Think Again IV: How to Avoid Fallacies Coursera Quiz Answers

Get All Weeks Think Again IV: How to Avoid Fallacies Coursera Quiz Answers

We encounter fallacies almost everywhere we look. Politicians, salespeople, and children commonly use fallacies in order to get you to think whatever they want you to think. It’s important to learn to recognize fallacies so that you can avoid being fooled by them. It’s also important to learn about fallacies so that you avoid making fallacious arguments yourself. This course will show you how to identify and avoid many of the fallacies that lead people astray.

In this course, you will learn about fallacies. Fallacies are arguments that suffer from one or more common but avoidable defects: equivocation, circularity, vagueness, etc. It’s important to learn about fallacies so that you can recognize them when you see them, and not be fooled by them. It’s also important to learn about fallacies so that you avoid making fallacious arguments yourself.

Suggested Readings Students who want more detailed explanations or additional exercises or who want to explore these topics in more depth should consult Understanding Arguments: An Introduction to Informal Logic, Ninth Edition, Concise, Chapters 13-17, by Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Robert Fogelin. Course Format Each week will be divided into multiple video segments that can be viewed separately or in groups. There will be short ungraded quizzes after each segment (to check comprehension) and a longer graded quiz at the end of the course.

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Week 1: Think Again IV: How to Avoid Fallacies Coursera Quiz Answers

Quiz 1: Introduction to Fallacies

Q1.Which of the following is the definition of “fallacy”?

  • (a) A fallacy is an argument in which the premises are false, and so cannot support any conclusion.
  • (b) A fallacy is an argument in which the conclusion is false because the premises are.
  • (c) A fallacy is an argument in which the premises do not support the conclusion.
  • (d) A fallacy is an argument in which the conclusion is false independently of the premises.
  • (e) None of the above.

Quiz 2: Vagueness

Q1. Which of the following terms is vague?

  • (a) “large”
  • (b) “soft”
  • (c) “late”
  • (d) all of the above
  • (e) none of the above

Q2. Which of the following terms is not vague?

  • (a) “pi”
  • (b) “quadratic equation”
  • (c) “square root”
  • (d) all of the above
  • (e) none of the above

Q3. Which of the following arguments is an example of the paradox of vagueness (i.e., an apparently valid argument from apparently true premises to an apparently false conclusion)?

  • (a) Walter is a fully grown man who weighs under 150 pounds – therefore, Walter is not fat.
  • (b) If Walter is not fat now, he would not be fat even if he gained a single pound: therefore, Walter can never be fat, and so he can never be fatter than he is now.
  • (c) Walter is not fat now, and he would not be fat even if he gained a single pound: therefore, Walter can never be fatter than other people who weigh less than he does.
  • (d) Walter is not fat now; and you cannot make someone fat by adding 1 pound to their weight. Therefore, no matter how much Walter weighs, he will not be fat.
  • (e) all of the above

Q4. Which of the following arguments is an example of the paradox of vagueness (i.e., an apparently valid argument from apparently true premises to an apparently false conclusion)?

  • (a) Robinson is not tall. Someone cannot be tall if they are merely 1 millimeter taller than someone who is not tall. Therefore, no one is tall.
  • (b) Robinson is not tall. Someone who is not tall cannot become tall merely by growing 1 millimeter. Therefore, Robinson will never be tall, no matter how many millimeters he grows.
  • (c) Robinson is not tall. If Robinson were 1 millimeter taller than he actually is, he still would not be tall. Therefore, no one can ever be taller than Robinson.
  • (d) all of the above
  • (e) none of the above

Q5. Which of the sets of statements is an example of the paradox of vagueness (i.e., a set of statements each of which is apparently true, but that cannot all be true together)?

  • (a) Lin is precisely two meters tall. No one would notice if his height were changed by 1 mm. Lin would not be precisely as tall if his height were changed by 1 mm.
  • (b) Lin is roughly two meters tall. No matter how tall someone is, they would still be roughly the very same height if their height were changed by 1 mm. If Lin’s height were changed by a full meter, then he could not still be roughly two meters tall.
  • (c) Lin is noticeably taller than Song. If someone is noticeably taller than Song, then they will still be noticeably taller than Song no matter how greatly their height is changed. And yet, not everyone is noticeably taller than Song.
  • (d) all of the above
  • (e) none of the above

Quiz 3: Slippery Slopes

Q1. Which of the following arguments is an example of a conceptual slippery slope argument?

  • (a) A tree is a living thing.

A tree is made up of molecules.


Therefore, molecules are living things.

  • (b) A person who owns 1 penny is poor.

A person who owns 1 penny more than a poor person is also poor.


Therefore, a person who owns 2 pennies is poor.

  • (c) A person who weighs 50,000 grams (or 50 kg) is very light.

A difference of 1g is not a significant difference in human weight.

A person who weighs 200,000 grams (or 200 kg) is very heavy.


Therefore, the difference between a light person and a heavy person is not a significant difference.

  • (d) A person who wears no clothes is a nudist.

A difference of 1 square centimeter of clothing is not a significant difference.

A person who wears 200 kg of clothing is very hot.


Therefore, there is no significant difference between a nudist and someone who is very hot.

  • (e) None of the above.

Q2. Which of the following is an example of a conceptual slippery slope argument?

  • (a) A person who never votes is politically non-participatory.

The difference between voting a certain number of times in your life and voting one more time than that is not a significant difference.

A person who votes in annual elections at least 30 times is politically active.


Therefore, there is no significant difference between being politically active and being politically non-participatory.

  • (b) A person who never votes is politically non-participatory.

The difference between voting once in your life and voting never is a very significant difference.

A person who votes in annual elections at least 30 times is politically active.


Therefore, there is a very significant difference between being politically active and being politically non-participatory.

  • (c) A person who never votes is politically non-participatory.

The difference between voting once in your life and voting never is not a significant difference.

A person who votes in annual elections at least 30 times is politically active.


Therefore, there is a very significant difference between being politically active and being politically non-participatory.

  • (d) A person who never votes is politically non-participatory.

A person who votes one more time than a politically non-participatory person is also politically non-participatory.


Therefore, a person who votes in annual elections at least 30 times is politically non-participatory.

  • (e) None of the above

Q3. Consider the following argument:

A building that is 5000 years old is very ancient.

A difference of one day is not a significant difference in the age of a building.


There is no significant difference between a building that is very ancient and one that is very new.

Which of the following would have to be added as a premise in order to make the argument above into a conceptual slippery slope argument?

  • (a) A building that is 1 year old is very new.
  • (b) A difference of thousands of years is not a significant difference.
  • (c) A difference of thousands of years is made up of a bunch of differences of smaller magnitude.
  • (d) A building that is thousands of years old is not significantly different from one that is very ancient.
  • (e) none of the above.

Quiz 4: Fairness Slippery Slopes

Q1. Which of the following is a fairness slippery slope argument?

  • (a) An employee of 30 years is eligible for retirement benefits.

1 day is a significant difference in duration of employment.


Therefore, it’s not fair to deny retirement benefits to an employee of 1 year.

  • (b) An employee of 30 years is eligible for retirement benefits.

1 day is not a significant difference in duration of employment.


Therefore, it’s not fair to deny retirement benefits to an employee of 1 year.

  • (c) An employee of 30 years is eligible for retirement benefits.

1 day is not a significant difference in duration of employment.

An employee of 1 year is not eligible for retirement benefits.


Therefore, there is no significant difference between being eligible for retirement benefits and not being eligible for them.

  • (d) All of the above.
  • (e) None of the above.

Q2. Which of the following is a fairness slippery slope argument?

  • (a) A citizen 18 years of age has the right to vote.

1 day is not a significant difference in human maturity.


Therefore, it’s not fair to deny a citizen 1 year of age the right to vote.

  • (b) A citizen 18 years of age has the right to vote.

1 day is a a significant difference in human maturity.


Therefore, it is not fair to deny a citizen who is 1 day short of their 18th birthday the right to vote.

  • (c) A citizen 18 years of age has the right to vote.

