Logical Reasoning

You work for OneEarth, an environmental consulting company that specializes in building-condition assessments, contaminated-site remediation, and energy audits. Founded by an environmentally concerned citizen in 2010, OneEarth has emerged as the highest-quality and most comprehensive environmental services company in the northern region of the United States.

Recently, ardent local representative Sy Bill Wright contacted OneEarth for assistance evaluating the validity of arguments related to fracking. He agreed to meet with any interest or advocacy groups that wanted to discuss their positions to ensure that he was well-informed about the controversial topic. Now, he needs OneEarth’s help examining the arguments and the evidence they provided to ensure that he makes a sound decision. He believes that OneEarth, a highly-respected environmental firm with strong connections to the local community, could provide critical insights to his evaluation of the advocacy groups’ evidence. Aware of your previous work advising on fossil fuel management, your manager Claire DeAir has asked you to serve as a liaison to representative Wr

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Directions

Representative Wright has provided you with all of the information he received from the advocacy or interest groups that he entertained the previous week. This information in available in his email in the Supporting Materials section. In your position paper (750–1,250 words), you will evaluate the arguments of each group, specifically examining their conclusions, premises, assumptions, and evidence. Using your analysis, representative Wright will be able to determine how to take the soundest position on the controversial topic. In your paper, include the following components:

  • A discussion of the common conceptions and misconceptions about the topic
    • What is the topic? What are the common conceptions and misconceptions about this topic?
      • What is the context of the topic?
      • Why is the topic a significant issue?
    • What was your own opinion as a consultant prior to conducting research?
  • An identification and description the components of the argument
    • What is the main point or conclusion about the topic?
    • What are the main arguments and subarguments about the topic?
      • What are the premises (reasons for thinking the conclusion is true)? Are there any missing premises?
      • What are the assumptions and biases?
  • A recognition and evaluation of the deductive and inductive arguments
    • If the argument is deductive (providing premises that guarantee their conclusions):
      • Is the argument valid? (Are the premises and the conclusions true?)
        • What types of formal and/or informal logical fallacies are used?
      • Is the argument sound?
    • If the argument is inductive (aiming to provide premises that make the conclusion more probable):
      • Is the argument strong (more probable conclusion in light of premises) or weak (less probable conclusion in light of the premises)?
        • What type of argument is used (analogical or causal?)
      • Is the argument defeasible? (Can more information defeat the verdict that the conclusion is well-supported by the premises?)
        • What types of statistical fallacies are used?

Refer to the Supporting Materials section to explore how to write effectively

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