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Thinking:AnInterdisciplinaryApproachtoCriticalandCreativeThought, 4e
Chapter9:LogicalThinking
ISBN:0132209748Author:GaryKirby,JefferyGoodpaster copyright2007PrenticeHall,Inc.APearsonEducationCompany

LogicalThinking
Ifwereasonitisnotbecauseweliketo,butbecausewemust. WillDurant,TheMansionsofPhilosophy Thinkinglogicallyandidentifyingreasoningfallaciesinone'sownandinothers'thinkingisthe heartofcriticalthinking.Inthischapterweexaminethebasicrudimentsofbothdeductiveand inductivelogic.Weexploredeductivelogicprimarilythroughitsbasicform,thesyllogism,andlook atvariouswaysinwhichpeopleerrindeductivethinking.Deductivelogicisthendistinguished frominductivereasoning,whichispresentedwithitsownsetofinductivethinkingerrors.Finally, welookatsomeothercommonreasoningfallacies.Becausethischaptertreatsmaterialthatisat theveryheartofthinkingitself,wespendmoretimeaddressingthisinformation.Youwillfindthis chaptertobelongandperhapsquitechallenging,butpatienteffortwillstrengthenyourabilityto becomeamorecarefulandindependentthinker.

UsefulLinks ReferenceandCitation Generator APAInformation GrammarandWriting Guides

DeductiveThinking:TheSyllogism
Deductivethinkingisthekindofreasoningthatbeginswithtwoormorepremisesandderivesa conclusionthatmustfollowfromthosepremises,aconclusionthatisinfactcontainedorhiddenin thoseverypremises.Thebasicformofdeductivethinkingisthesyllogism.Anexampleofa syllogismfollows: Allmassivebodiesthatcircleastarareplanets. Theearthisamassivebodythatcirclesastar. Therefore,theearthisaplanet. Usuallyourthinkingisnotasformalasthisbuttakesonashorterform:Becausetheearthis massiveandcirclesthesun,itisaplanet.Tounderstandthelogicbehindourshortenedthought, weneedtounderstandthestructurethatsupportsit:thesyllogism.Asyllogismisathreestep formofreasoningwhichhastwopremisesandaconclusion.(Premisesarestatementsthatserve asthebasisorgroundofaconclusion.)Notallsyllogismsarealike.Wewilllookatthreetypes: thecategorical,thehypothetical,andthedisjunctive.

CategoricalSyllogisms
TheclassicexampleofacategoricalsyllogismcomesfromthephilosopherSocrates.Updatedfor gender,itgoesasfollows: MajorPremise Allhumanbeingsaremortal. MinorPremise Annisahumanbeing. Conclusion Therefore,Annismortal. Wecanseethatcategoricalsyllogismscategorize.Intheexampleabove,humanbeingsare putinthemortalcategory.Annisinthehumanbeingcategory.Andinthelaststatement Annisinthemortalcategory. Acategoricalsyllogismisaformofargumentthatcontainsstatements(calledcategorical propositions)thateitheraffirmordenythatasubjectisamemberofacertainclass(category)or hasacertainproperty.Forexample,Tobyisacatisacategoricalstatementbecauseitaffirms thatToby(thesubject)isamemberofaclassofanimalscalledcats.Tobyisbrownaffirms

thatTobyhasapropertyofbrownness.Similarly,TobyisnotbrownandTobyisnotacatare categoricalstatementsbecausetheydenythatTobyhasthepropertyofbrownnessandthatToby belongstoaclassofanimalscalledcats.Theselasttwopropositionsarenegativepropositions becausetheydenythatasubjectisamemberofaclass.Allvalidsyllogismsmusthaveatleast oneaffirmativepremise. Inthestandardformofacategoricalsyllogism,themajorpremisealwaysappearsfirst.It containsthemajorterm(inthiscasemortal),whichisthetermthatappearsasthepredicate intheconclusion: MajorPremise Allhumanbeingsaremortal. MinorPremise Annisahumanbeing. Conclusion Therefore,Annismortal. Whatisapredicate?Itissimplythepropertyorclassbeingassignedtoasubjectinapremise orconclusion.Inourexampleabove,thesubjectinthelastlineisAnn,andthepropertyofAnnis thatsheismortal.IfasyllogismconcludedwiththewordsRobertisintelligent,then intelligentwouldbethepredicatebecauseinthissentenceitisthepropertyofthesubject, Robert.Intelligentwouldalsobethemajortermandwouldappearinthefirst(ormajor) premise: MajorPremise Ourstudentsareintelligent. MinorPremise Robertisoneofourstudents. Conclusion Therefore,Robertisintelligent. Let'slookattheotherpartsofthesyllogismandseehowtheycombinetoformavalid argument.Oneoftheseotherpartsistheminorpremise.Theminorpremiseintroducestheminor term(inourexamples,AnnandRobert). MajorPremise Allhumanbeingsaremortal. MinorPremise Annisahumanbeing. Conclusion Therefore,Annismortal. MajorPremise Ourstudentsareintelligent. MinorPremise Robertisoneofourstudents. Conclusion Therefore,Robertisintelligent. Theminorpremisemakesaconnectionbetweentheminortermandthemajorterm.Itmakes thisconnectionthroughthemiddleterm,whichthendisappearsintheconclusion: MajorPremise Allhumanbeingsaremortal. MinorPremise Annisahumanbeing. Conclusion Therefore,Annismortal.

MajorPremise Ourstudentsareintelligent. MinorPremise Robertisoneofourstudents. Conclusion Therefore,Robertisintelligent. Theminortermthenbecomesthesubjectoftheconcludingpremise: MajorPremise Allhumanbeingsaremortal. MinorPremise Annisahumanbeing. Conclusion Therefore,Annismortal. MajorPremise Allofourstudentsareintelligent. MinorPremise Robertisoneofourstudents. Conclusion Therefore,Robertisintelligent. Thefollowingdiagramsummarizesthepartsofthesyllogismdiscussedinthissection.

ThreeKindsofPropositions
Youmayhavenoticedbynowthatsomeofthepremisesrefertoallmembersofaclass,asinAll humansaremortal.Thesekindsofpropositionsarecalleduniversalpropositions.Theymayalso taketheobverseform,NohumansareimmortalorsimplyHumansaremortal,whenthe statementimpliesallhumans.Allcategoricalsyllogismsmusthaveatleastoneuniversal premise.Thesyllogismsabovehaveonlyoneuniversalpremise,buttwouniversalsarealso allowed: Allstudentsarehumanbeings. Allpeoplewhoattendclassesarestudents. Therefore,allpeoplewhoattendclassesarehumanbeings. Itisimportanttonotethatinmodernlogic,universalpropositionsdonotimplythatthesubject actuallyexistsonlythatifthesubjectexists,itwillhavethecharacteristicsofthepredicate. Thus,Alldibberdilliesarereddoesnotimplythatdibberdilliesexist,butonlythatiftheydo,they willbered.Ofcourse,inoureverydayuseoflogic,weusuallyknowthatatleastonememberof thesubjectexists,asinAllstudentsarehumanbeings. Theothertwokindsofpropositionsareparticularandsingular.Particularpropositionsreferto somemembersofaclass,asinSomehumansarefemale.Inlogic,somemeansatleastone. Somehumansarefemalemeansthatatleastonehumanisfemale.Furthermore,someleaves openthepossibilitythatallmemberssharethepredicatedcharacteristic.Inotherwords,Some dinosaurswerecoldbloodedleavesopenthepossibilitythatalldinosaurswerecoldblooded.

