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Tutor-marked Assignment 1
Weight: This exercise is worth 15% of the final grade.
Due: After completing Unit 2 of Study Guide I
We suggest that you review Units 1 and 2 of Study Guide I, then complete this assignment without using books or notes. Doing so will help you prepare for the final examination. Once you have finished, feel free to go back to Units 1 and 2 to check any points you are not sure of, then if you wish to revise your answers you may. Once you are satisfied with your completed assignment, use the assignment drop box on the course home page to submit it to your tutor for marking. It will be returned to you so that you can see where your strengths and weaknesses lie.
Part A (30%)
Instructions: Determine whether the following passages contain arguments, explanations, or descriptions. Explain and justify your answer with reference to the meaning of each of these terms.
Example: The film Patch Adams was an illuminating portrayal of medical education because it highlighted the importance of treating patients as people and not just as the locations of disease.
Govier, Trudy. A Practical Study of Argument, 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2001, p. 43.
Answer: This passage contains an argument because the author is attempting to convince the reader that Patch Adams is an illuminating portrayal of medical education, on the basis of the premise that this film shows how important it is to treat patients as persons, not as examples of diseases.
1. The Surprise Quiz that Never Happens
A logic teacher announces, “There will be a surprise quiz given during one of the next three class-meetings.” . . . [A student in the class claims that] such a quiz is impossible. Here’s the proof: Will the quiz be given during the third meeting of class? If it were, then the quiz wouldn’t have taken place during either of the first two classes. At the end of the second class, we’d know that the quiz must happen during the third class, so we would be able to figure out the date of the quiz in advance. So a quiz during the third class wouldn’t be a surprise. Therefore, the surprise quiz can’t happen during the third class. So will it happen during the second? We already know that it can’t happen during the third class. At the quizless end of the first class, we’d be able to figure out that there must be a quiz during the second class. Thus a quiz during the second class wouldn’t be a surprise. So it follows that the quiz couldn’t take place during the second class either. The only remaining possibility is the first class; but we know this, so that wouldn’t be a surprise either. It follows that a surprise quiz is impossible.
Martin, Robert M., There Are Two Errors in the Title of This Book: A Sourcebook of Philosophical Puzzles, Problems, and Paradoxes. Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press, 2002, p. 81.
This passage contains an argument.
2. A Heavenly Perfume
In Egypt, Persia, and Japan, orris powder was made from the dried root of the iris and used prodigiously in the art of perfumery. Orris has an odor not of iris but of violets. Until the recent development of chemical scents, most violet-perfumed products were made from orris, it being cheaper to produce than violet extract. Orris also has the ability to strengthen the odors of other perfumed substances and has been used for centuries as a fixative in the manufacture of powders and perfumes.
Orris came to prominence in Europe during the excesses of the French court prior to the Revolution. It was used to mask the unpleasant smells of stale body odor prevalent in high society, since bathing was considered unhealthy. One story tells of an argument between Louis XIV and his mistress Madame de Montespan that concluded with the lady telling the king that, for all her faults, she didn’t smell as badly as he.
Orris powder was employed to scent and preserve the odoriferous and often lice-infested coiffures of the French aristocracy. Orris was mixed with flour to make a stiffener, so that the hair could be molded into fanciful sculptures studded with ribbons, pearls, beads, and artificial flowers.
Large quantities of Iris germanica var. florintina are grown in Mexico today for their roots, which are shipped to France for use in the cosmetic industry.
Smith, Andrew. Strangers in the Garden: The Secret Lives of Our Favorite Flowers. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 2004, p. 83.
This passage contains a description.

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