
Sources of evidence (when we will be most likely to agree with a factual claim)
o 1) When the claim appears to be undisputed common knowledge; 2) When the claim is
the conclusion from a well-reasoned argument; and 3) When the claim is adequately
supported by solid evidence in the same communication or by other evidence that we
Evidence is explicit information shared by the communicator that is used to back up or to justify
the dependability of a factual claim
o In prescriptive arguments, evidence will be needed to support reasons that are factual
claims and In descriptive arguments, evidence will be need to directly support a
descriptive conclusion
Major kinds of evidence
o Intuition
o Personal experiences
Hasty generalization a person draws a conclusion about a large group based
on experiences with only a few members of the group
o Case examples
o Testimonials
Problems with testimonials
Personal interest
Omitted information
The human factor
o Appeals to authorities or experts
o Personal observations
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