QUESTION TYPE: Role in Argument
CONCLUSION: Acme Engines should be held liable.
REASONING: Acme claims there was nothing wrong with knee level switches. Yet its new locomotives did not have knee level switches. It cost $500,000 to move the switches, so it’s more likely that the switches were unsafe.
ANALYSIS: This isn’t a bulletproof argument, but it’s common in legal cases. Civil legal cases generally have to be proven only based on a standard of “more likely than not.” So an argument doesn’t have to be 100% certain for damages to be awarded.
The fact that Acme spent $500,000 is meant to show that changing the switch was a serious issue. The high price indicates the company didn’t move the switches purely for convenience. Therefore the switch may have been done for safety reasons.
- The argument didn’t claim that the engineer had no fault. It just claimed that Acme was responsible. More than one group can be responsible for something.
- If the older locomotives had been remodeled then the engineer wouldn’t have accidentally hit the switch with his knee.
- Not quite. The changes only affected new cars. The changes can’t explain why a crash occurred in the old cars.
- The argument used this evidence to show that the switches were hazardous. Otherwise, why would the company have spent $500,000 replacing them?
- CORRECT. If the company spent a lot of money moving some of the switches then they likely realized there was a risk of an accident.
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Graeme teaches how to break down arguments, quickly