1 day is not a significant difference in human maturity.

A citizen 1 year of age does not have the right to vote.


Therefore, there is no significant difference between having the right to vote and not having the right to vote.

  • (d) A citizen 18 years of age has the right to vote.

1 day is not a significant difference in human maturity.

A citizen 1 year of age does not have the right to vote.


Therefore, a significant difference is made up of a series of insignificant differences.

  • (e) None of the above.

Q3. Consider the following argument:

It is unfair to draft someone as old as 40 into the armed services.

______________________________________________________________________

Therefore, it is unfair to draft someone as old as 20 into the armed services.

Which of the following premises would you need to add to this argument in order to turn it into a fairness slippery slope argument?

  • (a) 20 years is a significant difference in human age.
  • (b) 40 year olds are not as physically capable as 20 year olds.
  • (c) 1 day is not a significant difference in human age.
  • (d) A series of 1 day differences can amount to a very significant difference in human age.
  • (e) None of the above

Quiz 5: Causal Slippery Slopes

Q1. Which of the following arguments is a causal slippery slope argument?

  • (a) If we skip brushing our teeth tonight, then it’s likely that we will skip brushing them tomorrow night.

If we skip brushing our teeth tomorrow night, then it’s likely that we will skip brushing them the night after tomorrow.

If we skip brushing our teeth the night after tomorrow, then it’s likely that we will skip brushing them the night after that.


Therefore, we should not skip brushing our teeth tonight.

  • (b) If we skip brushing our teeth tonight, then it’s likely that we will skip brushing them tomorrow night.

If we skip brushing our teeth tomorrow night, then it’s likely that we will skip brushing them the night after tomorrow.

We should not skip brushing our teeth three nights in a row.


Therefore, we should not skip brushing our teeth tonight.

  • (c) If we skip brushing our teeth tonight, then it’s likely that we will skip brushing them tomorrow night.

If we skip brushing our teeth tomorrow night, then it’s likely that we will skip brushing them the night after tomorrow.

If we skip brushing our teeth the night after tomorrow, then it’s likely that we will skip brushing them the night after that.


Therefore, while we may skip brushing our teeth tonight, we should not skip brushing them four nights in a row.

  • (d) If we skip brushing our teeth tonight, then we will skip brushing them tomorrow night.

If we skip brushing our teeth tomorrow night, then we will skip brushing them the night after tomorrow.

If we skip brushing our teeth the night after tomorrow, then we will skip brushing them the night after that.

We should not skip brushing our teeth tonight.


Therefore, we should not skip brushing our teeth for fours nights in a row.

  • (e) None of the above.

Q2. Which of the following is NOT a causal slippery slope argument?

  • (a) It is not very unhealthy to skip brushing your teeth for a single night.

There is no significant difference between brushing your teeth on a particular night or not brushing your teeth on that night.

It is very unhealthy to skip brushing your teeth every night.


There is no significant difference between being very unhealthy and not being very unhealthy.

  • (b) Someone who does not brush their teeth on a particular night is not necessarily unhealthy.

Someone who skips brushing their teeth for one night more than someone who is not unhealthy is also not necessarily unhealthy.


Therefore, someone who does not brush their teeth on any night is not necessarily unhealthy.

  • (c) If we skip brushing our teeth tonight, then it’s likely that we will skip brushing them tomorrow night.

If we skip brushing our teeth tomorrow night, then it’s likely that we will skip brushing them the night after tomorrow.

If we skip brushing our teeth the night after tomorrow, then it’s likely that we will skip brushing them the night after that.


Therefore, we should not skip brushing our teeth tonight.

  • (d) All of the above.
  • (e) None of the above.

Q3. Consider the following argument:

If we start requiring automatic weapons owners to pass an automatic weapons safety test, then it’s likely that we will start to require gun owners to pass a gun safety test.

If we start requiring gun owners to pass a gun safety test, then it’s likely that we will start to require knife owners to pass a knife safety test.

If we start requiring knife owners to pass a knife safety test, then it’s likely that we will start to require toy owners to pass a toy safety test.


Therefore, we should not start requiring automatic weapons owners to pass an automatic weapons safety test.

Which of the following would have to be added as a premise to the argument above, in order to turn it into a causal slippery slope argument?

  • (a) We should not start requiring toy owners to pass a toy safety test.
  • (b) We should start requiring toy owners to pass a toy safety test.
  • (c) Whatever we require of automatic weapons owners we must also require of toy owners.
  • (d) Any of the above.
  • (e) None of the above.

Quiz 6: Semantic and Syntactic Ambiguity

Q1. Which of the following sentences contains semantic ambiguity?

  • a. The bank is far away.
  • b. Barack Obama was first elected US President in 2008.
  • c. The French word for “Sunday” is “dimanche”
  • d. There is no largest number in the Fibonacci sequence.
  • e. None of the above

Q2. Which of the following sentences contains syntactic ambiguity?

  • a. The bank is far away.
  • b. Barack Obama was elected US President in 2008.
  • c. The French word for “Sunday” is “dimanche”
  • d. There is no largest number in the Fibonacci sequence.
  • e. None of the above

Q3. Which of the following sentences contains semantic ambiguity?

  • a. All the boys love all the girls.
  • b. He is a cheap date.
  • c. I like apple pie more than I like cherry pie.
  • d. Trees can grow to be very tall.
  • e. None of the above

Q4. Which of the following sentences contains syntactic ambiguity?

  • a. All the boys love all the girls.
  • b. He is a cheap date.
  • c. I like apple pie more than I like cherry pie.
  • d. Trees can grow to be very tall.
  • e. None of the above

Quiz 7: Fallacies of Equivocation

Q1. Which of the following sentences contains a semantic ambiguity?

  • a. π < 3.15
  • b. Some polygons have more vertices than pentagons.
  • c. Mt. Everest is taller at its peak than Mt. McKinley.
  • d. The economy is still weak.
  • e. None of the above.

Q2. Which of the following sentences contains a syntactic ambiguity?

  • a. π < 3.15
  • b. Some polygons have more vertices than pentagons.
  • c. Mt. Everest is taller than Mt. McKinley.
  • d. The economy is still weak.
  • e. None of the above.

Q3. Suppose that an American citizen were to offer the following argument: “Ours is a nation of laws. All of us must obey the laws. But God’s law forbids work on the Sabbath day. And therefore we must not work on the Sabbath Day.” This argument involves a

  • a. conceptual slippery slope fallacy
  • b. fairness slippery slope fallacy
  • c. fallacy of ambiguity
  • d. none of the above
  • e. all of the above

Q4. Suppose that an American citizen were to offer the following argument: “Taxes provide revenue for the government, so that it can do its work. Part of the government’s work involves collecting taxes. Therefore, taxes help to fund the collection of taxes.” This argument involves a

  • a. conceptual slippery slope fallacy
  • b. fairness slippery slope fallacy
  • c. fallacy of ambiguity
  • d. all of the above
  • e. none of the above

Q5. Suppose that Dr. Spock (or some other authority on parenting) offered the following argument: “It is very important for parents not to let down their children. I am now carrying my child. Therefore, even though he wants to walk on his own, it is important that I not let him down.” This argument is a

  • a. conceptual slippery slope fallacy
  • b. fairness slippery slope fallacy
  • c. fallacy of ambiguity
  • d. all of the above
  • e. none of the above

Q6. Consider the following argument: “There are more humans than tigers in the world. But there are more tigers than pandas. Therefore, humans are more numerous than pandas.” This argument involves a

  • a. conceptual slippery slope fallacy
  • b. fairness slippery slope fallacy
  • c. fallacy of ambiguity
  • d. all of the above
  • e. none of the above

Q7. Consider the following argument: “Zeke and Jane are madly in love. In fact, Jane is Zeke’s one true love: he cannot love another woman, and so he cannot cheat on her. But Zeke’s grown daughter Mary is also a woman. So Zeke cannot love Mary. Zeke must therefore be a terrible father!” This argument involves a

  • a. conceptual slippery slope fallacy
  • b. fairness slippery slope fallacy
  • c. fallacy of ambiguity
  • d. all of the above
  • e. none of the above

