QUESTION TYPE: Evaluate The Argument
CONCLUSION: Everyone should use low-wattage bulbs.
REASONING: Low-wattage bulbs offer great advantages to homeowners, even though low-watt bulbs are more expensive than regular bulbs.
ANALYSIS: To evaluate an argument, you should follow the same process as with any argument: ask yourself why it might be flawed.
The argument doesn’t list any actual advantages to low-wattage bulbs, so the conclusion raises questions. For instance:
- Should renters buy these bulbs, even if renters don’t pay for electricity?
- Is the light quality from low-wattage bulbs worse somehow?
- Are the bulbs so much more expensive that it takes decades to pay them off?
- Are there any safety risks?
- How long do low-wattage bulbs last?
The key to answering these exception questions is to open your mind to all possible flaws in the argument.
You don’t need to prephrase all possible answers, just put yourself in the shoes of someone buying a low-wattage bulb and ask if the answer is relevant.
- This seems relevant. If the actual operating cost of low-wattage bulbs is unusually high, then people shouldn’t use them.
- CORRECT. Who cares about profits? If the bulbs produce a benefit, I don’t mind if a company makes profits.
- If a low-wattage bulb costs $10,000, few people will want one.
- This is relevant. Current users of low-wattage bulbs are better placed to spot hidden flaws.
- If you have to replace low-wattage bulbs every two weeks, it gets expensive and inconvenient to use them.
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Graeme teaches how to break down arguments, quickly