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Explain the thinking process you used to identify the categorical propositions in these syllogisms Answer

“Syllogisms” Please respond to the following:

The following discussion questions refer to the activity assigned under the “Readings” section for this week.

  • Explain the thinking process you used to identify the categorical propositions in these syllogisms.
  • Identify any premises or conclusions with which you did not agree or which you believe to be false.
  • Explain whether you found any syllogisms which appeared to be valid or invalid and why you think this is the case.
  • Diagram one of the syllogisms in Activity 9.1 or 9.2. Describe what your Venn diagram revealed. Explain whether you thought this method was useful or challenging.
  • Explain the thinking process you used to identify the categorical propositions in these syllogisms.

Ans: A categorical syllogism (in standard form) is a syllogism whose every claim is a standard-form categorical claim and in which three terms each occur exactly twice in exactly two of the claims. Study the following

example:

All Americans are consumers.

Some consumers are not Democrats.

Therefore, some Americans are not Democrats.

In a categorical syllogism, each of the premises states a relationship between the middle term and one of the other terms

  • Identify any premises or conclusions with which you did not agree or which you believe to be false.

Ans: I think the below argument is false.

All valid arguments are good arguments.

Some valid arguments are boring arguments.

 

Therefore, All good arguments are boring arguments.

Here the conclusion “Therefore, All good arguments are boring arguments.” is wrong. It should be “Therefore, some good arguments are boring arguments.”

  • Explain whether you found any syllogisms which appeared to be valid or invalid and why you think this is the case.

Ans: The below syllogism is invalid.

Some people on the committee are not students.

All people on the committee are local people.

Therefore, some local people are nonstudents.

This argument is okay up to the conclusion, which contains a term that does not occur anywhere in the premises: “nonstudents.” However, because “nonstudents” is the complement of “students,” this argument can be turned into a proper syllogism by obverting the conclusion, producing “Some local people are not students.”

  • Diagram one of the syllogisms in Activity 9.1 or 9.2. Describe what your Venn diagram revealed. Explain whether you thought this method was useful or challenging.

Ans: Venn diagrma is a graphical way to diagram the syllogismm and in my opinion, it is quite helpful.

Here is an example of a sound argument (taken from the chapter):

(1) All human beings are mortal.

(2) Ann is a human being.

(3) Therefore, Ann is mortal.

In this example, the premises are true. At least as far as we know, all human beings are indeed mortal. So that is true. And the claim that Ann is a human being is, again as far as we know, true. Given those two statements, or premises, does the conclusion follow? If human beings are mortal, and Ann is a human being, does it have to be the case that Ann is mortal? Yes. The argument is valid. The conclusion follows from the premises. And furthermore, since the premises are true, the argument is also sound. A sound argument means: the premises are true and the conclusion is valid.

If you are trying to determine if the conclusion does not follow, try and think of possible alternatives. If human beings are mortal, and Ann is a human being, what else could she be but mortal? Could she be immortal? No, because we’ve stated that human beings, of which Ann is one, are mortal. In this example, it is absolutely certain that the conclusion is valid. It could not be otherwise.

The examples I’ve given are those of deductive arguments. Why folks like deductive arguments so much are that, if the premises are true, they lead to absolute certainty. In my next post, I’ll talk about inductive arguments, where we don’t deal with certainty, but with probability. In these arguments, the creative element becomes much more pronounced; you have to try and think of all the possible alternatives to a conclusion that is only probable, not certain.

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