Q8. Consider the following argument: “My horse is racing and my heart is racing. Therefore my horse and my heart are doing the same thing.” This argument involves a

  • a. conceptual slippery slope fallacy
  • b. fairness slippery slope fallacy
  • c. fallacy of ambiguity
  • d. none of the above
  • e. all of the above

Q9. Consider the following argument: “My horse is racing and my heart is racing. But racing is not significantly different from walking very quickly, which is not significantly different from walking somewhat quickly, which is not significantly different from walking somewhat slowly, which is not significantly different from walking very slowly, which is not significantly different from standing still. Therefore, racing is not significantly different from standing still. And so it would be unfair to treat racers differently than we treat those who are standing still. And therefore we must treat racers in just the same way that we treat those who are standing still. And thus we must treat my horse and my heart in the same way.” This argument involves a

  • a. conceptual slippery slope fallacy
  • b. fairness slippery slope fallacy
  • c. fallacy of ambiguity
  • d. all of the above
  • e. none of the above

Q10. Consider the following argument: “A human being cannot feel an electric current of less than 1 mA of AC at 60 Hz. But a human being also cannot feel the difference between electric currents that differ from each other by less than 1 mA. Therefore, a human being cannot feel an electric current of less than 2 mA of AC at 60 Hz, of less than 3 mA of AC at 60 Hz, and so on. It follows that a human being cannot feel an AC electric current of any magnitude whatsoever, no matter how large. And so electrocution cannot be painful, no matter how severe it is.” This argument involves a

  • a. conceptual slippery slope fallacy
  • b. fairness slippery slope fallacy
  • c. fallacy of ambiguity
  • d. none of the above
  • e. all of the above

Week 2: Think Again IV: How to Avoid Fallacies Coursera Quiz Answers

Quiz 1: Dismissers

Q1. Which of the following arguments is a dismisser?

  • (a) Albert is an engineer, so you should consult his opinion about engineering regulations.
  • (b) Albert is an engineer, so any considerations that he wants to offer in defense of a particular public art project are not going to be any good.
  • (c) Albert is an engineer, so it’s likely that he doesn’t believe in God.
  • (d) Albert is an engineer, so he probably makes a good salary.
  • (e) all of the above

Q2. Which of the following arguments is a dismisser?

  • (a) Flora never graduated from college, so her reasons for objecting to state funding for colleges are not good reasons.
  • (b) Flora never graduated from college, so she is probably not very smart.
  • (c) Flora never graduated from college, so she is very unlikely to win any argument that she gets into.
  • (d) Flora never graduated from college, so what does she know?
  • (e) none of the above

Q3. Which of the following arguments is a dismisser?

  • (a) Juliet is in love with Romeo, so she cannot be allowed to testify in his trial
  • (b) Juliet is in love with Romeo, so she simply won’t be able to appreciate the evidence against him.
  • (c) Juliet is in love with Romeo, so she will believe the case in favor of his innocence.
  • (d) Juliet is in love with Romeo, so the reasons she presents for his innocence cannot be trusted.
  • (e) none of the above

Quiz 2: Deniers

Q1. Which of the following arguments is a denier?

  • (a) Njeri is descended from Hutus, so of course she would defend the Hutus: that doesn’t mean that her defense is accurate!
  • (b) Njeri is descended from Hutus, so despite her eloquent argument in defense of the Hutus, we know that what she is arguing is false.
  • (c) Njeri is descended from Hutus, so we cannot trust anything she says on matters of importance in Rwandan politics.
  • (d) Njeri is descended from Hutus, so she is probably a very skillful orator: we must be sure not to let her persuade us of things too easily.
  • (e) all of the above

Q2. Which of the following arguments is a denier?

  • (a) Sarah Palin is a Republican, so you can never trust what she has to say about taxes or government spending.
  • (b) Barack Obama is a Democrat, so we should not pay any heed to his argument in defense of more public sector spending.
  • (c) Barack Obama is a Democrat, so we should not expect that his arguments about matters of public importance have any truth to them.
  • (d) Sarah Palin is a Republican, so of course she is an idiot.
  • (e) None of the above

Q3. Which of the following arguments is a denier?

  • (a) This very argument is a denier, so of course the conclusion of this argument is false.
  • (b) Obama’s argument against Sarah Palin’s recent comment is a denier, so of course the conclusion of that argument is false.
  • (c) Obama’s argument against Sarah Palin shows he makes vicious attacks on people of modest intellectual means, so we know that the conclusion that he reached was false.
  • (d) Obama’s argument against Sarah Palin’s recent comment was simply an ad hominem attack on her character, so we should pay it no heed.
  • (e) all of the above

Quiz 3: Supporters

Q1. Which of the following arguments is a supporter?

  • (a) Since Russell Brand grew up in poverty, the reasons that he gives in favor of the new anti-poverty campaign are especially compelling.
  • (b) Since Russell Brand grew up in poverty, he is likely to be right in defending the new anti-poverty campaign.
  • (c) Since Russell Brand grew up in poverty, it’s likely that he did not receive the training to make good arguments.
  • (d) Since Russell Brand grew up in poverty, we should pay especially close attention to any arguments he gives on the topic of poverty.
  • (e) none of the above

Q2. Which of the following arguments is a supporter?

  • (a) Merle is a truck driver, so we should not pay any attention to what he has to say about traffic regulations in this country.
  • (b) Merle is a truck driver, and truck drivers tend to be more intelligent than other people, so we should expect Merle’s arguments to be quite strong in general.
  • (c) Merle is a truck driver, and so whatever considerations he gives in favor of the government’s new transportation policy are likely to be very compelling reasons.
  • (d) Merle is a truck driver, and so is much likelier than I am to figure out what transportation policy the government should pursue.
  • (e) none of the above.

Q3. Which of the following arguments is a supporter?

  • (a) Dora is an explorer, so she has a special right to make pronouncements about the costs and benefits of exploration.
  • (b) Dora is an explorer, so she has no right to offer reasons against the government’s new “anti-explorer” policy..
  • (c) Dora is an explorer, so it would be a conflict of interest for the judge to appoint her to a jury, which is supposed to decide the guilt of the accused explorer.
  • (d) Dora is an explorer, so any argument she makes about exploring is likely to be biased.
  • (e) none of the above

Quiz 4: Affirmers

Q1. Consider the following appeal to authority argument:

“TV personality Benn Gleck has repeatedly announced that there is no scientific consensus about whether or not the temperature of the earth has been increasing over the past century. Gleck’s TV show is sponsored by a number of big oil and gas companies, as well as a number of big automobile companies. Such important companies would never be willing to sponsor a show that was not completely truthful. Therefore, we can be certain that Gleck is right is when he says that there is no scientific consensus about global warming.”

This argument is an example of a

  • a. justified affirmer
  • b. unjustified affirmer
  • c. justified amplifier
  • d. unjustified amplifier
  • e. justified supporter
  • f. unjustified supporter

Q2. Consider the following appeal to authority argument:

“Paul Krugman was being interviewed on a TV news program about the economy. During the interview, the interviewer called Krugman dishonest. Now, I realize that the interviewer is not an economist, or even very knowledgeable about economics, but still, the TV program is the interviewer’s program. So the interviewer gets to set the rules for the program, and if the interviewer says that Krugman is dishonest, then we who are watching that interviewer’s program should believe that Krugman is dishonest.”

This argument is an example of a

  • a. justified affirmer
  • b. unjustified affirmer
  • c. justified amplifier
  • d. unjustified amplifier
  • e. justified supporter
  • f. unjustified supporter

Q3. Consider the following appeal to authority argument:

“I’ve always thought that the Washington Post is a reliable paper. But I recently discovered that it’s even more reliable than I had previously thought. A study which I just read about in the Washington Post was conducted by the Associated Press: they surveyed the 100 most widely circulated newspapers in the world and found that, among those 100, the Washington Post had the fewest number of errors per issue. So it turns out that the Washington Post is even more reliable than I had previously thought!”

