Monday, June 13, 2005

Four Aims of Argument

I've gotten a couple of questions about the reference in the Mid-Term to the "Four Aims of Argument." This is NOT a reference to the "Four Habits of Argumentative Writing." Here's a hint: One of the four "Aims" is -- Persuasion.

See everybody tomorrow morning in Dwinelle 188. Be on time!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Text of the Midterm Exam

For those few of you who were unable to attend class Thursday, this is the text of the take-home mid-term examination I distributed then. You are to hand it in Tuesday morning when you arrive in class. Remember, we are screening a film Tuesday in Room 188 of Dwinelle Hall. Please arrive on time, because the running time of the film demands we get right underway.

You still have plenty of time to complete the exam. It is adapted from an exam I have administered to students in my Rhetoric 10 course, and they are able to complete it, without notes or other resources at their disposal, in under three hours.

Your Name:
Rhetoric 110
Summer, 2005

Midterm Examination

Part I (50 pts., total)

Section 1: Short Answer (20 pts.)

1. Describe the three rhetorical appeals, ethos, logos, and pathos.
2. Name the four Aims of Argument, as we have discussed them in class.
3. Name the four “Master Tropes”
4. What is the difference between a syllogism and an enthymeme?
5. What distinguishes a hypothetical from a categorical syllogism?
6. What is the inductive leap?
7. What is the difference between a scheme and a trope?
8. According to the Toulmin Schema, what is an argument’s warrant?
9. What is the difference between a paradox and an oxymoron?
10. What is the difference between the fallacies of division and composition?

Section 2: Identifications (10 pts. [incl. 2 free pts.])

Identify the form of the inference (the logical argument) in each of these syllogisms, and say whether they are valid or fallacious.

1. P, then q.
Not p.
So, not q.

2. If a, then b.
B is the case.
Thus, so is a.

3. S, then t.
Not t.
And hence, not s.

4. x, then y.
Therefore, y.

5. Circle the antecedent in this proposition:

If you studied for the exam, then I expect you will do quite well on it.

6. Is the following a deductive or inductive argument?

“Self-esteem appears to be at least a necessary condition for happiness. All the happy people I’ve known, whatever their other differences in personality and goals, seem to have basic self-esteem, whereas people who don’t have that trait never seem to be happy.”

7. Which of the following two sentences is a Trope and which a Scheme? Indicate your answer by putting a “T” or “S” in the space in front of the sentence.

“Band-Aids: Your child’s new body-guards.”

“I am stuck on Band-Aids, ‘cause Band-Aids stuck on me.”

8. What type of deductive syllogism is the following argument?

“According to the union contract, either we have to close the plant on labor day, or we have to pay the workers twice the regular pay. But we have too much work to close the plant, so we’ll have to pay the workers double time.”

Section 3: Matching

Matching Fallacies (10 pts. [incl. 1 free pt.])

1. Ad Ignoratiam
2. Ad Populum
3. Ad Misericordiam
4. Ad Baculum
5. Ad Verecundiam
6. Denying the Antecedant
7. Undistributed Middle
8. Petitio Principii
9. Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

___ Teacher to Student: “And, finally, in reconsidering your position, you might want to remember who gives out the grades in this course.”

___ Parent to Child: “Fine. Go ahead. Quit school. Why should you care if you are breaking a poor parent’s heart?”

___ Why are you so skeptical about the existence of UFOs? Nobody has ever proved they don’t exist!”

___ Time is money, and time heals all wounds. So, it’s no surprise that money heals all wounds.

___ Anarchy would be a fine and beautiful system for society to adopt, if men were angels. Alas, they are not.

___ The Golden Rule is a sound moral principle, since it’s basic to every system of ethics in literally every known culture.

___ Order is indispensable to justice, for justice can only be achieved in the context of a social and legal order.

___ “I must say I’m not surprised Tara slipped on that banana peel and broke her leg, when not five minutes before I watched her step on a crack, walk under a ladder, cross a black cat’s path, and break her compact mirror without giving it a second thought.”

___ You should buy the new Bottle Blond Boyz Album. All the kewl kids are.

Matching Figures (10 pts.)