Asingularpropositionhasasubjectthatisaspecificpersonorthing.ThestatementAnnis mortalisasingularproposition.

FourFigures
Inthediagramonpage159themiddletermappearsasthesubjectofthefirstpremiseandas thepredicateofthesecondpremise.Thisisoneoffourpossiblevariations,orfigures,ofthe categoricalsyllogism,calledfigure1.Intheothervariationstheplacementsofthemajor,minor, andmiddletermsaredifferent.Therefore,wecannot,forexample,identifythemajortermsimply asthepredicateofthefirstpremiseandtheminortermasthesubjectofthesecondpremisethis isnotalwaysthecase,althoughthemajortermappearsinthefirstpremiseasageneralrulein writingsyllogisms.Examplesofthefourfiguresofthesyllogismarepresentedbelow.Sstandsfor thesubjectoftheconclusion(whichistheminorterm),Pstandsforthepredicateofthe conclusion(whichisthemajorterm),andMstandsforthemiddleterm(whichneverappearsin theconclusion). Figure1: M(mid) P(maj) S(mnr) S(mnr) AllNBAplayersarepeoplemakingagoodsalary.

M(mid) JonesisanNBAplayer. P(maj) Therefore,Jonesisapersonmakingagoodsalary.

Figure2: P(maj) S(mnr) S(mnr)

M(mid) AllChristiansarebelieversinGod. M(mid) NoatheistsarebelieversinGod. P(maj) Therefore,noatheistsareChristians. Someteachersarewise. Allteachersareeducatedpeople. Therefore,someeducatedpeoplearewise.

Figure3: M(mid) P(maj) M(mid) S(mnr) S(mnr) P(maj)

Figure4: P(maj)

M(mid) Alldinosaursareextinctcreatures. Noextinctcreaturesarelivingcreatures. Therefore,nolivingcreaturesaredinosaurs.

M(mid) S(mnr) S(mnr) P(maj)

9.1.ThinkingActivity DrawingtheConclusion Inthefollowingsyllogismsonlythepremisesareprovided.Testyournaturaldeductive thinkingabilitybyattemptingtodrawtheconclusionforeachsyllogism.Youmaynot agreewiththepremisesorwiththeconclusions,butgiventhesepremises,what conclusionsfollow?Forsomeofthesesyllogismsthereisnoconclusionthatcanbe derivedfromthepremises.Later,youwilllearnwaystoanalyzeasyllogismtomakea tasklikethisoneeasier.Fornow,consideritafunactivity. 1. Alltheoriesthatarenotgoodaretheoriesthatwillbeabandoned. Someethicaltheoriesaretheoriesthatarenotgood. Therefore, __________________________________________________. 2. Nononhumananimalsaremoralcreatures. Allfurrycreaturesarenonhumananimals. Therefore, __________________________________________________. 3. Somesportsenthusiastsarepeoplewholovefootball. Allsportsenthusiastsareconsciouscreatures. Therefore, __________________________________________________. 4. Alldilliesarebobbers. Nothingamajigsarebobbers. Therefore, __________________________________________________. 5. Nohumanbeingisapersonwhoisperfect. Allhighlycreativebeingsarehumanbeings. Therefore,

__________________________________________________. 6. Allgalaxieshavestars. Somestarshaveplanets. Therefore, __________________________________________________. 7. Allnature'screaturesarecreaturesthathavearighttolive. Allfetusesarenature'screatures. Therefore, __________________________________________________. 8. Nocreatureswithoutabrainarecreaturesthatcanexperiencepain. Onlycreaturesthatexperiencepainarecreaturesthathavearighttolife. Therefore, __________________________________________________. 9. Somebooksarethingsthatarefullofinformation. Somethingsthatarefullofinformationareworthreading. Therefore, __________________________________________________. 10. Allmeanpeoplearecreaturesthatarenotpleasant. Onlycreaturesthatarenotpleasantarecreaturesthatwillbedisliked. Therefore, __________________________________________________.

9.2.ThinkingActivity FindingTermsandFigures Identifythemajor,minor,andmiddletermsforeachsyllogismbelow.Thengobackand identifythefigureforeachsyllogism. 1. Nocutecreaturesarecreaturesthathavescaryfaces. Somerodentsarecutecreatures. Therefore,somerodentsarenotcreaturesthathavescaryfaces. Majorterm:________________________ Minorterm:________________________ Middleterm:________________________ Figureno.:____________ 2. SomeAmericansarepatrioticcitizens. AllAmericansarepeoplewholoveapplepie. Therefore,somepeoplewholoveapplepiearepatrioticcitizens. Majorterm:________________________ Minorterm:________________________ Middleterm:________________________ Figureno.:____________ 3. Nocloudydaysarecherisheddays. Allrainydaysarecloudydays. Therefore,norainydaysarecherisheddays. Majorterm:________________________ Minorterm:________________________ Middleterm:________________________ Figureno.:____________ 4. Allpeoplearemortal. Noangelsaremortal. Therefore,noangelsarepeople. Majorterm:________________________

Minorterm:________________________ Middleterm:________________________ Figureno.:____________ 5. Allhumanbeingsareselfconsciouscreatures. Noselfconsciouscreaturesarecreaturesthatwanttodie. Therefore,nocreaturesthatwanttodiearehumanbeings. Majorterm:________________________ Minorterm:________________________ Middleterm:________________________ Figureno.:____________