This argument is an example of a

  • a. justified affirmer
  • b. unjustified affirmer
  • c. justified amplifier
  • d. unjustified amplifier
  • e. justified supporter
  • f. unjustified supporter

Q4. Consider the following appeal to authority argument:

“I was watching Gonzalez carefully as he slid into second-base, and it looked to me like he was safe. But then the umpire announced that Gonzalez was safe, and no one’s view of the matter counts more than the umpire’s. So now I’m sure Gonzalez was safe.”

This argument is an example of a

  • a. justified affirmer
  • b. unjustified affirmer
  • c. justified amplifier
  • d. unjustified amplifier
  • e. justified supporter
  • f. unjustified supporter

Q5. Consider the following appeal to authority argument:

“For the past 50 years, the Standard Model of particle physics has predicted the existence of the Higgs Boson. The Standard Model has been quite well confirmed by a number of different experiments. But last year, some scientists reported finding the Higgs Boson. Since these experimenters are in a good position to know, I conclude that the Higgs Boson really does exist, just as the Standard Model predicts.”

This argument is an example of a

  • a. justified affirmer
  • b. unjustified affirmer
  • c. justified amplifier
  • d. unjustified amplifier
  • e. justified supporter
  • f. unjustified supporter

Q6. Consider the following appeal to authority argument:

“My barber, Mr. Higgs, claims that there is no such thing as the Higgs Boson. But how could there be a Higgs Boson if Mr. Higgs himself denies its existence? Clearly, then, the Higgs Boson does not exist.”

This argument is an example of a

  • a. justified affirmer
  • b. unjustified affirmer
  • c. justified amplifier
  • d. unjustified amplifier
  • e. justified supporter
  • f. unjustified supporter

Q1. Consider the following argument:

“George Berkeley claimed that all of the things that take up space – animals, plants, furniture, clothing – all of these things were simply ideas in our minds, and they had no existence independently of being thought of by a mind. But of course everyone today rejects this view, and therefore Berkeley was wrong.”

This argument is an example of an

  • a. appeal to authority
  • b. appeal to popular opinion
  • c. appeal to divine commandment
  • d. all of the above
  • e. none of the above

Q2. Consider the following argument:

“A large majority of Americans currently believe that the most effective way for the US Government to grow the economy in the next 3 years is by reducing its spending. In a democracy, the voters decide. Therefore, the most effective way for the US Government to grow the economy in the next 3 years is by reducing its spending.”

This argument is an example of a(n)

  • a. justified appeal to popular opinion
  • b. unjustified appeal to popular opinion
  • c. justified appeal to authority
  • d. unjustified appeal to authority
  • e. none of the above

Q3. Consider the following argument:

“According to one recent lexicographical study, a large majority of native English speakers in the United States think that ‘chillaxing’ is a synonym of ‘relaxing’. Therefore, it is true that ‘chillaxing’ is a synonym of ‘relaxing’.”

This argument is an example of a(n)

  • a. justified appeal to popular opinion
  • b. unjustified appeal to popular opinion
  • c. justified appeal to authority
  • d. unjustified appeal to authority
  • e. none of the above

Q4. Consider the following argument:

“It is easier to persuade people by appealing to their emotions that by giving them a sound argument. But everyone agrees that the only point of studying logic is to learn to persuade people. Therefore, it is a waste of time to study logic.”

This argument contains a(n)

  • a. justified appeal to popular opinion
  • b. unjustified appeal to popular opinion
  • c. justified appeal to authority
  • d. unjustified appeal to authority
  • e. none of the above

Q5. Consider the following argument:

“If we take an umbrella to go out, then we might end up losing the umbrella. If we lose the umbrella, we will get upset. If we get upset, we will fight with each other. If we fight with each other, we may get a divorce. If we get a divorce, our kids may suffer for the rest of their lives. Let’s not make our kids suffer for the rest of their lives: let’s not take an umbrella.”

Which of the following claims do you think is true about the argument just considered?

  • a. It is valid but not sound.
  • b. It provides a good reason for not taking an umbrella.
  • c. It does not provide a good reason for taking an umbrella.
  • d. It is sound.
  • e. None of the above.

Quiz 6: Fallacies of Vacuity

Q1. Consider the following conversation:

Jack: Hey Jill, have you finished doing the exercises for Week 10 of THINK AGAIN?

Jill: No, I’m finding it really difficult to keep up with that course. For one thing, I’ve had to work extra hours at my job recently. And then I’ve also been finding it hard to concentrate: Ram seems like a robot when he lectures.

Jack: Well, did it ever occur to you that Ram might actually be a robot?

Jill: You know, I never thought of that!

Jane: I can tell you both right now that he’s not a robot. I know him personally, and that’s just the way he is: he’s robotic like that in real life.

Jack: Well, so how do you know that he’s not a robot?

Jane: I was wondering about it so I asked him, and he assured me that he wasn’t a robot.

In the conversation above, Jane is implicitly making an argument for a particular conclusion. Now, please answer the following questions about Jane’s implicit argument.

Which of the following statements is one of the premises of her argument?

a. I was wondering whether Ram was a robot.

b. Ram is a robot.

c. Ram is not a robot.

d. I thought Ram was a robot.

e. Ram assured me that he is not a robot.

f. I asked Ram whether he is a robot.

Q2. Which of the following statements is the conclusion of her argument?

a. I was wondering whether Ram was a robot.

b. Ram is a robot.

c. Ram is not a robot.

d. I thought Ram was a robot.

e. Ram assured me that he is not a robot.

f. I asked Ram whether he is a robot.

Q3. Jane’s argument is an example of which of the following?

a. justified ad hominem argument

b. unjustified ad hominem argument

c. justified appeal to authority

d. unjustified appeal to authority

e. none of the above

Q4. Jane’s argument is an example of which of the following?

a. dismisser

b. silencer

c. affirmer

d. amplifier

e. none of the above

Q5. Are you a robot? (Check All for Full Credit)

a. I don’t think so, but I could be wrong.

b. Of course not!

c. Come to think of it, I probably am!

d. I am immediately conscious of my own thoughts, feelings, and experiences, as well as of my own robotic nature.

e. How would I be able to tell whether or not I am?

Quiz 7: Circularity and Begging the Question

Q1. Consider the following reasoning:

“In the First Vatican Council of 1869-1870, the Vatican set forth the doctrine of Papal Infallibility. According to the doctrine of Papal Infallibility, the Pope cannot make errors when, in his official capacity, he puts forward church doctrine. Although a number of people have challenged the doctrine of Papal Infallibility, that doctrine must be true, for in originally setting forth that doctrine, the Pope was acting in his official capacity to put forward church doctrine.”

The conclusion of this reasoning is that

  • a. the doctrine of Papal Infallibility is true
  • b. the Pope was acting in his official capacity when he put forward that doctrine
  • c. whenever the Pope acts in his official capacity in putting forward church doctrine, he is infallible
  • d. when an infallible source puts forward a doctrine, that doctrine is true
  • e. None of the above

Q2. The premises of this reasoning include

  • a. the doctrine of Papal Infallibility is true
  • b. the Pope put forward the doctrine of Papal Infallibility on a Sunday
  • c. whenever the Pope acts in his official capacity in putting forward church doctrine, he is infallible
  • d. (a) and (b) but not (c)
  • e. (b) and (c) but not (a)

Q3. This reasoning involves a(n)

  • a. appeal to authority
  • b. appeal to popular opinion
  • c. fallacy of begging the question
  • d. (a) and (c) but not (b)
  • e. (b) and (c) but not (a)

Q4. Now consider the following reasoning:

“The ACME company claims to offer a money-back guarantee on their ACME double-edged sword: If a customer is not fully satisfied, they may return their ACME double-edged sword and receive a full refund. Of course, ACME could not afford to offer such a guarantee if a large portion of their customers took advantage of it and returned their swords for a full refund. And I know that ACME does offer such a guarantee, since they say they do. So ACME customers must generally be satisfied with their double-edged swords. So those double-edged swords must be good.”

