# PHIL102 Assignment Four

PHIL102  Assignment Four

Answer ALL the following questions. Questions 2, 3, 4 are multiple choice. In each case of a multiple choice question, exactly one possible answer is correct. Tick just one.

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PART I   PROBABLE INFERENCES

Question 1. (2.5 POINTS)
Give a one-sentence answer to the following question:

QUESTION:

Why is an inference with a probability of less than 50% worse than uselesss?

Question 2. (2.5 POINTS)
Re-read the beginning of Section ‘Relevant Evidence’ on pp.12-13 of Topic Notes 3 (pdf file). Stop reading when you reach Example 31.
As we know from the beginning of Section ‘Relevant Evidence’, in relation to Example 29 (p.12) there could be further evidence which, without contradicting the premises, would prevent the inference in Example 29 from being a rational one.
Is the same true in relation to Example 29* below? That is: Could there be further evidence which, without contradicting the premises, would prevent the inference in Example 29* from being a rational one?

Example 29*:

(P 1)  100% of women are under 700 cm tall.
(P2)   Mary is a woman.
(C)    So Mary is under 700 cm tall.

(a)    Yes
(b)    No

Question 3. (1.5 POINTS)
Is the inference in Example 29* deductively valid?

(a)    Yes
(b)     No

Question 4. (1.5 POINTS)
Select the correct continuation of the statement below:
In an inference with a probability of 43%,
(a) the premises support the conclusion to some extent but not as strongly as in an inference with a probability 68%
(b) the premises support neither the conclusion nor its negation
(c) the premises support the negation of the conclusion
(d) the premises support both the conclusion and its negation

PART II   ARGUMENT EVALUATION
Question 5. (22 POINTS)
Analyse and evaluate the argument that is contained in the passage below .
In particular, do the following:
Step 1: Answer the question ‘What am I being asked to accept or believe?’ In the light of your answer, find the author’s main conclusion.
Step 2: Answer the following questions
{2.1} ‘Are there good grounds for accepting this conclusion?’
{2.2} ‘Does it cohere with my existing knowledge?’
{2.3} ‘Is there counter-evidence for the claim expressed in this conclusion?’
Step 3: Find the premises from which the main conclusion is immediately inferred – that is, the premises which seem pretty obviously to be immediate reasons why you should accept the conclusion
Step 4: Write down the inference from the premises found at Step 3 to the main conclusion
Step 5: In relation to the inference mentioned in Step 4, answer the following questions
{5.1} ‘Are the premises of the inference true?’
{5.2} ‘Does this premise (those premises) provide an acceptable degree of support for the conclusion?’
{5.3} ‘Does the information or evidence that the author adduces in favour of this premise (those premises) seem plausible, given my background knowledge about the area?’
{5.4} ‘Is there counter-evidence for the claims expressed by this premise (those premises)?’
Step 6: In the light of the results of your Steps 1 to 5, decide whether to accept or reject the main conclusion and then give a brief explanation of your decision.

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It seems to me to be clear that there is really no such thing as crime, as the word is generally understood. Every activity of man should come under the head of “behavior.” In studying crime we are merely investigating a certain kind of human behavior. Human beings act in response to outside stimuli. How they act depend on the nature, strength, and inherent character of their bodies and minds and the habits, customs, inhibitions and experiences that environment gives them. Human beings are in no sense the makers of themselves, and they have no more power than any machine to escape the law of cause and effect. They do as they must. Therefore, there is no such thing as moral responsibility in the sense in which this expression is ordinarily used.

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Evaluation Scheme for Question 5

Maximum mark
1    Answer the question ‘What am I being asked to accept or believe?’ In the light of your answer, find the author’s main conclusion.    3.2
2    Answer the following questions <…>    4.9
3    Find the premises from which the main conclusion is immediately inferred – that is, the premises which seem pretty obviously to be immediate reasons why you should accept the conclusion    3.3
4    Write down the inference from the premises found at Step 3 to the main conclusion    2.4
5    In relation to the inference mentioned in Step 4, answer the following questions<…>    3.3
6    In the light of the results of your Steps 1 to 5, decide whether to accept or reject the main conclusion and then give a brief explanation of your decision.    4.9
Total maximum mark:    22