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“Argument Analysis On Pollution And Life”

777 words - 4 pages


In the essay, “Pollution is Good for You” by Philip W. West, the author asserts that pollution is a healthy and necessary condition for the sustainment of life on Earth. He uses examples for the pollution of the air and water to support his thesis. This is done through various analytical methods and research on the subject. The task for this paper however, is to apply the principles of philosophical logic to analyze his argument for form and validity without getting entrapped with the subject of pollution itself.

Supporting Points

Within his argument West asserts his conclusion for the argument in the opening paragraph and then analyzes the effects of pollution in specific detail to provide his premises supporting that conclusion. First, he examines sewage and salts discharged into the planets various bodies of water arguing that these contaminants are necessary for the fertilization of life supporting food and vegetation for aquatic life. Next, he reveals the necessity of dirt in the air to support the formation of condensation allowing rain and snow to occur, offering landlocked vegetation the ability to receive water.
Under logical scrutiny, this causal inference argument is classified as a weak inductive argument, making it improbable that the conclusion is false since the two premises are true. In the literal sense the argument is actually a strong inductive argument. However, the reason it is given the grade as a weak inductive argument is due to its nonassertive conclusion from the author that “some or even most pollution is necessary [for life]” (West). Nonetheless, the author presents his argument without any obvious fallacies, most likely due to his extensive research on the subject prior to presenting his argument.


The content of the argument is assessed to be both effective and correct. Making it difficult or impossible to weaken since one would have to rely on the uniformity of nature being broken to do so. Here philosophy bridges with science to validate all premises supporting the conclusion. With that said, the author is careful to use nonspecific wording in his conclusion, however supports that conclusion with specific wording in his premises making the argument both cogent and valid. Still, if the author changed the conditional truth of his conclusion to “some pollution is necessary” (West) negating “ or even most” (West) and, if the premises gave more probabilistic support to the...

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