1. Prosopopeia
2. Litotes
3. Metaphor
4. Auxesis
5. Hyperbole
6. Metonymy
7. Alliteration
8. Assonance
9. Antanaclasis
10. Oxymoron

___ Summer session courses go on for an absolute eternity.

___ O miserable abundance, O beggarly riches! -- John Donne, Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions

___ Last week I saw a woman flayed, and you will hardly believe how much it altered her appearance for the worse. – Jonathan Swift, A Tale of a Tub

___ And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window panes. – T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

___ The prosecutor was a missile, zeroing in on his culminating point.

___ “Tho’ we’re apart, you’re a part of me still.” – lyrics of the song, Blueberry Hill

___ …and with firm confidence in justice, freedom, and peace on earth that will raise the hearts and the hopes of mankind for that distant day when no one rattles a saber and no one drags a chain. – Adlai Stevenson, acceptance speech, 1952

___ Progress is not proclamation or palaver. It is not pretense nor play on prejudice. It is not the perturbation of a people passion-wrought nor a promise proposed. – Warren G. Harding nominating William Taft in 1912.

___ It shreds the nerves, it vivisects the psyche – and it may even scare the living daylights out of more than a few playgoers. – Review in TIME, 1966

___ Whales in the wake like capes and Alps Quaked the sick sea and snouted deep. – Dylan Thomas, “Ballad of the Long-Legged Bait”

Part II (50 pts, total)

Section 1: Exercises (15 pts.)

A. Reconstruct the following arguments by identifying their conclusions and their premises. Then identify whether or not the arguments are valid.

1. The TELEBEARS system asks me all sorts of questions when I dial in. And we all know that if a computer were a conscious being it would ask me all sorts of questions. So TELEBEARS must be a conscious being.

2. If the United States completes a missile defense system before the rest of the world does, they wil gain enormous leverage over all other nations in any confrontation. For if the US completes its defensive shield firsdt, they will pose a credible threat of a first strike, and if they pose such a threat they will gain enormous leverage.

B. For each of the following enthymemes: 1. Supply the missing premise or conclusion. 2. Identify whether the missing element is a major premise, a minor premise, or the conclusion.

1. He must be annoyed, because he’s scowling all the time.

2. Mary crossed the picket line, so her lamb must have crossed it too.

3. New Yorkers are well-mannered, and no well-mannered people are uncivilized.

4. True freedom demands responsibility, and that is why most folks dread it.

5. No enthymemes are complete, and so this argument is incomete.

Section 2: Toulmin Schema (15 pts.)

Construct a strategy of support using the Toulmin Schema for the following enthymeme: “”Serpents make vile pets, because they cannot be trusted.” Be sure to identify all the parts of the Toulmin Schema, the claim, the stated reason, and to supply a plausible warrant, qualification, grounds, etc. [By “construct a strategy of support” I mean simply to provide an argument, but one which exhibits all the characteristics the Toulmin Schema identifies for analyzing arguments.]

Section 3: Short Essay (20 pts.)

Write an essay of approximately two pages in length [students who received the handout will probably produce handwritten essays that cover the blank space of the page on which this question appears, plus the back of the sheet, as necessary] analyzing the following passage from Frederixk Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave. Your essay should identify what you take to be the central claim of the passage, and then discuss how Douglass uses figurative language to make his claim and express it more forcefully.

“It was called by the slaves the Great House Farm. Few privileges were esteemed higher, by the slaves of the out-farms, than that of being selected to do errands at the Great House Farm. It was associated in their minds with greatness. A representative could not be prouder of his election to a seat in the American Congress, than a slave on one of the out-farms would be of his election to do errands at the Great House Farm. They regarded it as evidence of great confidence reposed in them by their overseers; and it was on this account, as well as a constant desire to be out of the field from under the driver’s lash, that they esteemed it a high privilege, one worth careful living for… The competitors for this office sought as diligently to please their overseers, as the office-seekers in the political parties seek to pelase and deceive the people. The same traits of character might be seen in Colonial Lloyd’s slaves, as are seen in the slaves of the political parties.”

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


I realize everybody is hard at work polishing up their papers for tomorrow -- but do remember to give the pieces by Alex Steffen (rather short) and Paulina Borsook (rather long, but very amusing) a good read to prepare for our discussion in class. Also, we will be moving to a classroom in Dwinelle Hall next Tuesday to screen the film "Desk Set." Be sure to remind me tomorrow to give you good directions how to get there.

Saturday, June 04, 2005


People are starting to accept their blogger invites, and as they arrive I'm waking up your sidebar links so that the links connect readers directly with your e-mail accounts. If you indicated to me that you do not want your e-mail released I have not included you in the sidebar, but everybody can post to the blog, whether they are visible in the sidebar or not. If you would prefer that your sidebar link direct people to a different account or a home page or whatever else, please just let me know and I'll alter it. If I have misspelled your name or misremembered your nicknames or anything like that, let me know and I'll alter it.

Experiment with the blog and make it your own. Discuss the course, discuss your papers, discuss the readings, discuss the discussions, discuss your disgust with the weather, with politics, whatever you like.

