Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 95 | Critical Thinking | Evaluating Conclusions

Once you’ve identified the conclusion of a formal argument, it’s important to evaluate its logic. One way to do this is to look for flaws in the way it is presented. Common logical fallacies assocaited with conslusions are:

  • Irrelevant conclusions — where the conclusion given is thematically related to the topic, but does not logically follow the evidence.
  • Begging the question — using the conclusion as evidence without proving it (one expert suggested X so let us look at ways to implement this).
  • Hasty generalizations — jumping to conclusions through poor inductive reasoning (two people said X so it must be true).
  • False cause — identifying a non-existent cause/effect relationships; mistaking correlation for causation; or assuming that only one factor led to an effect.

Underline the conclusions in each argument.

  1. Incomes steadily increased for many years. These increases allowed people to afford longer commutes, either on public transportation or in private vehicles. Relocations to suburban areas increased as a result.
  2. Many experts believe that urban density is preferable to urban sprawl. Thus, there is a need to address the implementation of such an approach. From hereon in, this paper will examine how density as an approach can be exploited to its best effect.
  3. Urban sprawl has been shown to be harmful to the environment. Research shows that it increases traffic, creates more air and water pollution, and results in a loss of wildlife. For these reasons, agricultural capacity must be protected from the building of new developments.
  4. Urban sprawl is a never-ending cycle, hence the need to break it by considering alternative options. People move out of densely populated areas due to a loss of green spaces, traffic congestion, and overpopulation. As those people move into the suburbs, research shows those areas become more densely populated and people leave to move into quieter, newer suburbs.
  5. Taxes are generally higher in urban areas than in suburbs. A study of 30 people who moved to a suburban area showed that one benefit of moving was the reductions in taxes. This demonstrates a significant need to address the high taxes in cities in order to persuade residents to stay.


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