Responding Positively to Objections
We have learned in Chapter 8 that we are all subject to biases, including the confirmation bias in which we strongly tend to accept information that agrees with our own views. We are accordingly less prone to learn from sources that disagree with us. If our goal is to expand our minds we should actually have a goal to learn from others. This discussion helps us to learn to respond positively to and learn from others. Responding positively to objections is an important part of your final paper.
Prepare: To prepare for this discussion, read Chapter 9 or our book, paying special attention to the sections “Confronting Disagreement by Seeking Truth,” and “Case Study: Interpretation and Criticism in Practice,” including all sub-headings of each. Also watch the following video about the value of learning from opposing arguments [Link to http://www.ted.com/talks/daniel_h_cohen_for_argument_s_sake.html]
Reflect: Consider what it means to be open minded (rather than dogmatic). How do you tend to react when people argue against your own strongly held views. Is it the most productive response?
Write: Provide an example of a good argument for a position with which you disagree or share an example of when you have learned from an opposing argument in the past. Explain your initial reaction to encountering evidence for an opposing view, and illustrate how you might lean from the counterargument. Rather than trying to prove it wrong, demonstrate what you might learn from this point of view, and model how you might respond positively, with the shared of goal of learning and discovering truth (rather than being right).
ALL THE PREV IOUS SUBMISSION FOR THIS DISCUSSION HAS BEEN ATTACHED
Should Athletes use Performance-Enhancing Drugs?
Write: in your paper
- Explain the topic you are addressing and your position on it. Provide a preview of your paper and a statement of your thesis in your opening paragraph. [Approximately 100 words]
- Present your main argument for your thesis in standard form, with each premise and the conclusion on a separate line.Clearly indicate whether your argument is intended to be inductive or deductive. Follow up the presentation of your argument by clarifying the meaning of any premises that could use some explanation. [About 150 words]
- If your argument is deductive, then it should be valid (in the strict logical sense of the word); if it is inductive, then it should be strong. Make sure to avoid committing logical fallacies within your argument (e.g., begging the question). Additionally, the premises should be true, to the best of your knowledge. If one of your premises has a pretty obvious counter-example, then you should either fix the argument so that it does not have this flaw, or later, in your paper (steps three through five) you should address the apparent counter-example (showing that it does not really refute the truth of your premise). Arguments that are not valid, not very strong, commit fallacies, or that have counter-examples that are not adequately addressed will not receive full credit.
- Provide supporting evidence for the premises of your argument. [Approximately 350 words]
- Pay special attention to those premises that could be seen as controversial. Evidence may include academic research sources, supporting arguments (arguments whose conclusions are premises of the main argument), or other ways of demonstrating the truth of those premises. This section should include at least one scholarly research source.
- Explain a strongobjectionto your argument. [Approximately 250 words]
- Study what people on the other side of this question think about your reasoning and present the best possible objection that someone could have to your argument. Do not commit the straw man fallacy here. Reference at least one scholarlyresearch source. See the “Practicing Effective Criticism” section of Chapter 9 of the course text for more information.
- Defend your argument against the objection. [Approximately 200 words]
- Once you have presented the objection, indicate clearly how you might respond to it. It is acceptable to admit that reasonable people might disagree with you or that there might be an area in which your argument could be further strengthened, but you should do your best to explain why your argument is sound or cogent despite the objections.
- Provide an appropriate conclusion. [Approximately 75 words]