There are some great technoloculture/technoethics links on the sidebar that I thought might interest folks in the class, as well as general writing resources. Check them out, and always feel welcome to discuss what you encounter in them in the course.

I hope this is a useful separate space for you all -- sorry it took me so long to bring it online! See everybody Tuesday morning. d

Syllabus for Rhet 110, Summer, 2005

Rhetoric 110
Advanced Argumentation and Argumentative Writing:
Varieties of Techno-Ethical Discourse

Summer 2005

24 Wheeler Hall, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, 9.30-12 noon

Course Instructor

Dale Carrico
Mailbox: 7408 Dwinelle
Messages: 642-1415
Office Hours: For an hour after class Tuesdays and Thursdays and by appointment.
Course Description

This course is devoted to the study and practice of advanced argumentative techniques and assumes a basic background in writing and argument. We will examine works of theory and cultural criticism, popular editorials, legal and political policy, as well as literary and media texts. The texts in the class are all broadly organized around the theme of technological development, considered as a space both of imaginative investment and social struggle.

The problems and skills that emerge from our focus should have a wide applicability for research and criticism across the humanities. We will divide our time between three argumentative modes: deliberation, demonstration, and debate. Among the topics and questions we will be grappling with are: How should an argument that seeks to call basic assumptions into question be different in form from one that hopes to arrive at conviction, or to impact conduct, or to reconcile antagonistic viewpoints? How do we properly anticipate and assess the demands of a variety of specific audiences? How do we identify and deploy the argumentative content of figurative language? Just what is this process that is called "close reading" and how precisely does it relate to the Toulmin schema for the analysis of arguments? What kinds of claims properly emerge from the close reading of texts and how are they substantiated? What constitutes a "fact" in philosophical and literary criticism devoted to practices of close reading?

Required Texts (Primarily to be found in our Course Reader)

Laurie Anderson, “The Language of the Future”
Hannah Arendt, “Prologue to The Human Condition”
John Perry Barlow, “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace”
Paulina Borsook “The Crypto Wars,” from Cyberselfish
David Brin, “The End of Photography as Proof of Anything at All”
David Brin, “Three Cheers for the Surveillance Society”
Octavia Butler, “The Evening and the Morning and the Night”
Daniel Harris, “The Futuristic,” from The Aesthetics of Consumerism
Donna Haraway, “A Manifesto for Cyborgs”
Eric Hughes, “A Cypherpunk’s Manifesto”
James Hughes, “Using Democracy to Cure Future Shock”
Thomas Jefferson. The Declaration of Independence.
Walter Lang, dir. Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy. Film: “Desk Set”
Timothy C. May, “The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto”
Katsuhiro Otomo. Film: “Roujin Z”
Nick Rombes, “Professor DVD”
Valerie Solanas, “The SCUM Manifesto”
Thomas Starr, “The Real Declaration”
Alex Steffen, “The Tech Bloom”
Bruce Sterling, “Maneki Neko,” from A Good Old-Fashioned Future
Marc Stiegler, “A Gentle Seduction”
Oscar Wilde, “The Soul of Man Under Socialism”

Also, each student is required to purchase a blank notebook in which they will keep a writer’s journal, as well as a folder to keep track of all written assignments.

Course Requirements and Policies

1. Attendance – This is a six week intensive course and absences must be kept to an absolute minimum. You should warn me in advance about absences. When this is not possible, call the Rhetoric Office (642-1415) and leave a message explaining why you are absent. Keep in mind that missing classes or arriving late disrupts the community of the classroom, especially since you will be doing a great deal of work with your peers this term. Absences and lateness will affect your performance negatively, and will lower your final grade significantly.

2. Deadlines -- You are required to observe assignment deadlines. If you anticipate trouble completing an assignment on time, you must speak to me in advance about an extension. Any paper or homework assignment handed in late without an extension will be reduced by a half of a letter grade for each day  including Saturdays and Sundays –- that it is late. Try to break the procrastination cycle: leave enough time so that printer failures, disk errors, and lines at the printout place do not make you late.

3. Format -- All written work for this course must be printed on a word processor or typed. Written work that is not printed on a word processor or typed will not be accepted (unless of course it is an in-class assignment), and the late policy (see #2 above) will apply. Always spell-check your written assignments. Resist the use of your computer’s thesaurus. Use your own vocabulary. ALWAYS proofread your papers after you have printed them out. Excessive spelling and proofreading errors will be subject to significant grade reductions. Also, it is a good idea to keep copies of papers and other important written assignments. Papers do get lost, and if an instructor loses a paper it is your responsibility to provide a new copy.

