We’re all familiar with causal arguments—we’ve been making them since we were very young. For instance: Even if you’re unfamiliar with the Beatles (shame on you), I bet you can tell me what caused the Beatles to break up. . . We All Still Blame Yoko . . . Why? John and Yoko on the Dick Cavett Show Paul actually filed a lawsuit to dissolve the Beatles in 1970. Five minutes worth of research on Wikipedia would provide us with this conclusion: *Note that Yoko Ono is actually number four on this list. But if someone call pull apart your argument as quickly as we’ve just pulled apart the “Yoko Ono” one, you’ve got a problem. Quiz preview for next class: Chapter 12 discusses two fallacies common to causal arguments (p. 247). Explain which fallacy you believe could lead people to accept that Yoko Ono broke up the Beatles. One more example . . . Looking at the following picture, I want you to write down (briefly) what you believe to be the cause. Study the picture, then write for a minute or two about what caused the event. “I don’t know,” is not an acceptable answer. The Herald of Free Enterprise was a British ferry, operating in the English Channel (this was before the “chunnel” was opened). On March 6, 1987, the ferry capsized killing 193 people. It was the worst maritime disaster for the British since the sinking of the Titanic. But why? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jz2jpL O-bYw For this unit, we’re going to be interested in making causal arguments. But as we do, let’s keep in mind that most events aren’t caused by one thing alone. Causes and effects are rooted in complexity. Academic arguments that aim to present and convince an audience of a cause (or causes) need to do justice to the complexity of the issue, or they risk failing altogether.