ValidityofCategoricalSyllogisms
Allofthesyllogismsabovearevalid(exceptforsomeofthoseinActivity9.1).Byvalidwemean thattheargument,whichisthereasoningfrompremisestoaconclusion,isaccurate.Arguments canbevalidorinvalid,butnottrueorfalse(onlypremisesandconclusionsaretrueorfalse).An argumentcanbevalidevenifitcontainsfalsepremisesandafalseconclusion.Conversely,itis possibletohaveaninvalidargumentwithtruepremisesandatrueconclusion.Let'sexamine thesepossibilitiesinthefollowingsyllogisms: Allmenareintelligent. Andyisaman. Therefore,Andyisintelligent. Intheabovesyllogismthemajorpremiseisfalsebecausenotallmenareintelligent. Nonetheless,thesyllogismisvalidbecausethereasoningiscorrect:ifthepremisesweretrue, thentheconclusionwouldhavetobetrue.Inthisway,byhavingafalsepremise,avalid syllogismcanyieldafalseconclusion. Itisimportanttonotethattheconclusionofavalidsyllogismwithfalsepremisescouldstillbe true,butcoincidentally,andnotbecauseofthepremises: Allredheadsareaggressive. Maryisaredhead. Therefore,Maryisaggressive. Theabovesyllogismisvalid,butthefirstpremiseisobviouslyfalse.AndifMaryhappenstobe aggressive,buthasblondehairinsteadofredhair,thenthesecondpremiseisalsofalse,andyet theconclusionwouldcoincidentallybetrue. Let'snowlookatasyllogismthatisinvalidbuthastruepremisesandevenatrueconclusion: Someanimalsarebrown. Alldogsareanimals. Therefore,somedogsarebrown. Inthissyllogismeachpremiseistrueandtheconclusionistrue,yetthesyllogismisinvalid(just becausesomeanimalsarebrowndoesnotmeanthatthedogsarethesomeanimalsthatare brown)theargumentisnotconstructedsothattheconclusioncanbederivedfromthepremises. Thegoalofagoodthinkeristodevelopsyllogismsthathavebothtruepremisesandvalidity. Whenwehaveavalidsyllogismwithtruepremiseswehavewhatiscalledasoundargument.In soundargumentstheconclusionmustbetrueandthereinliesthebeautyandusefulnessofthe syllogism. 9.3.ThinkingActivity IdentifyingValidCategoricalSyllogisms Therearemanyvalidformsofcategoricalsyllogisms.Theyareoftenexpressedusing thelettersX,Y,andZ.Theselettersaresubstitutionsforsyllogisticexpressionsabout subjects,properties,andclasses.Forexample,NoXareYwouldbetheexpressionfor NorichladiesaredriversofFordPintos.Carefullyexaminethefourformsof categoricalsyllogismsbelow.Whichonesdoyouthinkarevalid?(Youwillbegivena methodtocheckyouranswersinThinkingActivity9.4). 1. SomeXarenotZ. AllXareY. Therefore,someYarenotZ. valid/invalid(circleone)

2. SomeXareZ. AllXareY. Therefore,someYareZ.

valid/invalid(circleone)

3. NoXareY. AllZareX. Therefore,noZareY.

valid/invalid(circleone)

4. SomeZareX. NoXareY. Therefore,someYarenotZ.

valid/invalid(circleone)

9.4.ThinkingActivity UsingVennDiagrams Onewaytotestthevalidityofasyllogismistodiagramthetwopremises.Ifthe syllogismisvalid,thentheconclusionisfoundinthediagramofthepremises.Ifthe conclusionisnotevidentinthediagram,thesyllogism'sconclusioncannotbesupported bythepremisesandthesyllogismisdeemedinvalid.Agoodwaytodiagramasyllogism istousethesystemdevelopedbyJohnVenn.AVenndiagramusesthreeintersecting circles,oneforthesubject(S)oftheconclusion(theminorterm),oneforthepredicate (P)oftheconclusion(themajorterm),andoneforthemiddleterm(M),whichdoesnot appearintheconclusion.Topracticethistechnique,wewillusethefollowingsimple syllogism: Nocats(M)aredogs(P). Someanimals(S)arecats(M). Therefore,someanimals(S)arenotdogs(P). BeginbydrawingthethreecirclesasindiagramA1below(thesquareboxisnot necessary):

Shadinganareaofacirclemeansthattherearenoentitiesinthatshadedareaor classification.Therefore,wewouldillustratethefirstpremise,Nocatsaredogs,by shadingoutthespacesharedbythecatanddogcircles,asindiagramA2.This indicatesthattherearenocatsthatarealsodogs.

PlacinganXinanareameansthatthereisatleastoneentityinthatclasstheXis usedtorepresentparticularstatements.TheXcannotbeplacedinashadedarea becauseitwouldleadtoacontradiction.Thus,wewoulddiagramthesecondpremise, Someanimalsarecats,asindiagramA3.

Nowwelooktoseeiftheconclusion,Someanimalsarenotdogs,isrepresentedinour diagram.InthiscasewefindanXintheanimalcircleandoutsidethedogcircle, indicatingthattherearesomeanimals(whicharecats)thatarenotdogs.Becausethe conclusionisrepresentedinourdiagramofthefirsttwopremises,oursyllogismisvalid. Sometimeswhenwediagramparticularstatements,theXcouldgoineitheroftwo areas.InthatcaseweputtheXonthelinedividingthetwoareas,whichmeansthatin atleastoneofthoseareasthereisanentity,butwedon'tyetknowinwhichone. Diagrammingthefollowingsyllogismillustratesthisprocess. Somefortunatepeoplearewealthypeople. Allfortunatepeopleareearthlings. Therefore,someearthlingsarewealthypeople. Thefirstpremise,Somefortunatepeoplearewealthypeople,isdiagrammedby puttinganXinthespacesharedbythetwocirclesrepresentingfortunatepeopleand wealthypeople.Butsincethatspaceisdividedintotwosections,andsincewedonot yethaveenoughinformationtotellusinwhichsection(s)theXshouldgo,weplaceiton theline,asindicatedindiagramA4,indicatingthatthereisanentityinatleastoneof theadjacentareas.

Thesecondpremise,Allfortunatepeopleareearthlings,leadsustoshadeoutoneof thoseareas.WearethenforcedtoputtheXintheonlyalternativespaceleft,asshown indiagramA5.

Checkingtheconclusion,Someearthlingsarewealthypeople,wefinditexpressedin ourdiagram.Thusthesyllogismisvalid.Butremember,aVenndiagramonlyillustrates thevalidityofasyllogismitdoesnottestthetruthfulnessofitspremises. Let'slookatonemoreexample,thistimeusinganinvalidsyllogism: Allcollegestudentsarebrilliantpeople. Someelderlypeoplearecollegestudents. Therefore,allelderlypeoplearebrilliantpeople. InVenndiagramA6wediagramthefirstpremise,Allcollegestudentsarebrilliant people,byshadingoutportionsofthecollegestudentcirclesothatallcollegestudents mustfallinthebrilliantcategory.(Remember,anareathathasbeenshadedhasno entities.)Thesecondpremise,Someelderlypeoplearecollegestudents,isindicated byplacinganXintheonlyareathatallowsforelderlypeopletoalsobecollegestudents. Wecannowseethatoursyllogismisnotvalid.Theconclusionofthesyllogism,All elderlypeoplearebrilliantpeople,isnotapparentinthediagram.Ifitwere,thelargest areaoftheelderlypeoplecircle,theareathatallowsforelderlypeopletobeoutsidethe brilliantpeoplecircle,wouldbeshaded.Sinceitisnot,itleavesopenthepossibilitythat someelderlypeopleexistoutsidethebrilliantpeoplecircle.

Nowdiagramsyllogisms14inThinkingActivity9.3tocheckyourassessmentofwhich arevalidandwhicharenot.

EnthymemesandSyllogismsinEverydayLife
Weusecategoricalsyllogismsallthetime,butoftentheyareinashortenedformcalledan enthymeme.Anenthymemeisasyllogismwithanimpliedpremiseorconclusion,onethatisnot explicitlystated.Considerthefollowing:I'maminority,soI'llnevergetthisjob.Wehaveone premise(I'maminority)andoneconclusion(I'llnevergetthisjob).ThemissingpremiseisNo minoritywillgetthisjob.Theimpliedsyllogismlookslikethis: Nominoritywillbeapersonwhowillgetthisjob. Iamaminority. Therefore,Iamnotapersonwhowillgetthisjob. Let'slookatsomemoreexamplesofthecompletesyllogismthatisimpliedintheshorter enthymeme: He'sthepresident,sohedeservesrespect! Allpresidentsarepeoplewhodeserverespect. Heisapresident. Therefore,heisapersonwhodeservesrespect.