The conclusion of this reasoning is that

  • a. the ACME double-edged sword is good
  • b. ACME guarantees a full refund for customers who are not satisfied with their double-edged sword
  • c. ACME claims to guarantee a full refund for customers who are not satisfied with their double-edged sword
  • d. ACME could not afford to offer a guarantee of a full refund if a large portion of their customers took advantage of it
  • e. (c) and (d) but not (a)

Q5. The premises of this reasoning include

  • a. the ACME double-edged sword is good
  • b. ACME guarantees a full refund for customers who are not satisfied with their double-edged sword
  • c. ACME claims to guarantee a full refund for customers who are not satisfied with their double-edged sword
  • d. ACME could not afford to offer a guarantee of a full refund if a large portion of their customers took advantage of it
  • e. (c) and (d) but not (a)

Q6. This reasoning involves a(n)

  • a. appeal to authority
  • b. appeal to popular opinion
  • c. fallacy of begging the question
  • d. (a) and (c) but not (b)
  • e. (b) and (c) but not (a)

Quiz 8: Self-Sealers

Q1. Consider the following argument:

Bob says he’s guilty, therefore he’s guilty

This argument is an example of

  • (a) a self-sealer
  • (b) begging the question
  • (c) appeal to authority
  • (d) ad hominem argument
  • (e) all of the above

Q2. Consider the following:

The ability to engage in research is highly correlated with dishonesty. Of course, this claim is denied by many researchers, but all of them must be able to do research, and so they can be dismissed as dishonest.

This argument is an example of:

  • (a) appeal to authority
  • (b) a denier
  • (c) a self-sealer
  • (d) begging the question
  • (e) none of the above

Q3. Consider the following:

Despite appearances, children’s toys are capable of human speech. In fact, they typically talk to each other when nobody is listening. Of course, since nobody is listening when this happens, nobody realizes that they are doing this. But I know that they are doing it, because I saw them do it in a very trustworthy film called “Toy Story”.

This argument is an example of:

  • (a) ad hominem
  • (b) appeal to authority
  • (c) a self-sealer
  • (d) begging the question
  • (e) all of the above

Week 3: Think Again IV: How to Avoid Fallacies Coursera Quiz Answers

Quiz 1: Refutation by Parallel Reasoning

Q1. Suppose that Jason gives the following argument:

“We should not serve veal for dinner tonight. Leon is coming over, and he refuses to eat veal on moral grounds. And also Yuji is coming over, and he simply doesn’t like the taste of veal. Finally, Njeri is coming over, and she doesn’t like it when people spend lots of money on her – I think she might feel embarrassed if we serve an expensive veal dinner.”

The conclusion of this argument is

  • a. We should not serve veal for dinner tonight.
  • b. Leon refuses to eat veal.
  • c. Yuji doesn’t like veal.
  • d. Njeri doesn’t like it when people spend lots of money on her.
  • e. (b), (c), and (d), but not (a)

Q2. The premise of this argument is (or the premises are):

  • a. We should not serve veal for dinner tonight.
  • b. Leon refuses to eat veal.
  • c. Yuji doesn’t like veal.
  • d. Njeri doesn’t like it when people spend lots of money on her.
  • e. (b), (c), and (d), but not (a)

Q3. Now suppose that Fred objects to Jason’s argument as follows:

“Oh sure, Jason, let’s just pander to everybody’s whims and just not serve any food at all! God forbid that we should ever risk offending anyone, spending too much, spending too little, or violating a guest’s dietary constraints by serving any kind of dish!”

Fred’s response to Jason’s argument is an example of:

  • a. unjustified denier
  • b. begging the question
  • c. refutation by parallel reasoning
  • d. proving that Jason’s argument is not sound
  • e. none of the above

Q4. Now suppose that, after the financial collapse of 2008, Nouriel gives the following argument:

“Western governments can spend as much taxpayer money as they like covering the losses suffered by the big banks: such spending will not restore the proper operation of the banks. In order to restore the proper operation of the banks, they must first be adequately capitalized, and they must also be lending money to borrowers whose investments will generate lots of consumer demand. But, given current incentives, there is no way for the banks to achieve this goal without being at least temporarily taken over by fiscal policy makers. So the banks must be temporarily nationalized if they are ever to become effective private institutions again.”

The conclusion of this argument is:

  • a. Government spending will not restore the proper operation of the banks.
  • b. Restoring their proper operation requires that banks are adequately capitalized.
  • c. Restoring their proper operation requires that banks lend to borrowers whose investments will generate lots of consumer demand.
  • d. The banks must be temporarily nationalized if they are ever to become effective private institutions.
  • e. (a), (b), and (c) but not (d)

Q5. The premise of this argument is (or the premises are):

  • a. Government spending will not restore the proper operation of the banks.
  • b. Restoring their proper operation requires that banks are adequately capitalized.
  • c. Restoring their proper operation requires that banks lend to borrowers whose investments will generate lots of consumer demand.
  • d. The banks must be temporarily nationalized if they are ever to become effective private institutions.
  • e. (a), (b), and (c) but not (d)

Q6. Now suppose that Bill responds to Nouriel’s argument as follows:

“Oh, sure, just let the government take over the banks. And while you’re at it, let the government also take over the oil and gas industry, aviation, and manufacturing as well. Heck, why not just let the government take over the whole economy?”

Bill’s response to Nouriel’s argument is an example of:

  • a. refutation by parallel reasoning
  • b. a justified dismisser
  • c. an unjustified denier
  • d. proving that Nouriel’s argument is not sound
  • e. none of the above

Q7. Consider the following argument:

“If guns are outlawed, then only outlaws will have guns. Therefore, guns should not be outlawed.”

Which of the following argument is parallel in structure to the preceding argument:

  • a. If rape is outlawed, then only outlaws will rape. Therefore, rape should not be outlawed.
  • b. If alcohol is outlawed, then only outlaws will drink alcohol. Therefore, alcohol should not be outlawed.
  • c. If reading is outlawed, then only outlaws will read. Therefore, reading should not be outlawed.
  • d. If killing is outlawed, then only outlaws will kill. Therefore, killing should not be outlawed.
  • e. (a) and (d) but not (b) or (c)

Q8. Consider the following argument:

“Nuclear deterrence must work, since nuclear powers have never engaged in nuclear was with each other since the end of WWII.”

Which of the following arguments is parallel in structure to the preceding argument:

  • a. Refrigerators keep away fairies, since no house with a refrigerator has ever been visited by fairies.
  • b. Photographers scare away Bigfoot, which is why no one has ever been able to get a good photograph of him.
  • c. Flying on an airplane prevents poverty, since airplane passengers are not poverty stricken.
  • d. Hanging garlic in front of my house keeps thieves away, since I have not been robbed and I have always hung garlic there.
  • e. All of the above

Q9. Consider the following argument:

“Eating meat cannot be wrong, since most people today regard it as an acceptable practice.”

Which of the following arguments could be used to refute the preceding argument by parallel reasoning:

  • a. Owning slaves cannot be wrong, since most people today regard it and an acceptable practice (spoken by an advertising executive).
  • b. Stretching the truth cannot be wrong, since most people today regard it as an acceptable practice (spoken by a advertising executive).
  • c. Abortion cannot be against your conscience, since most people today regard it as an acceptable practice (spoken by a parishioner to a priest).
  • d. Armed conflict cannot be wrong, since it is so widely practiced.
  • e. None of the above

Q10. Consider the following argument:

“It’s wrong to drive in excess of the speed limit, even in a case where you’re rushing someone to the hospital to save their life. If everyone drove in excess of the speed limit, then that would make driving very dangerous for everyone, and we’d see a huge increase in traffic fatalities. So you should never drive in excess of the speed limit, no matter what.”

