Monday, March 05, 2012

Peer Evaluation

Please check your peer's arguments for deductive validity. It's best if the arguments are represented as fairly simple deductively valid arguments. (Modus ponens, modus tollens, conjunction, and hypothetical syllogism are all commonly used argument forms.) If your peer's argument is invalid, suggest ways of making the argument valid.

Your peer's arguments may also suffer from idle premises: premises that are not required in order to deductively secure the conclusion. Look for these and if you find one, suggest your peer omits it.

Your peer's premises should also make sense to you, whether or not you also worked on your peer's target paper. Trust yourself. If a premise does not make clear sense, don't be shy about saying so. It helps to explain exactly what you find unclear.

If it's mysterious to you how one might support one of the premises in the argument, say so. You might even suggest a defence. This helps your peer see how the argument is being understood by the audience.

If you think there may be a good criticism of one or more of the premises that your peer has not considered, say so. This should be a conversation. It helps your peer if you're willing to play devil's advocate.

Again, please cc your peer's review to me so I can assign appropriate credit. And let me know if you have questions.


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