Wetrustyouyou'reateacher. Allteachersarepeoplewhocanbetrusted. Youareateacher. Therefore,youareapersonwhocanbetrusted. He'sadentist.I'llbethe'sgotalotofmoney! Alldentistsarepeoplewhohavealotofmoney. Heisadentist. Therefore,heisapersonwhohasalotofmoney. Whenenthymemesandtheirmissingpremisearelaidoutinaformalsyllogism,wecanmore clearlyseeanythinkingerrorsthatmaybeoccurring.Forexample,inthesyllogismsabove,we canseethattheuniversalpremises(thepremisescontainingorsuggestingthewordall)arenot true. Usingenthymemesiscommon.Andiftheyarestatedintheorderofpremiseandthen conclusion,theimpliedsyllogismisnotdifficulttosee.Butincolloquialspeechourpremisesare oftenhidden,andwesometimesstateconclusionsfirst,andthenwestateourpremiseor premises.Thiscanmaketheunderlyingsyllogismmoredifficulttofind.Let'sconsidersome examplesofsyllogismshiddenincommonlanguage: Andrew: ThatnewmanageratWalMartishardtoworkfor.MaybeIoughttothinkabout quittingmyjobthereandmovingon. Ithoughtyousaidyesterdaythatyoulookedforwardtoworkingwithsomeone new.Besides,Ididn'tthinkyouhadmetthenewmanageryet. Ididn't.Butsomeonesaidit'sawomanwhohasbeenhiredfortheposition,and youknowhowwomenare.

Mark:

Andrew:

Thisargumenttakesthefollowingsyllogisticform: Allfemalemanagersarepeoplewhoarehardtoworkwith. (AllX'sareY's.) Thenewmanagerisafemale. (ZisanX.) Therefore,thenewmanagerisapersonwhoishardtoworkwith. (Therefore,ZisY.) Weshouldnotethatalthoughtheabovesyllogismisvalidbecausetheconclusionisderived fromthepremises,theconclusioncannotbeconsideredtobeconclusivelytruebecauseatleast oneofthepremisesisnottrue.Inthisexample,themajorpremisethatstatesthatallfemale managersarehardtoworkwithisbasedonanerroneousstereotype. Sometimesourdeductivethinkinginvolvesmorethantwopremisesandoneconclusion.In thesecaseswearegenerallyformingadditionalsyllogisms,withtheconclusionofonesyllogism servingasapremiseforthenextone.Considerthefollowingargument: Isaac: I'dbeworriedaboutlivingnexttothosenewneighborsofyours.

Robert:

Whyisthat?

Isaac:

They'rethekindthatmakenoise,roughstuff,youknow?Imean,youcouldeven getshot! Isaac,whatareyoutalkingabout?

Robert:

Isaac:

Didn'tyouseethem?Theircar!Theirclothes!Thecarhasgottobetwentyyears old.Andtheirclotheslookliketheycamefromtheseventies.Areyoublind? They'reobviouslyonwelfare.Yea,I'dmoveifIwereyou.Can'ttrustthatbunch!

Thefirstsyllogismintheaboveargumentgoesasfollows: Allpeoplewhodriveoldcarsandwearoldclothesarepeoplewhoareonwelfare(premise 1). Robert'sneighborsdriveanoldcarandwearoldclothes(premise2). Therefore,Robert'sneighborsarepeoplewhoareonwelfare. Wehavemadeonecategoricalsyllogismoutoftheaboveargument.Buttheargument continuestoassertthatthesepeoplearedangerous.Thewaytheargumentproceedsinthiscase isbymakingtheconclusionofthefirstsyllogismtheminorpremiseofthenextsyllogism: Allpeoplewhoareonwelfarearepeoplewhomakenoise,engageinroughbehavior,and shootpeople(premise3). Robert'sneighborsarepeoplewhoareonwelfare(premise4andconclusionabove). Therefore,Robert'sneighborsarepeoplewhowillmakenoise,engageinroughbehavior,and shootpeople. Theaboveargumenthasfourpremisesandformstwosyllogismswithtwopremisesandone conclusioneach.Forthefinalconclusiontobeconclusivelytrue,allthesyllogismsmakingupthe complexargumentmustbevalidandallpremisesmustbetrue.Inthisexamplepremise1is false,whichforbidstheconclusionofthefirstsyllogismfrombeingconclusivelytrue.Becausethis conclusionhasquestionabletruthvalueandisalsothefourthpremise,thefourthpremisecould easilybefalse.Ofcourse,thethirdpremiseiscertainlyfalse,expressingnothingmorethanan inaccuratestereotype.Onlyonepremisewouldhavetobefalseforthefinalconclusionofthis argumenttobefalse.Inthiscasethesyllogismsarevalid,butthereareactuallytwoorthree falsepremises. Let'slookatonemoreexampleofhidden,multiplesyllogismsincommonparlance: JobInterviewer 1: Tony'sournextcandidate.

JobInterviewer 2:

Youcaninterviewthisguy.It'sawasteofmytime.

Whydoyousaythat?DoyouknowsomethingIdon't?Hisresume JobInterviewer looksokay. 1: JobInterviewer 2: Lookathisschoolrecord.

JobInterviewer 1:

Camefromagoodschool.StraightA's.

JobInterviewer 2:

Yea,straightA'saregulargeek.

JobInterviewer 1:

What'sthatgottodowithanything?

JobInterviewer 2:

Geeksdon'tworkouthere.We'vetried'embefore.

ThefirstsyllogismintheaboveconversationattemptstoarguethatTonyisageek.Itdoesso throughanenthymeme.ThemissingpremiseisEveryonewhogotstraightA'sisageek.The firstsyllogismtakesthisform: EveryonewhogotstraightA'sisageek. TonyisapersonwhogotstraightA's. Therefore,Tonyisageek. Thelastsentenceintheconversationisnotaconclusion,butapremiseinthesecondsyllogism: Geeksdon'tworkouthere,meaningGeeksdon'tworkoutinthiscompany.Whenweaddthe conclusionofthefirstpremise,TonyisaGeek,wegetthesecondsyllogismwiththefinal

conclusion. Geeksarepeoplewhodon'tworkoutinthiscompany. Tonyisageek. Therefore,Tonyisapersonwhowon'tworkoutinthiscompany. Again,eventhoughthetwosyllogismsarevalid,thefinalconclusionmaybefalseifwecanfind anerroneouspremiseineithersyllogism.Ifgeekmeansastrangeandeccentricperson,then thefirstpremiseinthefirstsyllogismcancertainlybechallenged. 9.5.ThinkingActivity FindingMultipleSyllogismsandFalsePremises Inthefollowingdiscussiontherearethreecategoricalsyllogismsleadingtothe conclusionthatEllendeserveswhatshegets.Canyoufindthem?Arethereanyfalse premisesinthesesyllogisms? Sandy: Say,IheardthatyourneighborEllenlostallhermoneytosomecon artist.Isthattrue? Yes,poorgirl.Fiftyyearsofsavingsdownthetubelikethat!