Which of the following arguments could be used to refute the preceding argument by parallel reasoning:

  • a. It’s wrong to lie even when an insane killer is asking you where you keep your guns. If everyone lied, then no one could ever trust what anyone else says, and we would lose the ability to share information through verbal exchange. So you should never lie under any circumstances.
  • b. It’s wrong to hug and kiss your child, even when they ask you to do so. If everyone did that, then children would come to demand affection even when their parents are occupied and cannot offer affection. So you should never express affection to your child under any circumstances.
  • c. It’s wrong to reply to your emails, even when they are urgent. If everyone always replied to all of the emails they receive, the total volume of email in the world would very soon swamp the total computational power of all of the world’s computers. So we should never reply to any of our emails.
  • d. It’s wrong to eat potato chips, even when you want to. If everyone ate nothing but potato chips all the time, we would all be extremely malnourished, and the human species would soon die off. Therefore, you should never eat potato chips under any circumstances.
  • e. (a) and (d) but not (b) or (c)

Q11. Consider the following argument:

“Ram and Walter must be the same person in two different disguises. Think about it: have you ever seen the two of them together?”

Which of the following arguments could be used to refute the preceding argument by parallel reasoning:

  • a. Water and fire must be the same substance in two different forms. Think about it: have you ever seen the two of them in the same place at the same time?
  • b. Mars and Venus must be two different appearances of the same planet. Think about it: have you ever seen the two of them in the same place at the same time?
  • c. Ram and Emperor Hirohito must be the same person in two different disguises. Think about it: have you ever seen the two of them in the same place at the same time?
  • d. Barack Obama and Simon Cowell must be the same person in two different disguises. Think about it: have you ever seen the two of them together?
  • e. None of the above

Quiz 2: Reductio Ad Absurdum

Q1. A reductio ad absurdum is when you:

  • a. prove that every single premise of an argument is false
  • b. prove that an argument is, somehow or other, invalid
  • c. point out that the conclusion of an argument is clearly false
  • d. point out that an argument has far too many premises
  • e. point out that a particular generalization (perhaps having nothing to do with any argument) has counterexamples

Q2. Consider the following argument:

“A man with no hairs at all on his head is bald. But a single extra hair cannot make the difference between a bald man and a non-bald man. And so, a man with 1 billion hairs on his head is also bald.”

Which of the following is the conclusion of this argument:

  • a. A man with no hairs at all on his head is bald.
  • b. A single extra hair cannot make the difference between a bald man and a non-bald man.
  • c. A man with 1 billion hairs on his head is bald.
  • d. (a) and (b) but not (c)
  • e. (a) and (c) but not (b)

Q3. Which of the following is the premise (or are the premises) of this argument:

  • a. A man with no hairs at all on his head is bald.
  • b. A single extra hair cannot make the difference between a bald man and a non-bald man.
  • c. A man with 1 billion hairs on his head is bald.
  • d. (a) and (b) but not (c)
  • e. (a) and (c) but not (b)

Q4. Which of the following would constitute a reductio ad absurdum of this argument:

  • a. a bald man with 0 hairs on his head
  • b. a bald man with 1 billion hairs on his head
  • c. a non-bald man with 0 hairs on his head
  • d. a non-bald man with 1 billion hairs on his head
  • e. a man who is simultaneously bald and non-bald

Q5. Now consider the following argument:

“Every chicken is born from a chicken egg that has already been laid. Every chicken egg is laid by a chicken who has already been born. Therefore, there cannot be a first generation of chickens. And so if there are any chickens today, there must have been infinitely many generations of chickens before today.”

Which of the following is the premise (or are the premises) of this argument:

  • a. Every chicken is born from a chicken egg that has already been laid.
  • b. Every chicken egg is laid by a chicken who has already been born.
  • c. If there are any chickens today, there must have been infinitely many generations of chickens before today.
  • d. all of the above
  • e. (a) and (b) but not (c)

Q6. Which of the following is the conclusion of this argument?

  • a. Every chicken is born from a chicken egg that has already been laid.
  • b. Every chicken egg is laid by a chicken who has already been born.
  • c. If there are any chickens today, there must have been infinitely many generations of chickens before today.
  • d. all of the above
  • e. (a) and (b) but not (c)

Q7. Which of the following would constitute a reductio ad absurdum of this argument:

  • a. a living chicken
  • b. a dead chicken
  • c. historical evidence that there are only finitely many generations of any extant species
  • d. the combination of (a) and (b) but not (c)
  • e. the combination of (a) and (c) but not (b)

Quiz 3: Counterexamples

Q1. Consider the statement:

Every prime number is odd.

Which of the following things is a counterexample to this general statement?

  • a. 2
  • b. 3
  • c. 4
  • d. 5
  • e. all of the above

Q2. Consider the statement:

All Swedes are tall.

What would you need to find in order to find a counterexample to this statement?

  • a. a tall Norwegian
  • b. a short Dane
  • c. a tall Swede
  • d. a short Swede
  • e. a short person who was half Swedish, half Danish

Q3. Consider the statement:

Everything has a shape.

Which of the following things is a counterexample to this general statement?

  • a. Mt. Everest
  • b. Barack Obama
  • c. Canada
  • d. the color blue
  • e. none of the above

Q4. Consider the following argument:

“Freedom is the ability to do whatever you want to do whenever you want to do it. But none of us living on an equal footing with others in society can be afforded that ability: to exercise that ability is to impede the ability of others to exercise that same ability, and so we cannot all exercise that ability. You cannot have an ability that you cannot exercise, so we cannot all have that ability. But if we live on equal footing, then either we all have the ability or none of us do. Therefore, none of us can have the ability to do whatever we want to do whenever we want to do it. And therefore, none of us is free.”

The conclusion of this argument is

  • a. Freedom is the ability to do whatever you want to do whenever you want to do it
  • b. You cannot have an ability that you cannot exercise
  • c. We cannot all exercise the ability to do whatever we want to do whenever we want to do it
  • d. No one who lives on an equal footing with others in society can be free
  • e. (a), (b), and (c)

Q5. The premises of the argument include which of the following statements?

  • a. Freedom is the ability to do whatever you want to do whenever you want to do it
  • b. You cannot have an ability that you cannot exercise
  • c. We cannot all exercise the ability to do whatever we want to do whenever we want to do it
  • d. No one who lives on an equal footing with others in society can be free
  • e. (a), (b), and (c)

Q6. One way to refute this argument would be to show that:

  • a. the person giving the argument is a compulsive liar
  • b. there are counterexamples to the general claim that freedom is the ability to do whatever you want to do whenever you want to do it
  • c. the argument is just one more manifestation of the class warfare that pits the proletariat against those who own the means of production
  • d. the pronoun “you” could refer to many different people
  • e. all of the above

Quiz 4: Attacking a Straw Man

Q1. Consider the following dialogue.

Hokey: The only thing that is intrinsically good is happiness. Everything else is good only to the extent that it produces happiness. For instance, health, prosperity, freedom, knowledge: these things are good only to the extent that they advance our happiness, and only because they advance our happiness.

Pokey: That’s absurd! Can you imagine what your life would be like if you spent all your time trying to achieve happiness? You’d be miserable! You shouldn’t try to achieve happiness: try to achieve other things, and happiness will follow.

Pokey claims to disagree with Hokey. But, if Pokey is disagreeing with Hokey, then what must the conclusion of Pokey’s argument be?

  • a. the only thing that is intrinsically good is happiness
  • b. it’s not the case that the only thing that is intrinsically good is happiness
  • c. health, prosperity, freedom, and knowledge do not advance happiness
  • d. health, prosperity, freedom, and knowledge are not good things
  • e. you would be miserable if you spent all your time trying to achieve happiness

Q2. Which of the following is one of the premises of Pokey’s argument?

  • a. the only thing that is intrinsically good is happiness
  • b. it’s not the case that the only thing that is intrinsically good is happiness
  • c. health, prosperity, freedom, and knowledge do not advance happiness
  • d. health, prosperity, freedom, and knowledge are not good things
  • e. you would be miserable if you spent all your time tryng to achieve happiness

Q3. Pokey’s argument is an example of

  • a. a slippery slope fallacy
  • b. a counterexample
  • c. a fallacy of equivocation
  • d. refuting a straw man
  • e. refutation by parallel reasoning

Q4. Consider the following dialogue.

