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Counter Arguments and Fallacies

Counter Arguments and Fallacies

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Counter Arguments and Fallacies

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  1. Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Counter Arguments and Fallacies Northwestern High School Mr. Medoff and Mrs. Avery 2/13/12 – 2/17/12

  2. Objective (day 1) Students will • Connect new information and prior knowledge • Compare and contrast interpretations of arguments with classmates’ interpretations • Analyze both sides of an argument • Assess how to appropriately counter an argument In order to • Synthesize prior knowledge of argumentations and counter arguments with actual the actual definitions • Connect strategies for countering a reason with real life situations • Define argument and counter argument • Formulate arguments and counterarguments for a topic

  3. Warm-Up Provide an opinion supported by a reason. Example: I believe _____________________________ because of ___________________________.

  4. PW: “I couldn’t disagree more” With a partner: • Share your opinion and reason for it. • Respond to your partner by saying: “I couldn’t disagree more,” and then giving a plausible reason why the reason offered by your partner is not convincing. Example: “I couldn’t disagree more because___________.

  5. WG: What are your opinions? I couldn’t disagree more.

  6. Define: argument What is an argument?

  7. Define: argument • A disagreement; verbal or written opposition; contention; altercation. • A discussion involving differing points of view; debate.

  8. Define: counter argument What is a counter argument?

  9. Define: counter argument A contrasting, opposing, or refuting argument.

  10. 5 strategies for countering a reason • Factual errors in the reason offered.

  11. Factual errors in the reason offered Some reasons present doubtful facts. Examine the accuracy of the facts presented. Are they true, false, exaggerations, or broad generalizations? Consider the following scenario: A new Air Jordan Shoe advertisement claims that their newest shoe costs 20 % less than the newest Nike shoes. They also claim that 85% of professional basketball players prefer this brand over Nike.

  12. Factual errors in the reason offered • Do not just assume that the data is correct. It may turn out that the new Air Jordan shoes are actually more expensive. • What is the source of the data? It may be that the person in charge of collecting the information about what shoes NBA players wear only asked certain players, not the entire NBA. Check out the facts for yourself!

  13. 5 strategies for countering a reason • Factual errors in the reason offered. • Consider other people’s interests in addition to those mentioned.

  14. Consider other people’s interests in addition to those mentioned. Some reasons omit the interests of certain people. Think about the treatment of others. Will other people suffer or benefit because of the actions proposed? Consider the following scenario: An advocate for stricter gun laws talks extensively about how the family members of someone lost to gun violence are affected.

  15. Consider other people’s interests in addition to those mentioned. • What about the people who do not use guns for terrible crimes, but rather for hunting or recreational activities? • What about the people who were not killed because they had a gun to defend themselves? • What about the potential victims who were not killed because bad guys were deterred by others who had guns?

  16. 5 strategies for countering a reason • Factual errors in the reason offered. • Consider other people’s interests in addition to those mentioned. • Look for questionable assumptions or beliefs that underlie the reason. **

  17. Look for questionable assumptions or beliefs that underlie the reason. Some reasons are based on unproven beliefs or ideas. Look for flawed ideas that form the basis for the reason. Are the assumptions reasonable? Consider the following scenario: A pro-life [against abortion] organization claims that women make the choice to engage in sexual activities, and as a result need to be responsible for the consequences.

  18. Look for questionable assumptions or beliefs that underlie the reason. • What about rape victims? They did not make the choice to engage in sexual activities.

  19. 5 strategies for countering a reason • Factual errors in the reason offered. • Consider other people’s interests in addition to those mentioned. • Look for questionable assumptions or beliefs that underlie the reason. • Think of undesirable consequences or side effects not mentioned in the reason.

  20. Think of undesirable consequences or side effects not mentioned in the reason. Some reasons fail to consider multiple consequences. Think about negative effects that might accompany the action. Consider the following scenario: An advocate argues that lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18 will allow young adults to drink in safer environments rather than in secret, and as a result, fewer adolescents will die from untreated alcohol poisoning.