Carolyn:

Sandy:

Didtheycatchtheperson?

Carolyn:

No,Iguesstheyhaven'tgotaclue.She'llneverseehermoneyagain.

Sandy:

Ohwell,Iwouldn'tfeeltoosorryforher.She'ssonaive,youknowshe deservesit! Idon'tknowwhyyousaythat.Justbecausesomeonegetstakeninby aconartistdoesn'tmeanthattheyarenecessarilynaive. Iagree,butshedoesbelongtothatcultlocatedoutsideoftown, doesn'tshe? Yes.

Carolyn:

Sandy:

Carolyn:

Sandy:

WelllikeIsaid,naive!Andifyouaskme,naivepeopledeservewhat theyget. Howdoyoufigurethat?

Carolyn:

Sandy:

Look,Carolyn,thewayIfigureit,peoplebecomenaivebytheirown choices.Theychoosenottoworkhardinschool,nottoreadthe papers,nottocatchthenews.Thesearechoicestheymakeand,quite simply,peopleshouldbeheldresponsiblefortheirchoices.They deservewhattheygetthat'sall. Mmmm.Isee.ButIstillfeelsorryforEllen.

Carolyn:

Sandy:

Haveityourway,butIstillthinkshedeserveswhatshegets!

ReasoningErrorsInCategoricalSyllogisms
Nowthatwehaveseenthebasiclogicofsyllogismsthatunderliesourcommonarguments,let's lookatsomeerrorsinthinkingthatviolatethislogicandrendertheconclusionsworthless.

UndistributedMiddle
Inacategoricalsyllogismthemiddleterm(theonenotmentionedintheconclusion)mustbe distributedatleastonce: AllBareC. AllAareB. Therefore,allAareC.

Todistributeatermmeanstocommentonallofthemembersoftheterm.Inthefirstpremise above,AllBareC,thetermBisdistributed.Ifwesay,SomeBareC,thetermBisnot distributedbecausewearenottalkingaboutallthemembersofB,onlysomeofthem.Ifthe middletermofasyllogismisnotdistributed,theargumentcommitsthefallacyofthe undistributedmiddle: AllCareB. AllAareB. Therefore,allAareC. Ataquickglancethissyllogismmightseemtomakelogicalsense.Butifweaddrealterms,the fallacybecomesapparent: Allpublicbuildingsareairconditionedbuildings. Allretailbuildingsareairconditionedbuildings. Therefore,allretailbuildingsarepublicbuildings. HerethemiddletermB,orairconditionedbuildings,isundistributed.Ifthefirstpremiseread, Allairconditionedbuildingsarepublicbuildings,thenthetermairconditionedbuildingswould bedistributedandtheargumentwouldbevalid.Weshouldnotethatintheabovesyllogismthe termairconditionedbuildingsisthepredicate,notthesubject,ofbothpremises.Inpositive universalstatements,whichbothofthesepremisesare,thepredicateisconsideredundistributed. Whenwesay,Allretailbuildingsareairconditionedbuildings,wearesayingnothingaboutall airconditionedbuildingsthusairconditionedbuildingsisundistributed.Similarly,sayingAll sheepareanimalssaysnothingaboutallanimals. Inanegativeuniversalstatement,suchasNopublicbuildingsareairconditionedbuildings(no XareY),bothpredicateandsubjectaredistributed.Essentiallywearemakingastatementabout allpublicbuildings,thatnoneofthemisairconditioned,andaboutallairconditionedbuildings, thatnoneofthemisapublicbuilding.Similarly,thestatementallXarenotYdistributesboth predicateandsubjectbecausethisstatementcanalsobeexpressedasnoXareY. Itisobviousthatsubjectsofparticularstatements,suchasSomeAareB,arenotdistributed, butwhatabouttheirpredicates?Inpositiveparticularpropositionsthepredicateisnotdistributed. Thus,Somebirdsareflyingcreaturesdoesnotdistributeflyingcreaturesbecauseitdoesnot sayanythingaboutallflyingcreatures.Wecangatherfromthisstatementonlythatsomeflying creaturesarebirds,thoughthisstatementallowsforthepossibilitythatallofthemare.With negativeparticularpropositions,however,thepredicateisdistributedbecausethesepropositions refertotheentirepredicateclass.Forexample,Somebirdsarenotflyingcreaturesmeansthat theentireclassofflyingcreaturesisexcludedfromsomebirds. Asingularproposition,suchasSocratesisaman,distributesitssubjectbecausethesubjectis theentiretyofitsclassthereisnosuchthingassomeSocrates.Butifthepropositionwas negativeandread,Socratesisnotaman,thepredicate,man,wouldalsobedistributed.This becomesclearwhenwerestatethepropositionasNomanisSocrates. Herearetwomoreexamplesoftheundistributedmiddle: Somewomenarelawyers. Allpeopleseekingabortionarewomen. Thereforesomepeopleseekingabortionarelawyers. Somepeopleunderalotofstressarenotintelligentpeople. Allmarriedpeoplearepeopleunderalotofstress. Therefore,somemarriedpeoplearenotintelligentpeople. ThinkAboutIt: Isanytermdistributedintheproposition,Onlyhumanbeingsarecreativethinkers?If youhavedifficultywiththisquestion,readValidConversions(p.189)forahint.

IllicitProcess
Illicitprocessoccurswhenatermisdistributedintheconclusionbutnotinapremise.Thefallacy ofillicitprocesshastwovariants:illicitmajorandillicitminor.Theerrorofillicitmajoroccurs whenthemajortermisdistributedintheconclusionbutnotinthepremise: IllicitMajor AllXareY.(NoticethatYisnotdistributed.) NoZareX. Therefore,noZareY.(NoticethatYisdistributed.) Theabovesyllogismmayappearlogical,butactuallynoconclusioncanbemadefromthetwo premisesZmayormaynotbeY.Ifwesubstitutecommonexpressionsfortheterms,wecansee

themistake: Alldogsarefourleggedcreatures. Nocatsaredogs. Therefore,nocatsarefourleggedcreatures.

Area1ofthediagramshowsthatthereisapossibilitythatsomecatsarefour leggedcreatures.Thispossibilitycontradictstheconclusionoftheabove syllogism.