Hanky: “Since the Industrial Revolution began around 1750, human activities have contributed substantially to climate change by adding CO2 and other heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere. These greenhouse gas emissions have increased the greenhouse effect and caused Earth’s surface temperature to rise.” (See http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/causes.html)

Panky: That’s ridiculous! CO2 is just what people exhale. And people have been around since way before 1750! Are you suggesting that people started exhaling only in 1750?

Now, since Panky is disagreeing with Hanky, what must the conclusion of Panky’s argument be?

  • a. Human activities have not contributed substantially to climate change
  • b. Human activities have contributed substantially to climate change
  • c. Humans naturally produce CO2
  • d. Humans have been around since way before 1750
  • e. (d) and (c) but not (a) or (b)

Q5. Which of the following are the premises of Panky’s argument?

  • a. Human activities have not contributed substantially to climate change
  • b. Human activities have contributed substantially to climate change
  • c. Humans naturally produce CO2
  • d. Humans have been around since way before 1750
  • e. (d) and (c) but not (a) or (b)

Q6. Panky’s argument is an example of:

  • a. a slippery slope fallacy
  • b. a counterexample
  • c. a fallacy of equivocation
  • d. refuting a straw man
  • e. refutation by parallel reasoning

Week 4: Think Again IV: How to Avoid Fallacies Coursera Quiz Answers

Quiz 1: Final Exam

Q1. An expression is vague if

  • a. it has two or more distinct meanings
  • b. there is a precise boundary between the cases in which it
    applies and the cases in which it does not apply
  • c. it is never misleading to others
  • d. it is both valid and sound
  • e. all of the above

Q2. Which of the following expressions is vague?

  • a. twice
  • b. hour
  • c. zero
  • d. integer
  • e. fast

Q3. An ad hominem argument

  • a. is an argument that
    the members of a group must have a property because the group as a whole has
    that property.
  • b. is an argument that
    criticizes what a person says by criticizing the person who says it.
  • c. is an argument that
    supports what a person says by citing good properties of the person who says
    it.
  • d. is an argument that
    tries to refute a position by showing that it implies something that is obviously false.
  • e. is an argument with
    a premise or conclusion that cannot be falsified by any possible event.

Q4. Which of the following expressions is semantically
ambiguous?

  • a. bank
  • b. river
  • c. North Carolina
  • d. the Atlantic Ocean
  • e. the International Monetary Fund

Q5. Which of the following sentences is syntactically
ambiguous?

  • a. close doors and open windows
  • b. please turn off your cell phones
  • c. the speed limit on this road is 100 Kilometers per hour
  • d. the conference will be held next week
  • e. I need to deposit some money at the bank

Q6. An ad hominem argument is one in which

  • a. the premises are not about the person making a point and
    neither is the conclusion
  • b. the premises are about the person making a point and the
    conclusion speaks favorably of them
  • c. the premises are about the vagueness of a point being made a
    person and the conclusion tells against the person
  • d. the premises are about the conclusion and the conclusion is
    about the premises
  • e. none of the above

Q7. Which of the following arguments is an ad hominem?

  • a. Honest Abe told me that it will rain today, therefore, it will probably
    rain today
  • b. Lying Larry told me that it will rain today, therefore,
    it probably will not rain today
  • c. Vague Vinny told me that it will rain today, but there’s
    no substantial difference between raining and drizzling, therefore Vinny will
    end up having been right even if it just drizzles
  • d. Raspy Ralph told me that it will snow, and therefore, he
    must have heard the weather report.
  • e. Screaming Sam told me that it will snow today, but he’s
    wrong.

Q8. An appeal to authority occurs when

  • a. the premises are not about the person making a point and
    neither is the conclusion
  • b. the premises are about the person making a point and the
    conclusion says something favorable about that person
  • c. the premises are about the vagueness of a point being
    made a person and the conclusion tells against the person
  • d. the premises are about the conclusion and the conclusion
    is about the premises
  • e. none of the above

Q9. Which of the following arguments is an appeal to
authority?

  • a. Honest Abe told me that it will rain today, therefore, it
    will probably rain today.
  • b. Lying Larry told me that it will rain today, therefore,
    it probably will not rain today.
  • c. Vague Vinny told me that it will rain today, but there’s
    no substantial difference between raining and drizzling, therefore Vinny will
    end up having been right even if it just drizzles.
  • d. Raspy Ralph told me that it will snow, and therefore, he
    must have heard the weather report.
  • e. Screaming Sam told me that it will snow today, but he’s
    wrong.

Q10. A silencer is an argument in which

  • a. The premises are about the person making a point, and the
    conclusion is that they are not entitled to make that point in the context in
    which they did, so you should not listen to them.
  • b. The premises are about the person making a point, and the
    conclusion is that they did not have enough evidence to make that point in the
    context in which they did, so you should not believe them.
  • c. The premises are about the person making a point, and the
    conclusion is that the point that they are making is false.
  • d. The premises are about the person making a point, and the
    conclusion is that they are especially entitled to make that point in the
    context in which they did, so you should pay special attention to them.
  • e. The premises are about the person making a point, and the
    conclusion is that they have more than enough evidence to make that point in
    the context in which they did, so you should be very confident that they are
    right.
  • f. The premises are about the person making a point, and the
    conclusion is that the point that they are making is true.

Q11. An amplifier is an argument in which

  • a. The premises are about the person making a point, and the
    conclusion is that they are not entitled to make that point in the context in
    which they did, so you should not listen to them.
  • b. The premises are about the person making a point, and the
    conclusion is that they did not have enough evidence to make that point in the
    context in which they did, so you should not believe them.
  • c. The premises are about the person making a point, and the
    conclusion is that the point that they are making is false.
  • d. The premises are about the person making a point, and the
    conclusion is that they are especially entitled to make that point in the
    context in which they did, so you should pay special attention to them.
  • e. The premises are about the person making a point, and the
    conclusion is that they have more than enough evidence to make that point in
    the context in which they did, so you should be very confident that they are
    right.
  • f. The premises are about the person making a point, and the
    conclusion is that the point that they are making is true.

Q12. A denier is an argument in which

  • a. The premises are about the person making a point, and the
    conclusion is that they are not entitled to make that point in the context in
    which they did, so you should not listen to them.
  • b. The premises are about the person making a point, and the
    conclusion is that they did not have enough evidence to make that point in the
    context in which they did, so you should not believe them.
  • c. The premises are about the person making a point, and the
    conclusion is that the point that they are making is false.
  • d. The premises are about the person making a point, and the
    conclusion is that they are especially entitled to make that point in the
    context in which they did, so you should pay special attention to them.
  • e. The premises are about the person making a point, and the
    conclusion is that they have more than enough evidence to make that point in
    the context in which they did, so you should be very confident that they are
    right.
  • f. The premises are about the person making a point, and the
    conclusion is that the point that they are making is true.

Q13. A dismisser is an argument in which

  • a. The premises are about the person making a point, and the
    conclusion is that they are not entitled to make that point in the context in
    which they did, so you should not listen to them.
  • b. The premises are about the person making a point, and the
    conclusion is that they did not have enough evidence to make that point in the
    context in which they did, so you should not believe them.
  • c. The premises are about the person making a point, and the
    conclusion is that the point that they are making is false.
  • d. The premises are about the person making a point, and the
    conclusion is that they are especially entitled to make that point in the
    context in which they did, so you should pay special attention to them.
  • e. The premises are about the person making a point, and the
    conclusion is that they have more than enough evidence to make that point in
    the context in which they did, so you should be very confident that they are
    right.
  • f. The premises are about the person making a point, and the
    conclusion is that the point that they are making is true.

Q14. A supporter is an argument in which

  • a. The premises are about the person making a point, and the
    conclusion is that they are not entitled to make that point in the context in
    which they did, so you should not listen to them.
  • b. The premises are about the person making a point, and the
    conclusion is that they did not have enough evidence to make that point in the
    context in which they did, so you should not believe them.
  • c. The premises are about the person making a point, and the
    conclusion is that the point that they are making is false.
  • d. The premises contain an ambiguous expression, and the conclusion uses that expression in a different sense than the premises do.
  • e. The premises are about the person making a point, and the
    conclusion is that they have more than enough evidence to make that point in
    the context in which they did, so you should be very confident that they are
    right.
  • f. The premises are about the person making a point, and the
    conclusion is that the point that they are making is true.

