QUESTION TYPE: Point at Issue
ARGUMENTS: Vincent says that science requires measurement, and happiness can’t be measured because it is entirely subjective.
Yolanda points out that optometry relies on subjective reports, and optometry is scientific. Yolanda is implying that subjective reports can be used to measure things.
ANALYSIS: For point at issue questions, you must pick something that both debaters explicitly disagree about. You need the two debaters to answer a firm “yes” and “no” to the answer. So each answer must meet two criteria:
- Both debaters have a clear opinion on the answer.
- If you asked the debaters whether they agreed with the answer, one would answer “yes” and the other would answer “no”.
This lets you eliminate some answers quickly. For instance, Vincent doesn’t mention optometry. We can’t know his opinion on it, so any answer that mentions optometry is out.
- Yolanda doesn’t say whether she thinks happiness is entirely subjective.
- Vincent might agree optometry is subjective. Perhaps he thinks optometry has a non-subjective component that Yolanda is ignoring.
- CORRECT. Yolanda says optometry is scientific, and relies on subjective reports. Vincent says that science requires measurement, and that subjectivity cannot be measured. Therefore, Vincent would probably disagree that science can rely on subjective reports. (A discipline might be able to use subjective reports if it didn’t rely on them.)
- Yolanda doesn’t say whether happiness research is as scientific as optometry. Her argument is just that happiness can be scientific, despite its subjectivity. So we don’t know what Yolanda thinks. Vincent has no opinion on this question.
- This answer just gets Vincent’s belief backwards. He believed “Subjective –>
Measured”. This answer says “ Measured–> Subjective”. So neither author believes this answer.
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