Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A logical thinking exercise


My brilliant partner teaches college students how to construct a logical argument. One of the examples she uses shows the students a statement, then asks them to construct one that uses the same logical construction. The assignment was to write their own assertion that worked like this one:

Original: We shouldn't elect Joe as committee chair because he is too bossy.

Claim: We shouldn't elect Joe as committee chair.
Stated reason: He is too bossy.
Unstated assumption: (this is what the student should supply) Bossy people make bad committee chairs.

She was thrilled to get this back from one of her students:

Statement: We shouldn't elect Mitt Romney as president because he is a robot.

Claim: We shouldn't elect Mitt Romney as president.
Stated reason: Because he is a robot.
Unstated assumption: Robots do not make good presidents.

There's one that is paying attention -- and thinking.
Blog fodder is light-weight this week because my best energies are going into recruiting help to call voters on behalf of Prop. 34. Want deeper posts? Click the link, go to the "volunteer" tab, and sign up to help replace the death penalty in California with justice that works for everyone.

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