Philosophy And Critical Thinking Notes For The Semester Part II (With Vegemite Toast)

Following on from the earlier blog-post “Philosophy And Critical Thinking Notes For The Semester (With A Head Cold)”.

Today it’s a few revision exercises – and I’m writing them quickly as it’s freezing here and I need more toast and tea.

To make sure that you’re familiar with what an argument is (and how it’s different from, say, a description, a narrative or explanation), head to this site for the following exercise:

Reasoning and non-reasoning

to brush up your skills.

Remember how last time your task was to take an argument and

Identify the premise, inference/s and conclusion. Highlight the premise indicators and conclusion indicator?

Let’s try revising those skills before we head into the next stage. Here’s a useful website that can take you through it:

Identifying inference indicators

Distinguishing reason and conclusion indicators

and Identifying conclusions 


Finally, here’s some exercises that you can do –  classify each of the following passages as description, explanation or argument.

1. In about five years time, Marie will reach her full height.

2. Vegemite is an awful food, because it damages your clothing when it falls on you and is used to confuse tourists.

3. All the high schools in this town teach critical thinking.

4. The excellent exchange rate makes holidays in New Zealand a good idea.

5. Water supplies from the reservoir are becoming scarce, so we have to think of ways that we can save water.

Then – write out five examples of words / phrases that are:

* inference indicators

* conclusion indicators


[Answers - highlight to see: 1. Description. 2. Argument. 3. Description. 4. Explanation. 5. Argument.] 

If you need more revision on inference and conclusion indicators, there’s also a flashcard site here.

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About Kylie Sturgess

Kylie Sturgess is a Philosophy teacher, media and psychology student, blogger at Patheos and podcaster at Token Skeptic. She has conducted over a hundred interviews including artists, scientists, politicians and activists, worldwide.
She’s the author of the ‘Curiouser and Curiouser‘ column at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website and travels internationally lecturing on feminism, skepticism, and science.

  • Rob

    Sorry, but despite suffering under the current Marmite shortage disaster I can’t bring myself to contemplate anything including Vegemite.

    However, You’re welcome in New Zealand any time!

    • Kylie Sturgess
      • Rob

        Great link. I don’t know how I missed hearing about that conference, busy with details of post-quake life I guess. Anyway, the laugh is that you would have walked within a few metres of my office probably.

        We are still solidly in deconstruction phase at the moment. however, a new plan for rebuilding the central city has just been released – which looks really good, and momentum is building for significant reconstruction.

        A new convention centre is high on the list of priorities, so I expect to see you here again when it’s done. First drink on me.