  21. Think of undesirable consequences or side effects not mentioned in the reason. • If more people are legally allowed to drink, then it follows that more people will drink. If more people are drinking, there will be more occurrences of drinking and driving. While lowering the drinking age may prevent some accidental deaths due to drinking in secrecy, it may also lead to more drinking and driving accidents.

  22. 5 strategies for countering a reason • Factual errors in the reason offered. • Consider other people’s interests in addition to those mentioned. • Look for questionable assumptions or beliefs that underlie the reason. • Think of undesirable consequences or side effects not mentioned in the reason. • Suggest more important, reasonable, or beneficial or beneficial options.

  23. Suggest more important, reasonable, or beneficial options. Some reasons fail to consider other ways of achieving the desired results. Identify the intended result of the position and find alternative ways to accomplish it that have less negative impact or are more likely to happen. Consider the following scenario: An advocate for school uniforms is arguing that school uniforms are beneficial for two reasons: • Issues of inappropriate clothes exposing too much of the body are no longer a concern. • It is more difficult for weapons to be smuggled onto campus.

  24. Suggest more important, reasonable, or beneficial options. The advocate brings up two important points. Rather than disagreeing completely, perhaps offer an alternative. • Instead of having school uniforms, what about a policy that outlines how much of the body is allowed to be exposed? • Rather than having school uniforms, what about a policy that does not allow certain items, such as baggy clothes, to address the issue of weapons being smuggled onto campus?

  25. Developing counter arguments When developing a counter argument, make sure it is plausible and convincing. • Plausible: the idea presented in the counter argument is true or could likely happen. • Convincing: the idea presented in the counter argument makes the reason seem unimportant or less believable.

  26. Example • Argument: It is okay to cheat because cheating doesn’t really hurt anyone. • Counter argument: Someone who cheats could get caught. Students risk suspension from school and other consequences that outweigh the better grade they may get by cheating. Is this plausible and convincing?

  27. Plausible and Convincing? • It isplausible because people most schools and teachers have strict consequences for cheating. • It isconvincing because it relates directly to the person who is cheating and could affect things they care about.

  28. Another example • Argument: It is okay to cheat because sometimes you don’t have time to study • Counter argument: There are ways to avoid failing other than cheating. A student could explain the situation and get an extension or ask that the grade not be counted. Is this plausible and convincing?

  29. Plausible and Convincing? • It is notplausible because many teachers would not grant an extension. • It is notconvincing because if an extension was granted, it would probably only be a one time thing.

  30. Exit Slip What is a counter argument? Give an example of a counter argument and explain how it is plausible and convincing.

  31. Objective (day 2) Students will • Connect new information and prior knowledge • Compare and contrast interpretations of arguments with classmates’ interpretations • Analyze both sides of an argument • Assess how to appropriately counter an argument • Analyze non-print texts for examples of counter arguments In order to • Synthesize prior knowledge of argumentations and counter arguments with the actual definitions • Connect strategies for countering a reason with real life situations • Define argument and counter argument • Formulate arguments and counterarguments for a topic • Watch clips illustrating different counter argument opportunities

  32. Warm-Up • What is one strategy people use when making a counter argument? • Create a counter argument to the above statement. Argument: This class should be assigned more homework because homework gives students the opportunity to practice and clarify the information that they learned in class.

  33. 5 strategies for countering a reason • Factual errors in the reason offered. (Facts) • Consider other people’s interests in addition to those mentioned. (Others) • Look for questionable assumptions or beliefs that underlie the reason. (Assumptions) • Think of undesirable consequences or side effects not mentioned in the reason. (Consequences) • Suggest more important, reasonable, or beneficial options. (Alternatives) (Facts) (Others) (Assumptions) (Consequences) (Alternatives) Fresh Oranges Are Crazy Animals

  34. 5 strategies for countering a reason • Factual errors in the reason offered.

