X because of Y

lazyGP

A clear-cut question on causality that reminds me of the following. If the game looks alien to you, then either you or I have got no childhood.

tower-stack-med

Maybe this will clear things up a little.

blocks2

You could visualize the X and Y in the question as blocks stacked on top of each other. The assertion is supported by a reason, and whether the two line up determines if the argument stands. Note that the pictures are solely for illustration purposes; you could well have an assumption that aligns perfectly with your reason but not your assertion.

Let’s look at an everyday example.

‘Maria is good at science because she is Asian.’ Is this a fair comment? 

  • Assertion: Maria is good at science
  • Reason: She is Asian
  • Assumption: Asians are good at science

The fun thing about such questions is that they can be answered in many ways. One could target…

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