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7.1: The Logic of Our Arguments

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    You are a crime scene investigator. You are at a scene of the death of a middle-aged woman. She is lying dead at the base of an 8-story building. She appears to have jumped to her death. Or did she? You have to determine if she committed suicide or was murdered. You look for clues.

    There seems to be no one else around. No one was seen with her when she went to the roof of the building. She had some financial problems that could cause her to feel pressure. Her boyfriend had just broken up with her. All these pieces of evidence seem to suggest that she committed suicide.

    On the other hand, she left no suicide note. It was reported by her friends that she didn’t complain about her life situation and she was generally in a good mood. And even though her boyfriend had broken up with her, she was planning on going on a “singles cruise.” All of this evidence suggests that she was murdered.

    Both conclusions are reasonable given the evidence. But which one is more valid or more reasonable?

    7.1: The Logic of Our Arguments is shared under a CC BY-NC license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Jim Marteney (ASCCC Open Educational Resources Initiative (OERI)) .

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