Firstly, I must preface that I am a Biology student. To elaborate my question, I was looking for the reason why carboxylic acids are more acidic than alcohols, despite both compounds containing —OH groups. From my understanding it was because of the inductive effect, an example of this effect is CH3COOH, shown in the figure below:
The inductive effect in CH3COOH occurs because of the electron deficiency in the carbon atom, C (which has a partial positive charge, δ+). This electron deficiency on the carbon atom is present due to the more electronegative double bonded oxygen atom, O. However, the O single bonded to the C is also more electronegative, as a result, the electron density of the single bonded O moves to the C in order to 'counteract' the δ+ on the C, leaving the H 'less strongly attached' to the O (and therefore, the molecule), thus, increasing its acidity.
Now, in an alcohol there is only one oxygen atom, see the figure below:
Because there is no second O attached to the C, which would cause it to become more positive, the O does not become less positive, by sharing electrons to counteract the positive C. Thus, the hydrogen atom is 'more strongly attached' to the O which is more negative compared to the single bonded oxygen atom in the carboxylic acid.
My question is, why does the carbon atom in the carboxylic acid (first figure) counteract the change and increase its pull for the electrons of the single bonded oxygen atom, instead of becoming more positive?