Unfortunately,manypeoplesuccumbtothislogicalerror.Fourexamplesaregivenbelow: AllChristiansarepeoplewhobelieveinGod. NoMoslemsareChristians. Therefore,noMoslemsarepeoplewhobelieveinGod. (Infact,theydo.Problem:PeoplewhobelieveinGodisdistributedintheconclusion, butnotinthepremise.) AllCatholicsarebaptizedpeople. NoLutheransareCatholics. Therefore,noLutheransarebaptizedpeople. (Infact,theyare.Problem:Baptizedpeopleisdistributedintheconclusionbutnotin thepremise.) Allfulltimeuniversityprofessorsarecollegegraduates. Nofulltimecarpentersarefulltimeuniversityprofessors. Therefore,nofulltimecarpenterisacollegegraduate. (Infact,manyare.Problem:Collegegraduateisdistributedintheconclusionbutnot inthepremise.) Alldivorcedwomenarepreviouslymarriedpeople. Sallyisnotadivorcedwoman. Therefore,Sallyisnotapreviouslymarriedperson. (Sallycouldbeawidow.Problem:Previouslymarriedpeopleisdistributedinthe conclusion,butnotinthepremise.) Theotherformofillicitprocess,illicitminor,occurswhenthesubjectoftheconclusion(the minorterm)isdistributedintheconclusionbutnotintheminorpremise: IllicitMinor AllXareY. SomeZareX.(NoticethatZisnotdistributed.) Therefore,allZareY.(NoticethatZisdistributed.) Allalcoholicsareunhealthypeople. Somewomenarealcoholics. Therefore,allwomenareunhealthypeople. Ofcourse,theconclusionshouldread,Therefore,somewomenareunhealthypeople.The mistakeisthatthetermwomenisdistributedintheconclusionbutnotinoneofthepremises. Theargumentwouldbevalidifthesecondpremiseaboveread,Allwomenarealcoholics.Inthat casethetermwomenwouldhavebeendistributedinoneofthepremisesaswellasinthe conclusion.

Inthisexampleitiseasytoseethelogicalerrorinfact,inmostcasesthelogicalerrorisquite obviouswhentheargumentisstatedintheformalsyllogisticform.Butincasualconversation, theselogicalerrorsoftengounchallenged.Considerthefollowingconversation: Betsy: Say,Sally,Ijusthadtocallyou.Ijustreadthisarticleaboutpeoplewhobeattheir spouse.It'sawful!There'sthisoneladywhousedtobeamodeluntilherhusband disfiguredher.Nowshe'sonwelfareandcan'tgetajob.Shesaysshe'sso depressedshejustwantstodie.Sally,howcouldsomeonedothat? Iknowwhatyoumean,Betsy.They'rejustscum.Nothingbutscumanyonewho woulddothattotheirspouse,toanyoneforthatmatter.Purescum,Isay. ThathappenedtoSharon,youknow.Herhusbanddidheringoodrealgood.I mean,shecouldn'tworkforaweek.Saidshehadacold.Yea,right.Everyonesaw thebruiseswhenshefinallycameback.Ididn'tsayanythingthough.Notlike some. Menarescum,Betsy.Pureandsimple.

Sally:

Betsy:

Sally:

Betsy:

Yougotthatright.

AlthoughSallyandBetsymightfeelangrytowardthosetwohusbands,theyhavegeneralized fromtwocasestoallcases.Whilewemightnotknowanymenwhoarewhiteknights,we probablyknowafewgrayones,andcertainlymanymenwhoarenotscum. Theargumentabovetakesthefollowingform: Allpeoplewhobeattheirspousearescum. Somemenarepeoplewhobeattheirspouse. Therefore,allmenarescum. 9.6.ThinkingActivity FindingUndistributedTerms Circletheundistributedtermsbelowthatshouldbedistributed.Then,totheleftofeach syllogism,identifywhetheritisanexampleofundistributedmiddle(UM),illicitminor (IMI),orillicitmajor(IMA). ________1.Somemenarepeoplewhoaremoreintelligentthanmostwomen. Andrewisaman. Therefore,Andrewisapersonwhoismoreintelligentthanmostwomen. ________2.Somethingamajigsarewatchamacallits. Alldillybobbersarethingamajigs. Therefore,somedillybobbersarewatchamacallits. ________3.Allmuscularmenarenarcissists. Nowimpisamuscularman. Therefore,nowimpisanarcissist. ________4.Somebrilliantpeoplearenotwisepeople. SomeDemocratsarebrilliantpeople. Therefore,someDemocratsarenotwisepeople. ________5.AllpeoplewhobelieveinGodwillbesavedpeople. MarthadoesnotbelieveinGod. Therefore,Marthawillnotbeasavedperson. ________6.Allsavedpeoplearepeoplewhowillexperienceeternaljoy. OnlypeoplewhobelieveinGodwillbesavedpeople. Therefore,allpeoplewhobelieveinGodarepeoplewhowillexperience eternaljoy.

________7.SomeU.S.citizensarecitizenswhohavethecapacitytobe president. AllstudentsinthisclassareU.S.citizens. Therefore,somestudentsinthisclassarecitizenswhohavethecapacityto bepresident.

TheFourTermsFallacy
Avalidsyllogismhasonlythreeterms.Themajorandminortermsconnectthroughthemiddle term.Becausethemiddletermhaslinkedbothmajorandminorterms,theconclusioncan connectthemajorandminortermstogether.Iffourtermsareintroduced,theconclusionis invalid.Anexampleofaninvalidfourtermssyllogismisasfollows: Allalcoholicsareill. Billissomeonewhodrinksalcohol. Therefore,Billisill. Thereareactuallyfourtermsintheaboveargument.Themajortermisill,theminortermis Bill,andthentherearetwomiddletermsalcoholicsandsomeonewhodrinksalcohol. Becauseonecandrinkalcoholwithoutbeinganalcoholic,thesetwotermsareseparate.Thuswe havefourtermsandaninvalidargument.Let'slookatonemoreexample: Allacademicsareintellectuals. Susanissomeonewhoworksinauniversity. Therefore,Susanisanintellectual Thefourtermsintheaboveargumentareacademics,Susan,intellectual,andsomeone whoworksinauniversity.Someonepresentingtheaboveargumentwouldbeequating academicwithanyonewhoworksinauniversity.Butthisisafalseidentitybecausemany peoplewhoworkinuniversities,suchascooks,custodians,andsecurityguards,arenot academics.Thustherearefourterms,notthree,andthesyllogismisinvalid.

Equivocation
Sometimesthefourtermsfallacyoccurswhenwegivetwomeaningstothesameword,failto recognizethedistinction,andtreatthewordasoneterm.Whenthisoccurs,thefallacyof equivocationhasbeencommitted(aswellasthefourtermsfallacy).Insuchanargument,the conclusioncannotbederivedfromthepremises: Thatwhichisgoodisthatwhichweshouldembrace. Highfatfoodsaregood. Therefore,highfatfoodsarethatwhichweshouldembrace. Inthisexamplethetermgoodhastwomeaningsitisequivocal.Itisfirstusedtodenotea moralquality,andsecondtodenoteasenseofpleasure.Thus,thereareactuallyfourtermsinthe syllogism,renderingitinvalid. Noticetheequivocaltermloveinthefollowingdiscussion: Sally: Marksaysthathelovesworkmorethananythingelse.

John:

MyGod,doeshiswifeknowthat?

Sally:

She'stheonewhotoldme.

John:

ItmustbeawfultoknowthatMarkdoesn'tloveherasmuchashiswork.Whatdid shesay? Shedoesn'tseembotheredbyitatall.Prettydense,I'dsay.

Sally:

John:

Definitely.

