Learning Pathway 2 has five activities. Each of the Journal activities is accompanied by an answer key. Once you have completed the journal entry, you can use the answer key to evaluate how successful you were in meeting the learning objectives. While the assessments are optional, and the grades will not be directly related to whether or not you receive credit for this course, completing them will help you gauge your progress and prepare for the TECEP© exam.

Journal Assignment 3

Identify the premises and conclusions in the following arguments:

  1. If President Obama were wise, then he would withdraw his military forces from Iraq. He has withdrawn his forces from Iraq. Therefore, he must be wise.
  2. Abortion is morally justified because a woman has a right to decide what happens to and in her body.
  3. Since there are no mental diseases, there can be no treatments for them.
  4. Prisons in South Africa are a failure. First, they do not rehabilitate anyone. Second, they don’t so much punish as provide free room and board. Third, they bring criminals together, thereby allowing them to swop information and refine their felonious offences. Finally, those who have spent time in prison are far more likely to commit additional crimes than those who have never been in prison.
  5. Capital punishment is morally wrong. It consists of killing human beings. The killing of human beings is morally wrong.

Answer Key – Journal Assignment 3

Journal Assignment 4

Consider the following arguments and then analyze them by applying the steps to argument analysis:

  1. The diseases that people develop and their chances of recovering from them are related to their personalities. Some types of personality are more likely to develop heart disease or back pain. And patients with cancer tend to respond better to treatment if they can maintain an optimistic, combative attitude. Sometimes they are taught to visualise their disease as an enemy and to imagine fighting it. This fosters states of mind that hinder the progress of the disease. So we need to influence the mind in order to influence the body: our minds are distinct factors that control our bodies.
  2. Depression is a state of mind. But depression can often be relieved by antidepressant drugs. These drugs must affect our bodies, and in fact we know quite a lot about how they affect the brain. So changes in the brain can cause changes in the mind. So the mind is an aspect of the brain.
  3. Noise is an environmental pollution which upsets people, causes tempers to fray and builds up tension between neighbours. People tolerate a great deal of unnecessary noise even though it often drives them to distraction. Local authority noise patrols can obtain warrants to enter premises where noise and alarms are disturbing the neighbourhood. They can oppose the renewal of licences for noisy pubs. They can apply to the courts for fines of up to $4,000 for persistent noise offenders.
  4. The fact is indisputable that, taking the average, say, of a hundred brains, the man has five or six ounces more brain than the woman. Some women will, of course, be found to have much larger brains than some men; but whenever the comparison embraces a sufficient number to yield a fair average, the superiority is invariably on the side of the man. And it is worthy of special remark that it is in the cerebrum, or brain proper, that these differences are very trifling. Now, when we reflect that the cerebrum is generally supposed to be the exclusive organ of the intellectual, volitional, and emotive faculties, and that it forms about nine-tenths of the whole mass usually designated as “the brain”, or more correctly as “the encephalon”, this marked superiority in the male cerebrum seems to lend scientific authority to the general verdict regarding the intellectual inferiority of women.

Answer Key – Journal Assignment 4

Quiz 3

Map the following arguments using the methods explained in Learning Pathway 2:

Adopted from Critical Thinking Web – Argument Mapping:


  1. Marriage is becoming unfashionable.
  2. Divorce rate is at an all-time high, and
  3. cohabitation is increasingly presented in a positive manner in the media.
  4. Movies are full of characters who live together and unwilling to commit to a lifelong partnership.
  5. Even newspaper columnists recommend people to live together for an extended period before marriage in order to test their compatibility.


  1. Jane doesn’t have any eggs.
  2. Jane can’t bake a cake.
  3. Harry didn’t bring home the cake mix.
  4. Harry forgot to shop.
  5. You need ingredients to bake a cake.
  6. There will be no cake for dessert at Jane and Harry’s tonight.


  1. All men are mortal.
  2. Socrates is a man.
  3. Socrates is mortal.


  1. Radiation can cause cancer.
  2. Nuclear power plants can be harmful to humans.
  3. We should shut down all nuclear power plants.


  1. Summer is the best time of year.
  2. You can go surfing in the ocean.
  3. School is out.


  1. Sunspots can interfere with Earth’s magnetic fields.
  2. Many types of communications depend on Earth’s magnetic fields.
  3. Sunspots can cause poor communications.


  1. The stock market influences the confidence that people have in the economy.
  2. When the stock market is high, people feel wealthier.
  3. An interest rate decrease will improve the stock market.
  4. The Federal Reserve Board should lower interest rates.


  1. Sacramento appears to be on track for a “soft landing”.
  2. Sacramento has decent job growth.
  3. There will probably be an increase in job hiring by the state government.
  4. There are signs of stabilization in the housing market.


  1. We can’t trust science.
  2. The scientific method uses inductive reasoning and
  3. inductive reasoning is probabilistic; it never reaches absolute certainty.

Answer Key – Quiz 3

Quiz 4

Identify Premises and Conclusions in an argument:

1. It will likely rain today. The weatherman said it would rain and he is reporting information gathered by reliable instruments.

Premises: ______________________________________

Conclusion: ______________________________________

2. The man I saw break into the apartment was wearing a hoodie. Philip is wearing a hoodie. He must be the man I saw break into the apartment.

Premises: ______________________________________

Conclusion: ______________________________________

3. All dogs are mammals; Rex is a dog; Rex is a mammal.

Premises: ______________________________________

Conclusion: ______________________________________

Answer Key – Quiz 4

Quiz 5

Identify value and empirical arguments.

Value = V; Empirical = E

  1. ___ Dogs have tails. Fido is a dog. Fido has a tail.
  2. ___ John Huston made great movies. “The Maltese Falcon” was directed by John Huston. “The Maltese Falcon is a great move.
  3. ___ Hybrid cars use less fossil fuel than standard cars. A Prius is a hybrid car. Driving a Prius will contribute to lessening climate change.
  4. ___ A good test question tests material covered in the course. The questions on Prof. Smith’s exam all came from material covered in the course. Prof. Smith’s exam questions were good.
  5. ___ War is hell. We should not go to war.
  6. ___ 65% is the lowest passing grade on the exam. Erin got 80% on the exam. Erin passed the exam.
  7. ___ Whatever reduces pain is morally good. Legalizing euthanasia would reduce pain. Therefore, euthanasia is morally good.
  8. ___ When it rains, it pours. It’s raining. Therefore it’s pouring.
  9. ___ Fingerprints are unique identifiers. Tom’s fingerprints were found on the gun. Tom shot Jim.
  10. ___ The Bible says that killing innocents is a sin. Unborn babies are innocent. Therefore abortion is a sin.
  11. ___ Oak trees produce acorns. There are acorns all over the ground. Therefore there must be an oak tree here.
  12. ___ Confucius said that the greatest virtue involved children serving and honoring their parents. Mary is John’s mother. Therefore John should serve and honor Mary.

Answer Key – Quiz 5