题库原题：97. The following appeared as part of an article in a computer magazine.
“A year ago Apex Manufacturing bought its managers computers for their homes and paid for telephone connections so that the managers could access Apex computers and data files from home after normal business hours. Since last year, productivity at Apex has increased by 15 percent. Other companies can learn from the success at Apex: given home computers and access to company resources, employees will work additional hours at home and thereby increase company profits.”
Notice that only managers were bought computers by Apex, whose productivity indeed rose 15 percent as the result. It is different from the assumption made in the article, which stated that if all employees were brought computers, they would work extra hours at home. Managers ≠ all employees
A. This argument suffers from a fallacy of post hoc, ergo propter hoc.
B. Next, the author fails to provide any evidence that installing home computers for managers really led to the increase of Apex’s productivity.
1 home access 和increase productivity因果关系错误
4 hasty generalization。有两个，一是把apex推广到所有公司，二是把managers推广到了所有employees
In this article the author attributes Apex Manufacturing’s 15 percent increase in productivity over the past year to its decision to equip its manager with computers and paid telephone connections for their homes so that they would access company computers and files from home after normal business hours. On the basis of Apex’s experience the author recommends that other companies follow Apex’s example and provide computers and access to company resources to their employees. The author believes that such a policy would increase productivity and profits for other companies, just as it did for Apex. The author’s line of reasoning is questionable for several reasons.
First, the author assumes that Apex’s increase in productivity is due to its equipping its managers with home computers and access to company resources. However, the only evidence offered in support of this claim is the fact that Apex’s increase in productivity occurred after the home computers and after-hours (adv. 工作完毕后) access was provided. Unfortunately, this evidence is insufficient to establish the causal claim in question. While temporal precedence is one of the conditions required to establish a causal relationship between two events, by itself it is not a sufficient condition. Consequently, it is possible that Apex’s increase in productivity is not related to its decision to equip its managers with computers and after-hours access in the fashion required by the author’s argument.
Second, the author assumes that Apex and other companies are sufficiently similar to warrant a conclusion based on an analogy between them. Even if we accept the view that Apex’s increase in productivity was brought about by its policy of enabling its managers to work from home, differences between Apex and other companies could nullify this result. Lacking detailed information about Apex and the other companies in question it is difficult to assess the author’s conclusion.
In conclusion, the author’s argument is unconvincing. To strengthen the argument the author would have to provide additional evidence for the claim that Apex’s decision to provide its managers with home computers and access to company resources was responsible for its increase in productivity. Furthermore, it would be necessary to show that Apex and other companies are sufficiently similar to justify the analogy between them.
19. 有个NOVA High School 2years ago采取一个方案，用computer interactive( teaching method还是怎样）运用到academic units里面，发现last year的有impressive performances for students in college(这里不确定），所以他建议所有的school in in the same district as Nova High都allocate budget到computer上面，为了保证future improved performances（大概其是这样，具体细节忘记了）
No.99 or 101 The following appeared in an editorial from a newspaper serving the town of Saluda.
“The Saluda Consolidated High School offers over 200 different courses from which its students can choose. A much smaller private school down the street offers a basic curriculum of only 80 different courses, but it consistently sends a higher proportion of its graduating seniors on to college than Consolidated does. By eliminating at least half of the courses offered there and focusing on a basic curriculum, we could improve student performance at Consolidated and also save many tax dollars.”
典型的错误类比, 还攻击了错误因果, 和 不见得drop in number of courses will save tax.
1. causal oversimplification
2. false analogy
3. It is likely that the smaller private school is incapable of offering more courses, or else its students can have better performance.
In this editorial the author recommends that Saluda’s Consolidated High School eliminate half of its 200 courses and focus primarily on basic curriculum in order to improve student performance and save tax revenues. The author’s recommendation is problematic for several reasons.
To begin with, the author assumes that the only relevant difference between Consolidated and the private school is the number of courses offered by each. However, other relevant differences between the schools might account for the difference in the proportion of their graduates who go on to college. For example, the private school’s students might be selected from a pool of gifted or exceptional students, or might have to meet rigorous admission standards whereas Consolidated’s students might be drawn from the community at large with little or no qualification for admission.
Next, the author assumes that the proportion of students who go on to college is an overall measure of student performance. While this is a tempting assumption, its truth is by no means obvious. If student excellence is narrowly defined in terms of the student’s ability to gain access to college, this assumption is somewhat reasonable. However, given a broader conception of student excellence that takes into account student’s ability to learn and apply their knowledge to new situations, its is not obvious that college admission is reliable indicator of performance. For example, students in non-academic disciplines could conceivably perform at high levels within these disciplines but nevertheless be unable to meet college admission standards.
Finally, the author assumes that savings in tax revenues will result from the reduced costs of funding the paired-down curriculum. This is not necessarily true. For example, it could turn out that both programs serve the same number of students and require the same number of classrooms and teacher.
In conclusion, the author has not made a convincing case for the recommendation to eliminate courses at Consolidated and focus on a basic curriculum. To strengthen the conclusion the author would have to provide evidence that Consolidated and the private school were sufficiently similar to warrant the analogy between them. Moreover, the relationship between student performance and college admission and the mechanism whereby savings in tax revenues would be accomplished would have to be clarified.