Mark'swifemaynotbedense.Sheprobablyunderstandsthatlovehasdifferentmeaningsand thatthetermloveusedbyMarktodescribehisfeelingsabouthisjobisdifferentfromwhenhe usesittodescribehisfeelingsaboutanotherperson.SallyandJohnmakethemistakeof perceivinglovetohaveonemeaning.

Indisjunctivesyllogisticform(tobediscussedlater)Sally'sandJohn'sargumentcouldbe describedasfollows: EitherMarklovesworkmorethananythingelseorheloveshiswifemorethananything else. Marklovesworkmorethananythingelse. Therefore,hedoesn'tlovehiswifemorethananythingelse. Thismakesnomoresensethanstating: Marklovesapplepiemorethananythingelseorheloveshiswifemorethananythingelse. Marksaidhelovesapplepiemorethananythingelse. Therefore,hedoesn'tlovehiswifemorethananythingelse. Whenthetermlovehastwomeanings,itmakesthisdisjunctiveeither/orstatementfalse,for itimpliesthatonecanhaveonlyoneortheotheralternativeandnotboth,yetbothareofcourse possible.Onecanloveapplepiemorethananythingelseandalsoloveone'sspousemorethan anythingelse.Thestatementsseemexclusive,butwhattheymeanisthatonecanlovepiemore thananyotherfoodandloveone'sspousemorethananyotherperson. TheImportanceofAgreedMeaning Whenthetermsofasyllogismarenotclearlydefinedorwhenpeopledisagreeaboutthe meaningoftheterms,theconclusionofthesyllogismmayberejectedorrendered ineffective.InTolstoy'sTheDeathofIvanIlych,forexample,Ivandeniesthatthe conclusionofasyllogism,thatmenaremortal,appliestohim.Motivatedbyhisfearof death,heattemptstodothisbyquestioningthemeaningofmanasusedinthefirst premise: IvanIlychsawthathewasdying,andhewasincontinuousdespair. Inthedepthofhisheartheknewhewasdying,butnotonlywashenotaccustomed tothethought,hesimplydidnotandcouldnotgraspit. ThesyllogismhehadlearnedfromKiezewetter'sLogic:Caiusisaman,menare mortal,thereforeCaiusismortal,hadalwaysseemedtohimcorrectasappliedto Caius,butcertainlynotasappliedtohimself.ThatCaiusmanintheabstractwas mortal,wasperfectlycorrect,buthewasnotCaius,notanabstractman,buta creaturequite,quiteseparatefromallothers. Clearlyanargument,evenassolidasavalidsyllogismwithtruepremises,isworthless ifpeopledonotagreeonthemeaningoftheterms.Consideranotherexample: In1912thethenHomeSecretary,accusedintheHouseofCommonsofusingun parliamentarylanguagebycallingsomeoneimpertinent,openedavolumeofthe OED[OxfordEnglishDictionary]anddisplayedittoMPstoshowthatinearlydays impertinentmeantnotwhatthemembersignorantlyimagined,butnotpertainingto thesubjectormatterinhand,irrelevant.AndIusetheword,theministersaid, smugly,initsoldersense(Winchester,2003,p.218). Becausetermscanbeusedtosignifydifferentmeanings,itisimportantthattheybe properlydefinedtoavoidconfusion.Iftwopeoplebelievethatallmenarecreatedequal, theymaystillbebelievingintwodifferentthings.Whatdoesitmeantosaythatallmen areequal?Similarly,iftwopeoplebelieveinGod,theycouldbebelievingintwodifferent ideas.Therefore,itisalmostimperativewhensomeoneasksthequestionDoyou believeinGod?torespondwithWhatdoyoumeanbyGod?foruntilyouknowthe meaningthatapersongivestotheterm,youcannotrespondproperlytothequestion.

ExistentialFallacy
Theexistentialfallacyiscommittedwhenaparticularconclusionisdrawnfromtwouniversal premises.Inmodernlogicthesubjectofauniversalpremiseisnotassumedtoexist.For example,allvagrantsarepeoplewhowillbedismissedfromthepremisesmeansthatif vagrantsexist,theywillbepeoplewhowillbedismissed.Becauseaparticularconclusionassumes thereisatleastonememberofthesubjectoftheconclusionthatexists,suchaconclusioncannot bederivedfromtwouniversalpremises.Consider: Allunicornsareanimals. Allanimalsarelivingthings. Therefore,somelivingthingsareunicorns. Thefirstpremisedoesnotimplythatunicornsexist,sowecannotconcludethatatleastone livingthingisaunicorn,whichisthemeaningoftheparticularconclusioninthissyllogism.

Ofcourse,commonsensemustrule.Ifyouknowthatthesubjectsoftheuniversalstatements exist,theseparticularconclusionscanbedrawn: Allpeopleatthispartyarehuman. Allhumansarelivingcreatures. Therefore,somelivingcreaturesarepeopleatthisparty. Inshort,unlessitisspecifiedorotherwiseknownthatthesubjectsofuniversalpremisesexist,a particularconclusioncannotbedrawnwithoutcommittingtheexistentialfallacy.

RulesfortheCategoricalSyllogism
Thefollowingsummarizesthebasicrulesforthevalidcategoricalsyllogism. StructuralRequirements 1. Atleastoneaffirmativepremise(Allhumansaremortal) 2. Atleastoneuniversalpremise(AllhumansaremortalorNohumansareimmortal) 3. Exactlythreeterms LogicalRules 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Ifoneofthepremisesisnegative,theconclusionmustbenegative. Ifbothpremisesarepositive,theconclusionmustbepositive. Ifoneofthepremisesisparticular,theconclusionmustbeparticular. Ifoneofthepremisesissingular,theconclusionmustbesingular. Themiddletermmustbedistributedatleastonce. Atermdistributedintheconclusionmustbedistributedinapremise. Ifbothpremisesareuniversal,theconclusionmustbeuniversal(seeExistential Fallacyforqualification).

Remember,evenifasyllogismmeetsalltheserules,ifthepremisesarefalse,wecannotrely upontheconclusion. 9.7.ThinkingActivity IdentifyingInvalidSyllogisms Identifytherule(s)whichthesesyllogismsviolate. 1. AllcommunistsaremortalnoBaptistisacommunisttherefore,noBaptists aremortal. 2. SomepeopleareRepublicanssomegentlecreaturesarepeopletherefore,all gentlecreaturesareRepublicans. 3. Nohorsesaredogsnopeoplearedogstherefore,somepeoplearehorses. 4. AllgoodpeoplearepeoplewhoattendchurchregularlyallCatholicsare peoplewhoattendchurchregularlytherefore,allCatholicsaregoodpeople. 5. Allpeopleareliarsallliarsareguiltypeopletherefore,allpeoplearesinners. 6. AllDemocratsarepeoplewhocareaboutthepoorallpeoplewhocareabout thepoorareDemocratstherefore,noDemocratisapersonwhocaresabout thewealthy. 7. SomevegetariansarepeoplewholivelongerthanaverageAlanisaperson whoeatsvegetablestherefore,Alanisapersonwhowilllivelongerthan average. 8. AllpinkGreyhounddogsarefickledogsallfickledogsaredogsthatare pamperedtherefore,somedogsthatarepamperedarepinkGreyhounddogs.