Q15. An affirmer is an argument in which

  • a. The premises are about the person making a point, and the
    conclusion is that they are not entitled to make that point in the context in
    which they did, so you should not listen to them.
  • b. The premises are about the person making a point, and the
    conclusion is that they did not have enough evidence to make that point in the
    context in which they did, so you should not believe them.
  • c. The premises are about the person making a point, and the
    conclusion is that the point that they are making is false.
  • d. The premises are about the person making a point, and the
    conclusion is that they are especially entitled to make that point in the
    context in which they did, so you should pay special attention to them.
  • e. The premises are about the person making a point, and the
    conclusion is that they have more than enough evidence to make that point in
    the context in which they did, so you should be very confident that they are
    right.
  • f. The premises are about the person making a point, and the
    conclusion is that the point that they are making is true.

Q16. An argument begs the question when

  • a. you have no reason to believe the premises
  • b. you have no reason to believe the premises unless you
    already have a reason to believe the conclusion
  • c. you have no reason to believe the conclusion unless you
    already have a reason to believe the premises
  • d. you have no reason to believe anything
  • e. all of the above

Q17. To refute an argument by parallel reasoning is to

  • a. show that the form of the argument is valid, by producing
    another valid argument of the same form
  • b. show that the form of the argument is invalid, by
    producing another valid argument of the same form
  • c. show that the form of the argument is valid, by producing
    another invalid argument of the same form
  • d. show that the form of the argument is invalid, by
    producing another invalid argument of the same form
  • e. all of the above

Q18. An argument is circular if

  • a. the circumference of the conclusion is 3.14 times the diameter
    of the premises
  • b. it just goes around and around without stopping
  • c. the conclusion is among the premises
  • d. the conclusion follows from the premises
  • e. the premises follow from the conclusion

Q19. Consider the following argument:

“Capital punishment is clearly wrong. Every death row inmate I’ve ever spoken to
says so. And who would know better than
a death row inmate about how wrong capital punishment is?” This argument is a(n)

  • a. ad hominem dismisser
  • b. appeal to authority
  • c. circular argument
  • d. fallacy of ambiguity
  • e. none of the above

Q20. Consider the following argument:

“My kitchen table is nothing more than a bunch of molecules, arranged in such a way as to function as a table. But precisely which bunch of molecules is it? Some molecules at the surfaces of the table are constantly moving nearer to and farther from the table’s center of gravity: there is no good reason to count them as part of the table, but also no good reason to count them as not part of the table. But the bunch of molecules that includes those molecules on the edges is slightly different from the bunch of molecules that does not include those molecules on the edges. So which bunch of molecules is my kitchen table? There is no reason to think of any particular one of these bunches of molecules rather than any other as being identical to my kitchen table. Therefore, either none of them is my kitchen table, or all of them are. And therefore, either I have lots of tables in my kitchen, or else I have none. But I can’t possibly have just one kitchen table.”

This argument presents a(n)

  • a. appeal to authority
  • b. ad hominem argument
  • c. counterexample
  • d. refutation by parallel reasoning
  • e. paradox of vagueness

Q21. Consider the following argument:

“Twenty is an irrational number of children
for any couple to have. Two is a
rational number of children for any couple to have. Therefore, two is a rational number and
twenty is irrational.”

This argument is
a

  • a. fallacy of vagueness
  • b. fallacy of equivocation resulting from semantic ambiguity
  • c. fallacy of equivocation resulting from syntactic
    ambiguity
  • d. circular argument
  • e. counterexample to all arguments

Q22. Consider the following argument:

“Every time I’ve been in car accidents, it
has not been my fault. Of course, some
other drivers say that too, even though they are wrong. But you can trust me on this one: after all, would a faultless driver like me
lie about this? Clearly not!”

This argument is a(n)

  • a. ad hominem dismisser
  • b. conceptual slippery slope
  • c. fallacy of begging the question
  • d. fallacy of ambiguity
  • e. none of the above

Q23. To refute an argument is to

  • a. to show that it is unsuccessful
  • b. to show that its premises do not follow from its conclusion
  • c. to show that it is practically useless
  • d. to show that it is irrefutable
  • e. to show that its conclusion is among its premises

Q24. A reductio ad absurdum is

a. an attempt to show that the argument is valid by proving its conclusion on its independent grounds

b. an attempt to show that the argument is unsuccessful by
showing that its conclusion is obviously false

c. an attempt to show that the argument is unsuccessful by
showing that some of its premises are false

d. an attempt to show that the argument is unsuccessful by
showing that the conclusion does not follow from the premises

e. an attempt to show that the argument is fully successful
by showing that the attempt to deny it would leave to absurdity

Q25. To refute a straw man is

  • a. to show that an argument is made from straw
  • b. to show that any argument made from straw cannot be valid
  • c. to show that a particular argument is not sound, but in
    the course of doing so to misrepresent one’s target argument
  • d. to show that a particular argument is not sound, but in
    the course of doing so, to misrepresent one’s own proof
  • e. to show that a particular argument is both valid and
    sound, but to do so a way that avoids all use of straw

Q26. Consider the following dialogue:

Hanky: It’s very important for people to study history, philosophy, and literature.

Panky: That’s ridiculous! People almost never end up being able to earn a living from the study of history, philosophy, and literature.

In this exchange, Panky

  • a. refutes a straw man
  • b. gives a counterexample
  • c. commits a fallacy of equivocation
  • d. commits a slippery slope fallacy
  • e. refutes Hanky’s argument by parallel reasoning

Q27. (27) Consider
the following dialogue:

Felix: “We need to be
able to find the broom at all times.”

Oscar: “why is it so
important to find the broom?”

Felix: “So that we
can always tidy up the house.”

Oscar: “Why is it so
important that we can always tidy up the house?”

Felix: So that we can
always find the broom.”

In this dialog

  • a. making a slippery slope fallacy
  • b. making a self-sealer argument
  • c. making an appeal to authority
  • d. reasoning in a circle
  • e. making an ad hominem argument

Q28. Consider the following argument:

“Everything happens for a reason, even if we do not know what that reason is. Therefore, whatever tragedy befalls you, it befalls you for a reason.”

  • This argument involves a(n)
  • a. causal slippery slope fallacy
  • b. self-sealer
  • c. reductio ad absurdum
  • d. conceptual slippery slope fallacy
  • e. all of the above

29. Consider the following argument:
“From my current perspective, the Tower of
Pisa is leaning to the left. And in his
second term, Barack Obama has been leaning to the left. Therefore, the Tower of Pisa and Barack Obama
have something in common.”

This argument
involves

  • a. reasoning in a circle
  • b. a slippery slope fallacy
  • c. a fallacy of equivocation
  • d. making an ad hominem argument
  • e. none of the above

30. Consider the following dialogue:

Fran: If you give
your child a certain amount of cash each week, then your child will never learn
what it’s like to cope with deprivation, and so she will not be prepared for
the financial adversities that might arise in her life. So you should not give your child cash each
week.

Stan: That’s like
arguing that if you give your child love and attention each week, then she will
never learn what it’s like to cope with neglect and abuse, and so she will not
be prepared for the interpersonal adversities that might arise in her
life. So you should not give your child
love and attention each week.

In this dialogue, Stan is

  • a. making circular argument
  • b. refuting Fran’s argument by parallel reasoning
  • c. refuting Fran’s argument by counterexample
  • d. committing a fallacy of equivocation
  • e. committing a slippery slope fallacy
Conclusion:

I hope this Think Again IV: How to Avoid Fallacies Coursera Quiz Answers would be useful for you to learn something new from the Course. If it helped you, don’t forget to bookmark our site for more Quiz Answers.

This course is intended for audiences of all experiences who are interested in learning about new skills in a business context; there are no prerequisite courses.

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