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Interpreting questions 2

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The following essay topic is concerned with the work of two thinkers.

Using the Aquinas question as a guide, write your own analysis of this question in the table below.

Essay topic

Walter Brown argues that there is scientific evidence for a worldwide flood. What is your assessment of the alleged evidence? Do you think that Schadewald's arguments provide compelling objections to the flood hypothesis?

Do you agree? If so, where is the weakness in his argument? If not, how do you answer the intuitive objections to utilitarianism?

Analysis information quiz
probing questions analysis
  1. What do I need to make a judgment about?
  • Walter Brown's evidence for a worldwide flood
  1. What type of judgment(s) do I need to make?
  1. What are some possible judgements?

Check your answers

Essay topic

What is the argument of Aquinas' "fifth way"? Is this argument valid? Is it sound? Is it persuasive?

Interpreting this essay topic is relatively straightforward (which is not to say it will necessarily be easy to write about). Notice how the topic can be analysed in terms of the three probing questions above.

Analysis information quiz
probing questions analysis
  1. What do I need to make a judgment about?
  • The argument of Aquinas' "fifth way"
  1. What type of judgment(s) do I need to make?
  • Whether the argument is valid
  • Whether it is sound
  • Whether it is persuasive
  1. What are some possible judgements?
  • The argument is/is not valid - why/why not?
  • The argument is/is not sound, etc.

Sample analysis only. Note that there may be other ways of interpreting this question.

Analysis information quiz
probing questions analysis
  1. What do I need to make a judgment about?
  • Walter Brown's evidence for a worldwide flood
  • Schadewald's arguments against the flood hypothesis
  1. What type of judgment(s) do I need to make?
  • Whether Brown's evidence is scientifically sound
  • Whether Schadewald's arguments are compelling
  1. What are some possible judgements?
  • Brown's evidence overall is/is not scientifically sound
  • Schadewald's arguments overall are/not compelling
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