The given passage analogizes Gumball candies and SuperBall toys and contains an argument. The issue is whether the Gumball candies can be sold to small children. The conclusion is that candies cannot be marketed to children. The premise is that the Gumball candies are similar to SuperBall toys (Jackson and Newberry 240).
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The passage contains a sub-argument. The intermediate conclusion is that the Gumball candies are similar to SuperBall toys. The first premise is that the toys and the candies can choke children. The second premise is that both the toys and the candies are small and round.
This is an inductive analogical argument. The source of the analogy is SuperBall toys. The target of the analogy is Gumball candies. The feature is the likeness that is present between the two. The author presents one analogy. There are two similarities mentioned (small size together with round shape and the choking qualities of both the toys and the candies), which provides a supporting point for the analogy. Both similarities are relevant to the feature of the likeness of the Gumballs and SuperBalls.
A point of weakness that this argument has is that the similarities do not show much difference from each other: size and shape are considered but other qualities are overlooked. Also, the conclusion that the author makes is quite too strong: it could be weakened by a supposition that the candies could be marketed with precautions (i.e., simply carrying a warning on them), but the author claims that the marketing should be prohibited whatsoever, which, in turn, weakens the argument. Another problem with the argument is that there is a false analogy between the toys and the candies. Candies are food, and toys are not edible; the author has overlooked this primary fallacy. Also, Gumball candies are designed to be put in one’s mouth, which SuperBalls are not intended for. Besides, the argument does not include the possibility of parental control over what small children put in their mouths. Finally, the author does not seem to consider that the target consumers for the Gumball candies are children. The argument, thus, has its advantages and disadvantages, and if the author would be less categorical and stated that the Gumball should only confine itself to the “choking hazard” label, it would be strong enough.
Jackson, Debra, and Paul Newberry. Critical Thinking: A User’s Manual, Boston, MA: Cengage Learning, 2011. Print.