8/29 For today's first projection on basics of argumentation, click here. For a projection regarding Martin Luther King's birthday, click here. For a projection on logical definitions, click here. For a projection on cogent reasoning, click here. For a projection, on deductive and inductive reasoning, click here. For a projection on hidden premises, click here. For a projection, an exercise on recognizing arguments, click here. For a projection, a New York Times article on Russia, click here. For a projection, on recognizing arguments and their components, click here.
9/3 For the first projection, an exercise on argument structure, click here. For types of inductive reasoning, click here. For fallacy by appeal to authority, click here. For courtroom standards of evidence, click here. For an exercise on valid and invalid appeals to authority, click here. For Smedley Butler's speech on U.S. intervention, click here. For a statement by the Brazilian president, click here.
9/5 For a link to the 1968 debate between Gore Vidal and Willam F. Buckley, click here. For a letter to the Financial Times, click here. For a list of fallacies, click here. On the straw-man fallacy, click here. On tautology, click here. For a speech by Abraham Lincoln, click here.
9/10 For a 1986 debate on US intervention in Nicaragua, click here.
9/12 For a video on the Russia scandal, click here. For first today's projection, on the Korean war, click here. For an exercise on fallacies, click here. For the article "The Unkindest Cut," click here. For a letter to the Wildcat, click here. For controversies regarding the CIA, click here.
9/17 For a video on Julian Assange, click here. For two videos on Russia's military capability, click here and here. For a second list of fallacies, click here. For the fallacy of the beard, click here. For the Ad Hominem fallacy, click here. For the slippery slope fallacy, click here. For a projection on the two-wrongs-make-a-right fallacy from Israeli television, click here.
9/18 For a video on fallacy of irrelevant reason, click here. For a letter on Professor Avital Ronnell, click here. For a video by Keith Olbermann on Russia-gate, click here. For an exercise on fallacies, click here. For Fallacy of Composition with regard to economics, click here.
9/24 Name that Fallacy, click here. For an article on the issue of substantive relevance, from Reason magazine, click here. Regarding the Fallacy Ad Baculum, click here. A third list of fallacies, click here. For an argument regarding the California recall election, click here. For a projection on the Democrats' economic stimulus legislation, click here. Video about logic and witches, click here. The video represented as a syllogism, click here. Video on the annoying peasant, click here.
9/25 For a video presentation by Greta Thunberg, click here. A display of logic from The Donald, click here. For a Youtube video regarding controversy at Ryerson University, click here and here. For the Erica Jong article on the election, click here. For an exercise on fallacies, click here. For a newspaper article on Vladimir Putin, click here. For an exchange between Donald Trump and Marco Rubio, click here.
10/3 For a video regarding Russia's alleged political influence, featuring Morgan Freeman, click here. On the Committee to Investigate Russia, click here. For a comparison of fallacies, click here. For an article on climate change, click here. "Name that Fallacy," click here. For a news story on Kamela Harris, click here.
10/15 For the projection on Rachel Maddow and the Russia "scandal," click here. For a projection on reliable newspapers, click here. For a projection on rules for writing papers, click here. For a projection on students' writing mistakes, click here. For the essay, "What are the Connections between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein?" click here. For a guide on how to cite, click here. For Chicago Manual of Style citation guide, click here.
10/17 For an article by Erica Jong, click here.
Handed Out: October 17, 2019
Due: October 31 [extended to November 7]
Select an opinion article from the New York Times or another reliable newspaper on any current political topic from the past five years. Write a 3-5 page, double-spaced paper that analyzes the argument, noting the argument’s main theme; the premises and evidence presented to support the theme; and the logical fallacies or uses of manipulative language (if any). Above all, I would like you to evaluate whether the argument is persuasive and valid, according to the rules of logic. Your paper should summarize the main points of the article, so that I and my teaching assistants will understand the content.
Suggestion: You can look for articles by specific New York Times columnists including Paul Krugman, Maureen Dowd, Nicolas Kristof, Roger Cohen, Jamelle Bouie, Bret Stephens, Thomas Friedman, Charles Blow, or Michelle Goldberg (here is the link to the New York Times website). Or you can use articles by other writers or from other publications if you prefer.
You should then do some of your own research, regarding the opinion piece you are evaluating. Find an additional three (or more) articles pertaining to the subject, in order to check the facts and more fully to evaluate the writer’s argument; and also to see whether the writer has omitted or glossed over important evidence that contradicts his or her thesis. Your sources must come from recognized newspapers, magazines, books, academic publications, or governmental websites. When citing your sources, make sure to use proper footnote style.
Use Academic Search Ultimate or some other library database to locate the article you will analyze, as well as additional materials to support your analysis. Make sure to attach copies of the first page of each article you cite in your own paper. Please keep a copy of the computer file for your paper until the class has ended.
Please hand your papers in class on October 31 [now extended to November 7]; late papers will be dropped one full grade. You will be graded on how well you analyze the article in question; how well you apply the rules of logic and argumentation; how thoroughly you research the topic; and how clearly you write your essay.
You must properly cite all referenced sources in your paper.
10/22 For a projection on manipulative language and propaganda, click here. ere is a video regarding the 2008 war in Georgia, click here (what is the fallacy here?). For a video US relations with Russia, click here. For a video on fine print disclaimers, click here. For a video on obfuscation, click here. For an exercise regarding manipulative uses of language, click here.
Note: The due date for the paper has been extended to November 7.
10/24 For a video on euphamisms, click here. For a speech by President George W. Bush on September 7, 2003, click here. For a list of words used by President Bush, click here. For a projection on controversy at Sarah Lawrence College, click here.
10/29 Name that Fallacy, click here. For a projection on how to interpret controversy in the newspapers, click here. For the projection on inaccuracy in newspapers, click here. For an article on press falsehoods regarding Russia, click here. For full text of a declassified document on covert operations, click here. For a projection on Occam's Razor and conspiracy theories, click here.
10/31 Timeline for 1991 Gulf War, click here. Link to video on propaganda pertaining to the First Gulf War, click here. For a link to a documentary on war propaganda by the Canadian Broadcasing Corporation, click here.
11/14 For projection on the NKVD, click here.
11/26 For a projection on Tulsi Gabbard, click here.
12/10 Here is the optional take-home final, due December 18:
Optional final paper: You will write another 3-5 page paper analyzing a newspaper oped article, exactly in the same way as you have already done for the second midterm, according to the instructions noted above. You will be required to write a wholly new paper, on a different oped from the one you selected for the midterm. The paper must have page numbers.You will need to turn in the completed final paper to my mailbox in Chavez 415 or under my door in Chavez 338, by 5:00pm, December 18. Late papers will not be accepted. You will turn in the paper itself, as well as copies of the first page of each source used in the paper. In addition, please turn in a copy of your graded second midterm, to ensure that students do not try to recycle their previous class papers for the final. The various attachments (sources; first graded paper) must be stapled together with the final paper. If you decide to complete this optional assignment, it will count for 40 percent of your final grade, in addition to the previous grades.