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The following appeared as part of an article in the business section of a daily
ďCompany A has a large share of the international market in video-game hardware
and software. Company B, the pioneer in these products, was once a $12 billion-ayear
giant but collapsed when children became bored with its line of products. Thus
Company A can also be expected to fail, especially given the fact that its games are
now in so many American homes that the demand for them is nearly exhausted.Ē
Discuss how well reasoned... etc.
In this argument the author reasons that the failure of Company B portends a similar fate for Company A. The grounds for this
prediction are similarities that exist between the two companies. The line of reasoning is that since both companies produce video-game
hardware and software and both enjoy a large share of the market for these products, the failure of one is a reliable predictor of the
failure of the other. This argument is unconvincing.
The major problem with the argument is that the stated similarities between Company A and B are insufficient to support the conclusion
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that Company A will suffer a fate similar to Company Bís. In fact, the similarities stated are irrelevant to that conclusion. Company B
did not fail because of its market share or because of the general type of product it produced; it failed because children became bored
with its particular line of products. Consequently, the mere fact that Company A holds a large share of the video-game hardware and
software market does not support the claim that Company A will also fail.
An additional problem with the argument is that there might be relevant differences between Company A and Company B, which further
undermine the conclusion. For example, Company Aís line of products may differ from Company Bís in that children do not become
bored with them. Another possible difference is that Company Bís share of the market may have been entirely domestic whereas
Company A has a large share of the international market.
In conclusion this is a weak argument. To strengthen the conclusion the author would have to show that there are sufficient relevant
similarities between Company A and Company B as well as no relevant differences between them.