philosophy 252

philosophy 252

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Critical Thinking Course (philosophy) A Instructions: Determine whether the following passages contain arguments, explanations, or descriptions. Explain and justify your answer with reference to the meaning of each of these terms. Example: The film Patch Adams was an illuminating portrayal of medical education because it highlighted the importance of treating patients as people and not just as the locations of disease. Govier, Trudy. A Practical Study of Argument, 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2001, p. 43. Answer: This passage contains an argument because the author is attempting to convince the reader that Patch Adams is an illuminating portrayal of medical education, on the basis of the premise that this film shows how important it is to treat patients as persons, not as examples of diseases. The Surprise Quiz that Never Happens A logic teacher announces, “There will be a surprise quiz given during one of the next three class-meetings.” . . . [A student in the class claims that] such a quiz is impossible. Here’s the proof: Will the quiz be given during the third meeting of class? If it were, then the quiz wouldn’t have taken place during either of the first two classes. At the end of the second class, we’d know that the quiz must happen during the third class, so we would be able to figure out the date of the quiz in advance. So a quiz during the third class wouldn’t be a surprise. Therefore, the surprise quiz can’t happen during the third class. So will it happen during the second? We already know that it can’t happen during the third class. At the quizless end of the first class, we’d be able to figure out that there must be a quiz during the second class. Thus a quiz during the second class wouldn’t be a surprise. So it follows that the quiz couldn’t take place during the second class either. The only remaining possibility is the first class; but we know this, so that wouldn’t be a surprise either. It follows that a surprise quiz is…

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