  35. Factual errors in the reason offered Some reasons present doubtful facts. Examine the accuracy of the facts presented. Are they true, false, exaggerations, or broad generalizations? Consider the following scenario: A new Air Jordan Shoe advertisement claims that their newest shoe costs 20 % less than the newest Nike shoes. They also claim that 85% of professional basketball players prefer this brand over Nike.

  36. Factual errors in the reason offered • Do not just assume that the data is correct. It may turn out that the new Air Jordan shoes are actually more expensive. • What is the source of the data? It may be that the person in charge of collecting the information about what shoes NBA players wear only asked certain players, not the entire NBA. Check out the facts for yourself!

  37. Taco Party Watch the following video clip: Questions for a counter argument: • Are the facts being presented true? • Are the facts exaggerated or generalized? • Where are the facts coming from? • Who is the source • Is the source reliable?

  38. 5 strategies for countering a reason • Factual errors in the reason offered. • Consider other people’s interests in addition to those mentioned.

  39. Consider other people’s interests in addition to those mentioned. Some reasons omit the interests of certain people. Think about the treatment of others. Will other people suffer or benefit because of the actions proposed? Consider the following scenario: An advocate for stricter gun laws talks extensively about how the family members of someone lost to gun violence are affected.

  40. Consider other people’s interests in addition to those mentioned. • What about the people who do not use guns for terrible crimes, but rather for hunting or recreational activities? • What about the people who were not killed because they had a gun to defend themselves? • What about the potential victims who were not killed because bad guys were deterred by others who had guns?

  41. Lost Child Watch the following video clip: Questions for a counter argument: • Whose interests are being considered in this commercial? • Whose interests are not being included in this commercial? • Why are certain people’s interests excluded? • Do the interests of those who are excluded matter?

  42. 5 strategies for countering a reason • Factual errors in the reason offered. • Consider other people’s interests in addition to those mentioned. • Look for questionable assumptions or beliefs that underlie the reason. **

  43. Look for questionable assumptions or beliefs that underlie the reason. Some reasons are based on unproven beliefs or ideas. Look for flawed ideas that form the basis for the reason. Are the assumptions reasonable? Consider the following scenario: A pro-life [against abortion] organization claims that women make the choice to engage in sexual activities, and as a result need to be responsible for the consequences.

  44. Look for questionable assumptions or beliefs that underlie the reason. • What about rape victims? They did not make the choice to engage in sexual activities.

  45. Ally Bank Watch the following video clip: Questions for a counter argument: • What are the reasons for switching to Ally Bank? • Does the commercial make assumptions about other banks? • What types of assumptions does the commercial make? • Do all other banks try to deceive their customers?

  46. 5 strategies for countering a reason • Factual errors in the reason offered. • Consider other people’s interests in addition to those mentioned. • Look for questionable assumptions or beliefs that underlie the reason. • Think of undesirable consequences or side effects not mentioned in the reason.

  47. Think of undesirable consequences or side effects not mentioned in the reason. Some reasons fail to consider multiple consequences. Think about negative effects that might accompany the action. Consider the following scenario: An advocate argues that lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18 will allow young adults to drink in safer environments rather than in secret, and as a result, fewer adolescents will die from untreated alcohol poisoning.

  48. Think of undesirable consequences or side effects not mentioned in the reason. • If more people are legally allowed to drink, then it follows that more people will drink. If more people are drinking, there will be more occurrences of drinking and driving. While lowering the drinking age may prevent some accidental deaths due to drinking in secrecy, it may also lead to more drinking and driving accidents.

  49. Ron Paul Watch the following video clip: Questions for a counter argument: • Does this advertisement consider consequences that might result from making abortion illegal? • What are some of the consequences that might happen? • Why are these potential consequences not addressed?

  50. 5 strategies for countering a reason • Factual errors in the reason offered. • Consider other people’s interests in addition to those mentioned. • Look for questionable assumptions or beliefs that underlie the reason. • Think of undesirable consequences or side effects not mentioned in the reason. • Suggest more important, reasonable, or beneficial or beneficial options.