3. The following appeared in a memorandum issued by a large citys council on the arts. In a recent citywide poll, fifteen percent more residents said that they watch television programs about the visual arts than was the case in a poll conducted five years ago. During these past five years, the number of people visiting our citys art museums has increased by a similar percentage. Since the corporate funding that supports public television, where most of the visual arts programs appear, is now being threatened with severe cuts, we can expect that attendance at our citys art museums will also start to decrease. Thus some of the citys funds for supporting the arts should be reallocated to public television。 Discuss how well reasoned . . . Etc。

  The author concludes that the city should allocate some of its arts funding to the public television in order for the attendance at the city art museums not to further decrease. The argument is based on the two assumptions: 1) the number of audience of art programs on public television is appropriate to that of local art museums, and 2) the public television faced of severe funding cuts. While this argument is somewhat convincing, it is not sound because its line of reasoning is not compelling。

  First of all, the author commits the Confused Cause and Effect fallacy. The argument depends on the assumption that increased exposure to the visual arts on public television has caused a similar increase in local art-museum attendance in the past years. However, the poll that increased art-museum attendance is statistically correlated with similar increases in television viewing of visual-arts programs, does not necessarily mean that the increased television viewing of arts is the cause of the rise in museum attendance. There may be other factors relevant to increased interest in the local art museum during the past years. For example, some larger social or cultural factors may cause greater public interest in municipal art museums。

  Second, the argument does not address the effectiveness of citywide poll conducted five years ago. The survey may be biased. If the respondents do not properly represent the whole residents, then the poll is not convincing. Moreover, since the survey was conducted five years ago, the statistics can become invalid and can no longer be used as future prediction。

  In conclusion, the argument is not convincing enough and would be strengthened if the author were to eliminate other significant factors that might have caused the increase in visits to the local art museum, as well as to address the soundness o the survey conducted five years ago。


  4. The following appeared in a report presented for discussion at a meeting of the directors of a company that manufactures parts for heavy machinery. The falling revenues that the company is experiencing coincide with delays in manufacturing. These delays, in turn, are due in large part to poor planning in purchasing metals. Consider further that the manager of the department that handles purchasing of raw materials has an excellent background in general business, psychology, and sociology, but knows little about the properties of metals. The company should, therefore, move the purchasing manager to the sales department and bring in a scientist from the research division to be manager of the purchasing department。 Discuss how well reasoned . . . Etc。

  The author argued that the company should replace the current manager with a scientist from the research division as the manager of the purchasing department as a result of falling revenues. The argument is based on the two facts: 1) The company revenues fall at the same as do delays in manufacturing; and 2) The current manager who is responsible for purchasing of raw materials knows little about the properties of metals. The line of reasoning is not sound and, therefore the conclusion is not compelling。

  Firstly, the argument failed to address the casual relationship between falling revenues and delays in manufacturing. The fact that the falling revenues that the company is experiencing coincide with delays in manufacturing does not mean one causes another. It may be other reasons that cause the company to experience the falling revenues. For example, the quality of products does not satisfy its customers, and as a result, many previous clients are turning to its competitors。

  Furthermore, it is not reasonable to conclude that a scientist can save the poor planning in purchasing metals. If the scientist is skilled in the properties of metals but poor at planning, the delays in manufacturing may be worse. The purchasing manager must know where he could find those kinds of metals, what prices they are, and when they can be transported to his company. In fact, a department manager in business background is really acceptable. Because when he bumps against a technical problem, he can easily seek advice from the engineer team in manufacturing department。

  In conclusion, the delays in manufacturing were not necessarily caused by the purchasing managers poor knowledge about the properties of metals. Maybe the company must replace the purchasing manager; however, a scientist may also not be competent for this job. It must find someone who really knows how to plan and how to buy qualified metals in time。