Phil 145: Information on Portfolio I

Portfolios are to be a set of 8 examples of reasoning error you have found outside of the classroom. They can be taken from TV, magazines, newspapers, etc. (provide references). You should provide a brief analysis of the example based on the concepts we have covered in class to show what kind(s) of error are exhibited by the example. They are marked out of 20.

  1. All of the references should be to 'nonpersonal' sources (i.e. TV, magazine, website, newspaper, book, etc.) in english.
  2. Each portfolio should include 8 different kinds of error (i.e., don't use the same fallacy twice, and don't use more than one fallacy per example).
  3. Late penalty: 3 marks per day (including weekends). Late marks start midnight of the due date. Penalty for plagiarism: at least -10% on final grade.
  4. You can use a maximum of two examples from one reference (e.g. book, website base domain, journal, newspaper, etc.). [But you can use two different newspapers, websites, etc.]
  5. Be sure you are charitable when interpreting the example.
  6. Do not use examples that were originally intended to display a fallacy (i.e. from a book or site on fallacies).
  7. Do not use an example I have used in class.
  8. Don't use 'false premise' as a kind of fallacy, and when using 'argument from ignorance' discuss whether the fallacy is actually a problem (why or why not).
  9. Hand in the portfolio in paper form in class on the due date. If you are submitting late (anytime after class), the you must hand it in electronically (by email attachment to me) and in paper form (as soon as possible, before the next class).
  10. Portfolios received in paper form more than a week after the due date will not be marked (regardless of when you handed the electronic copy in).

NOTE: Kinds of error include: all informal fallacies, any invalid argument forms (denying the antecedent, etc.), misuse of analogies, abuse of language (e.g. vagueness, connotation instead of content, etc).

Here are some examples.

Note on avoidance of academic offenses:
All students registered in the courses of the Faculty of arts are expected to know what constitutes an academic offense, to avoid committing academic offenses, and to take responsibility for their academic actions. When the commission of an offense is established, it will be acknowledged by disciplinary penalties. For information on categories of offenses and types of penalties, students are directed to consult the summary of Policy #71 (Student Academic Discipline) which is supplied in the Undergraduate Calendar (p. 1:11). (see here for more info)