November 4, 2009

Homework #25

If someone puts too much pressure on the bottom shelf of a bookcase, the entire bookcase will collapse. Shelly's bookcase has collapsed. Therefore, someone must have put too much pressure on the bottom shelf.

Which one of the following criticisms best describes a weakness in the argument above?

A. It supports its conclusion with irrelevant evidence.

B. It changes the meaning of the word "collapse" from "partial collapse" to "full collapse."

C. It concludes that an outcome must have been caused by one particular factor, which may be only one of many possible causes of that outcome.

D. It overlooks the possibility that some bookshelves have only one shelf.

E. It draws an overly broad conclusion from small, insignificant pieces of evidence.