551ce_COR165E_Jul2017_TMA 02 - SUSS - Sample Question

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Question 1

The following argument has been numbered. To indicate your knowledge of the important features of correct argumentation, use the numbers assigned to draw an arrow diagram that accurately reflects the flow of the argument. (20 marks)

(1) No country should be permitted to carry out pre-emptive strikes within the territory of another sovereign country. This is because, firstly,

(2) such strikes compromise the principle of respect for sovereign will, on which the modern international political order is founded. In addition,

(3) pre-emptive strikes are often unjustified since,

(4) invariably there is no subsequent proof that there was anything that needed pre-empting. Last, but not the least,

(5) if pre-emptive strikes are permitted, it provides militarily mighty nations an unfair advantage in their hegemony and clearly,

(6) the competition for military superiority must be fair because,

(7) it is strange to insist on fairness in other forms of competition, while allowing military competition to be unfair.

Question 2

Consider the following argument: “The US missile strikes on Syria would be justified only if the Syrian regime was guilty of a chemical attack. But if it was Trump who ordered the strikes, then either the regime was guilty of a chemical attack or Trump was merely trying to divert attention from his domestic problems. We know that it was Trump’s decision to strike Syria. Further, we know enough about Trump’s behaviour to suspect that he is not politically savvy enough to try to divert media attention away from his failures at home. So, the US strikes on Syria were justified.”

In the context of this argument, you are required to do the following:

(a) Assign letters of the alphabet to each simple statement in the argument;

(b) Then, using the letters assigned, outline the argument in recognisable deductive forms identifying clearly its premises, the conclusion and any intermediate conclusion that can be validly inferred; and

(c) Evaluate whether the argument is valid. (250 words max, 30 marks)

Section 2: Argument Analysis

Question 3

Read the passage “Can We Forgive Wagner?” and answer the following questions.(50 marks)

(a) In your own words, identify what the author’s conclusion is, and identify his reasons for concluding as he does. [Remember that the conclusion need not be explicitly stated in the passage. To answer this part correctly, you must be able to list the differences between statements and non-statements to distinguish between the relevant and non-relevant parts of the argument.](100 words max, 5 marks)

(b) The author considers reasons both for and against his conclusion. You have already identified the reasons ‘for’ in your response to part (a). Now, identify the reasons ‘against’ his conclusion. [Note: The arguments ‘for’ can be considered strong points for his conclusion, and the arguments ‘against’ can be considered weak points.](150 words max, 5 marks)

(c) This part of the question requires you to do the following in a single response. State whether you agree or disagree with the author’s conclusion. Depending on what you choose, write an argument of your own, defending or attacking the author’s conclusion. [Regardless of what you choose, your argument must handle both the strong and weak points of the argument identified in (b) above (for example, if you decide to support the author’s conclusion, you must make the strong points of his argument stronger and defend the weak points). You will receive more credit if you come up with additional reasons (those not in the passage) in support of your conclusion.(500 words max, 40 marks)

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