4. Participation -– Participation in class discussion is REQUIRED. I know that some people are less enthusiastic about class participation than others. Let me state my philosophy on this: Classroom discussion is the only way I know to make visible the genuinely broad range of valid responses any complicated argument will provoke. Understanding objections to your viewpoint will either sharpen the effectiveness of that view or it will change your mind, and either outcome can only be a good thing. If you are pathologically shy it may be possible to satisfy the participation requirement by attending office hours regularly. But please make an effort at class participation –- I’ll do what I can to make the class a safe environment for the exploration and dispute of ideas. Feel free to disagree with one another or with me or with anybody, but always respect one another and keep an open mind about other viewpoints. And keep in mind also that borderline grades will be affected both positively and negatively by regular classroom participation or by its lack.

Your final grade will be determined by summing the grades of the following assignments in the given proportions:

1. Peer Responses on the First Paper Draft 05%
2. First Paper 10%
3. Peer Responses on Second Paper Draft 05%
4. Second Paper 10%
5. Take-Home Mid-Term Exam 10%
6. Peer Responses on Third Paper Draft 05%
7. Third Paper 10%
8. Peer Responses on Final Paper Draft 05%
9. Final Paper 10%
10. Homework and In-Class Work 10%
11. Class Participation 10%
12. Final Report 04%
13. Journal 04%
14. Quizzes 02%

Course Requirements and Policies

I have read, I understand, and I agree to all of the course requirements and policies.

I. Attendance ________________

II. Deadlines ________________

III. Format ________________

IV. Participation ________________

Print Name:________________________________


A Provisional Schedule of Meetings

Week One

May 24
Course Introduction
SKILL SET: An argument is a claim supported by reasons. Ethos/Pathos/Logos.

May 25
2-3 Minute Introductory Speeches
SKILL SET: Four Habits of Argumentative Writing: 1. Formulate a Strong Thesis; 2. Define Your Terms; 3. Substantiate/Contextualize; 4. Anticipate Objections.

May 26
Hand in Diagnostic Essay (2-3pp) on Anderson’s Piece
Laurie Anderson, “The Language of the Future,” Brin, “The End of Photography”
SKILL SET: Audiences/Intentions; Reading Critically is a Kind of Writing

Week Two

May 31
Hand in Drafts of First Paper to Peer Revision Groups
Wilde, “The Soul of Man Under Socialism”
SKILL SET: Intentions – Interrogation, Conviction, Persuasion, Reconciliation

June 1
Peer Revision/Discussion of Drafts
Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence
Barlow, “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace”
Starr, “The Real Declaration”
SKILL SET: Audiences –- Sympathetic, Unsympathetic, Apathetic; Rogerian Rhetoric

June 2
Hand in Paper One, Precis (3-4pp.) of Wilde’s Essay
May, "The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto"
Hughes "A Cypherpunk's Manifesto"
SKILL SET: The Toulmin Schema

Week Three

June 7
Hand in Drafts of Second Paper to Peer Revision Groups
Brin, “Three Cheers for the Surveillance Society”
SKILL SET: Literal/Figurative Language; Figures/Tropes; Four Master Tropes

June 8
Peer Revision/Discussion of Drafts
SKILL SET: Syllogisms, Enthymemes; Formal Fallacies

June 9
Second Paper (4-5pp.) Due
Borsook "The Crypto Wars"
Steffen, “The Tech Bloom”
SKILL SET: Informal Fallacies

Week Four

June 14
Hand in Take-Home Mid-Term Exam
Screening of “Desk Set”

June 15
Rombes, “Professor DVD”
Discussion of “Desk Set”
SKILL SET: Terms for Film and Media Criticism

June 16
Sterling, “Maneki Neko”
Harris, “The Futuristic”

Week Five

June 21
Hand in Drafts of Third Paper to Peer Revision Groups
Stiegler, "The Gentle Seduction"
Hughes, “Using Democracy to Cure Future Shock”

June 22
Peer Revision/Discussion of Drafts
Solanas, “The SCUM Manifesto”

June 23
Third Paper (4-5pp) Due
Screening on “Roujin Z”

Week Six

June 28
Hand in Drafts of Final Paper to Peer Revision Groups
Butler, “The Evening and the Morning and the Night”

June 29
Hand in Final Report
Hand in Journals
Peer Revision/Discussion of Drafts
Haraway, “A Manifesto for Cyborgs”

June 30
Final Paper (5-6pp) Due
Arendt, "Prologue to The Human Condition"
Closing Remarks: Technocriticism, Technoethics, Technocultures