Philosophy of Journalism

 

And among women, if your sister’s husband is earning more than Mf your own husband earns, you are more likely to go out to work” An assumption which means; “Something which is taken for granted, but not stated – something which is implicit rather than explicit. ” Thomson (2002) Also as Warburton (1999) points out though: “Actually the word ‘assumption’ is ambiguous since it could also mean a stated premise that is the starting-point of an argument”. An assumption in relation to redistribution could be implied.

If redistribution was introduced that people will become happy, that is why it’s on the list of public spending. It is wrote as though it will definitely work although it may have an appropriateness (as a reason why people are unhappy) a full explanation isn’t given so an assumption has to be made. There is an assumption – an additional reason, which can be added to the reason of performance, related pay that if you work under a performance related pay scheme that you are suffering from stress and depression because it goes on to list mental health funding as a problem.

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Continuing to state that only 12 per cent of NHS budget is spent on it and yet so many experience it, so the reader maybe worried by these reasons and come to the wrong assumptions. The reason of ‘pollution occurring’ must be clarified. The article states that two types of ‘pollution’ occur: ‘self-pollution’ and ‘pollution by others’ described as “People get hurt as their needs rise in ways they did not foresee – a form of self-pollution. And they get hurt by the extra income that others are earning – pollution by others”.

So what is meant here is that despite the increased income of a person the happiness doesn’t follow suit the more you earn the more the less happy others are too, thus spreading a form of pollution throughout society. Mf Evaluation Considering the truth of the reasons leading to the conclusion would see all the figures quoted in the article having to be checked with official sources. Though the survey from the London Institute of Education is likely to be true as this is an academic survey and from an authoritative body.

However this doesn’t hide the fallacy (meaning faulty reasoning) within the article. In this case by appealing to others for authority. By including that the London University’s Institute of Education carried out a survey that has a similar argument to the one being made in the article this strengthens the articles own position. Appealing to others for authority meaning: “Claiming some other in authority has made the same argument as yourself in order to strengthen your own position”. Hart (1998). Throughout the articles there seem to be many fallacies in the argument being made.

Yet another fallacy appealing to others for authority is by including a sample of Harvard graduate students. By including Harvard students’ answers as opposed to for instance Sheffield University students’ answers, gives the article more strength because Harvard is World famous and has far more intellectual and highly educated students than those at Sheffield. One example used in the article is the graph of the 1,000 working Texan women and there average happiness throughout the day, this has many fallacies. First of all it’s a selected instance, which means picking out unusual or unrepresentative examples.

The graph certainly is unusual, why is the study of 1,000 working women? Why Texas? What about men? The graph also deals with the fallacy of ignoring alternatives giving one Mf interpretation or example, in this case the graph of 1,000 working Texan women as if all others are the same. Hart (1998) explains ignoring alternatives as: “Giving one interpretation or example as if all others could be treated or categorized in the same way”. Further fallacies in the argument are found by using specialist terminology and technical language this is deliberate use of jargon to impress the reader.

Here (below) is an example from the article. “With the aid of neuroscience we now know that they do. Positive feelings (for right-handed people) correspond to brain activity in the left side of the pre-frontal cortex, negative feelings to the same place on the right side of the brain. Neuroscientists find that people who have the “happier” brain readings also say they are happier”. Technical language is described as: “Deliberate use of jargon intended to impress the reader and/or hide the lack of foundation to an argument”. Hart (1998).

A classic fallacy that often fools a reader unless they’re aware of it is similarity. Claiming there is no real difference between two things even where there is. In this case the article claims: “trust is lower the more people are moving house and the more heterogeneous in origin are the people living in any area… Similarly, mental illness is more common if you live in an area where your group is in the minority than if you live where your group is in the majority”. The two statements are very different, not similar, as the article states.

The first part relates to a host of different origins not a majority or minority whilst the mental health relates to the minority of a group. Even if the cases were similar where are these so-called facts coming from the only evidence stated is that ‘happiness research reveals… ‘ no mention of who carried out the happiness research therefore this can’t be taken on face value. Also when the articles views on unemployment are voiced, it refers Mf to: “Every happiness study reveals the horrible pain of unemployment”.

Again no mention of who carried out the study therefore this can’t be taken on face value either. A case of the fallacy concerning tautology is present. Tautology as defined by Hart (1998) is: “Use of language structures to get acceptance of your own argument from others. This is often in the form of ‘too much of X is bad’ therefore X itself is good”. A slight form of tautology is found in the article, as it suggests: “In a poor society, a man proves to his wife that he loves her by giving her a rose, but in a rich society he must give a dozen roses”.

The use of extremities – this is ignoring centre ground by focusing only on the extreme ends of a spectrum of alternatives, is apparent in the article. “Mental illness causes half of all measured disability in our society and, even if you add in premature death, mental illness accounts for a quarter of the total impact of disease. Yet only 12 per cent of the NHS budget goes on it”. The article focuses on extreme points that will strengthen his argument there is no centre ground or no mention where these figures are taken from. If the figures were taken from some king of official body or source then this could have been mentioned.

However this lack of evidence could mean that figures should be put into question once again and this is a common fallacy throughout the entire article. Additional evidence could be sought by studying a wider range of people in the Britain rather than 1,000 working women in Texas. However, as the article states “The scientific study of happiness is only just beginning” so with this in mind there appears no extra evidence in this field of study that could either strengthen or weaken the articles case.

Overall the article presented quite a strong case for believing that the reasons andMf assumptions that subsequently led to the conclusion were valid and relevant to the argument. The article has lots of evidence, not just from this country (Britain), but also from around Europe and the USA. This could further add strength to the argument because the sample size is now a lot bigger. The amount of studies listed in the article, along with the graph and table further enhances the writers conclusion. By gathering plenty of information the writer argument has many reasons and assumptions to which a conclusion can be drawn from.

However, the article is being printed in a British newspaper and in the articles stand first implies that the article will prove that Britons are more miserable than ever. Yet despite this, studies from Britain are the minority. The graph, which immediately attracts your attention to the page, is about working women in Texas! Not working women in Britain. The article although having many studies, has a lack of sourcing much of the presented material. Dates and figures are present but with no reference to any reliable or known source, and this is the case throughout the article.

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