On Meaningful Observation Critique

OnMeaningful Observation Critique

JohnMaeda’s argument that innovation in America revolves aroundtechnology is compelling, but his justification is deceptive due tothe inclusion of logical fallacies that make it unsuccessful. In thearticle found in Everyone’san Author With Readings,the writer maintains that America and its political institutions onlyconsider innovation to be linked to technological aspects only (987).Theoverall claim that Maeda makes is appealing, but it does not useeffective strategies to support it since he makes hastygeneralizations, weak analogies, and inappropriate comparisons.

Moreover,he uses a poor analogy in his main argument while trying to explainthe manner in which America has left out the arts in the majorinnovations. Besides, he indicates that when Americans think aboutinnovation, the only thing that comes to mind is technology, and thepolitical institutions in the nation do the same (987). An individualmakes a poor analogy when comparing two things that do not havesignificant similarities (The Writing Center). When Maeda uses theresults from the White House website to make the conclusion that allAmericans associate innovation with technology only, he makes a weakanalogy.

Whilethe political approach to innovation might lean towards technology,the manner in which educational institutions perceive physicalcreation has a significant impact on the artistic nature of people.Although the political and educational institutions have similarfeatures in the sense that the policies they implement affect theentire country, their strategies are not the same. The stance thatthe White House has on innovation might not significantly influencethe contents of the curriculum in the learning institutions, and thisshows that Maeda’s analogy is weak.

Maedacommits a logical fallacy by making a hasty generalization regardingparents’ opinions on the availability of resources for artseducation and the lack of substantial progress in technologicalinnovation. According to the author, all the parents that take theirchildren to public schools have the opinion that the resourcesnecessary for arts education are rapidly declining (987). Again, hecommits a logical fallacy by making the assumption that all parentshave similar opinions on the arts education curriculum in schools.One makes a hasty generalization by using an insufficient sample tomake a presumption about a wide range of cases (The Writing Center).

Maeda’sclaim on the position that parents have regarding arts educationresources could be more appealing if the statement were not as broadas he makes it appear. He makes a hasty generalization by claimingthat when one asks parents with children in a public school theirposition on the availability of art education resources, they wouldsay that they are insufficient (987). Considering that public schoolsare different in the sense that their teaching and learningfacilities are dissimilar, the attitudes that parents have regardingthe same issue would vary. Before Maeda concludes that public schoolsdo not support innovation in the arts education curricula, he shouldgather more evidence from a larger sample of parents.

Theother logical misconception that Maeda makes is the inappropriatecomparison regarding how artists and individuals in other disciplinesconduct their research. He assumes that artists and some scientistsare the only people that make rigorous investigations and have anopen-minded attitude while doing research (988). Although thisargument is appealing, it constitutes a logical fallacy, makingMaeda’s justification deceptive. His claim that people who conductresearch in other disciplines do not investigate issues accuratelyand with a liberal attitude is evidently a hasty generalization.

AlthoughMaeda could be right as he claims that artists become involved intheir projects after making thorough inquiries and being objective,this does not imply that others do not do the same. When peopleconduct research, the process that they use to obtain their intendedresults differs, and researchers have no particular direction thattaken to come up with a conclusion. The writer, therefore, makesassumptions about the entire group of researchers who are not artistsby indicating that they do not have an unbiased attitude while doingtheir research. Even though the investigator could have used thisexample to strengthen the point that people should pay attention toartists since they are innovators, the sample that he uses isinsufficient. He should, therefore, gather more evidence from alarger model before settling on this conclusion.


Maedamakes a weak analogy by using the search results from the White Housewebsite to make the conclusion that all Americans associateinnovation with technology only. The political viewpoint oninnovation does not significantly influence the contents of thecurriculum in the learning institutions. Maeda also commits a logicalfallacy by assuming that all parents have similar opinions on thearts education curriculum in schools. The author should gather moreevidence from a larger sample of parents before concluding thatpublic schools do not support innovation in the arts educationprograms. He also makes an inappropriate comparison regarding howartists and individuals in other disciplines conduct their research.Heassumes that the entire group of researchers who are not artists donot have an unbiased attitude while doing their research, and this isa logical fallacy.


Maeda,John. On Meaningful Observation. In Lunsford, Andrea Brody, MichalEde, Lisa

Papper,Carole Moss, Beverly, and Walters, Keith. Everyone`san Author with Readings.New York: W.W. Norton. 2016. Print.

TheWriting Center. UNC College of Arts and Sciences. Fallacies.2012. Print.