HypotheticalSyllogisms
Ifyouprickus,dowenotbleed?ifyoutickleusdowenotlaugh?ifyoupoisonus,dowenot die?andifyouwrongus,shallwenotrevenge? Shakespeare,MerchantofVenice Muchofourthinkingineverydaylifeishypothetical.Thiskindofthinkingtakestheifthen form.Theangryemployeestates,IfIhavetoworkonemorenight,thenIwillquit!Thestudent facedwithanexammightthink,IfIfailthistest,thenIwillfailthisclass.AndifIfailthisclass, thenIwillnotgraduatethissemester.Andthefrustratedparentreprimandsachildin hypotheticallanguage:Ifyoucomehomelateonemoretime,thenyouwillbegroundedforthe month! Thesehypotheticalstatementscanbeputinsyllogisticformtomakepureormixedhypothetical syllogisms.Apurehypotheticalsyllogismisoneinwhichthetwopremisesandtheconclusionare hypothetical,orconditionalthatis,theytaketheformofifthenstatements.Theifstatementis calledtheantecedent,andthethenstatementiscalledtheconsequent:

IfP,thenQ. IfQ,thenR. Therefore,ifP,thenR. Ifmyneighborwatershislawn,thenmybasementwillleak. Ifmybasementleaks,thenmyboxeswillgetwet. Therefore,ifmyneighborwatershislawn,thenmyboxeswillgetwet. IfIcutthiscreditcardinhalf,thenIwillgetoutofdebt. IfIwillgetoutofdebt,thenIwillbeabletobuyahouse. Therefore,ifIcutthiscreditcardinhalf,thenIwillbeabletobuyahouse. Notallhypotheticalsyllogismsarepure,havingthreehypotheticalstatements.Someofthem aremixed.Inamixedhypotheticalsyllogismonlythemajorpremisetakestheifthenformthe otherpremiseandtheconclusionarecategorical.Therearepositivemixedhypotheticalsyllogisms (modusponens),whichhaveanaffirmativestatement,andnegativemixedhypothetical syllogisms(modustollens),whichhaveastatementofdenial.Apositivemixedhypothetical syllogismtakesthisform: Positive(affirmingmode) IfP,thenQ. P. Therefore,Q. IfGodisdead,thenthere'snohopeforanyone. Godisdead. Therefore,thereisnohopeforanyone. IfIgetaraise,thenwecantakeavacation. Igotaraise! Therefore,wecantakeavacation. Ifthestockmarketfalls,thenitwillbeathinChristmas. Thestockmarketfell. Therefore,itwillbeathinChristmas. Noticethattheminorpremise(secondline)affirmstheantecedentPofthemajorpremise(first line). Anegativemixedhypotheticalsyllogismdeniestheconsequent: Negative(denyingmode) IfP,thenQ. NotQ. Therefore,notP. Ifitrains,thenthestreetswillbewet. Thestreetsarenotwet. Therefore,itdidnotrain. IfIampoor,thenIamnothappy. Iamhappy. Therefore,Iamnotpoor. BecausethepropositionifP,thenQmeansthatwheneverthereisPtherewillbeQ,wecan denyPbydenyingQ.However,thislastexamplemaybeconfusingbecausethesecondpremise appearsnottobeadenialthatis,Iamhappyseemstoaffirm,ratherthandeny,something. Oncloserinspection,however,wecanseethatitisinfactadenialoftheconsequent,Iamnot happy.

ReasoningErrorsinHypotheticalSyllogisms
DenyingtheAntecedent Acommonerrorinthinkingistodenytheantecedentinamixedhypotheticalsyllogism.Wehave alreadyseenthevalidformofthemixedhypotheticalsyllogism(modustollens),whichdeniesthe consequent: IfP,thenQ. NotQ. Therefore,notP. Ifthesundies,thentheearthwillbecomebarren. Theearthisnotbarren. Therefore,thesundidnotdie. Nowwatchwhathappenswhenwedenytheantecedent: IfP,thenQ. NotP. Therefore,notQ.

Ifthesundies,thentheearthwillbecomebarren. Thesundidnotdie. Therefore,theearthdidnotbecomebarren. Again,thedifferenceisthatthevalidsyllogismdeniestheconsequentofthefirstpremise(Q), whereastheinvalidargumentdeniestheantecedent(P). Let'slookatsomeotherexamplesofdenyingtheantecedent: Ifhehitsme,thenhedoesnotloveme. Hedoesn'thitme. Therefore,helovesme. (Thefirstpremiseleavesopenthepossibilitythatonemaynothitandnotloveatthe sametime.) IfIdonotstudyhard,thenIwillfail. Istudiedhard. Therefore,Ididnotfail. (Thefirstpremiseleavesopenthepossibilitythatevenifonestudieshard,onemay fail.) Ifitrainstonight,thenthegrasswillbewettomorrow. Itdidnotrain. Therefore,thegrasswillnotbewettomorrow. Wecanvalidlydenytheantecedentinahypotheticalsyllogismifthereisaqualification:IfP, thenQmustbeunderstoodasIfandonlyifP,thenQ.Inthelastexample,thefirststatement Ifitrainstonight,thenthegrasswillbewettomorrowleavesopenthepossibilitythatevenifit didnotrainthegrasscouldstillbewettomorrow,perhapsfromdew.Sowecannotconclude,on thebasisofthatfirstpremise,thatthegrasswillnotbewetifitdoesnotrain.However,ifthe premiseread,Ifandonlyifitrainstonight,thenthegrasswillbewettomorrow,alloptionsfor makingthegrasswetwouldbeclosedexceptforrain,sowecouldconcludethatthegrasswillnot bewetifitdoesnotrain. Let'slookagainatourfirstexample,butwiththeconditionifandonlyif: Ifandonlyifthesundies,thentheearthwillbecomebarren. Thesundidnotdie. Therefore,theearthdidnotbecomebarren. Theconclusionthattheearthdidnotbecomebarrenisnowvalidbecauseofthequalification. AffirmingtheConsequent Anotherlogicalerrorrelatedtothesyllogismoccurswhenweaffirmtheconsequentofthefirst premiseinsteadofitsantecedent.Avalidpositivehypotheticalsyllogismaffirmstheantecedent: IfP,thenQ. P. Therefore,Q. Butsometimespeopleargueinthefollowinginvalidmannerbyaffirmingtheconsequent: IfP,thenQ. Q. Therefore,P. IfIwalktothestore,thenIwillbetiredthisevening. Iamtiredthisevening. Therefore,Iwalkedtothestore. Intheaboveexample,itispossiblethatonecouldbetiredintheeveningevenifonedidnot walktothestore.Therefore,beingtireddoesnotmeanthatonenecessarilywalkedtothestore. Theconclusioncannotbeassumedtobecorrect.However,ifthestatementread,IfandonlyifP, thenQ,itwouldbevalidtoargueinthismanner. Thetwologicalerrorsaboveconcernonlyhypothetical(ifthen)syllogisms,andtheyserveto remindusthatunlessthestatementreadsifandonlyif,wecanonlyaffirmanantecedentand denyaconsequentnottheotherwayaround. ThinkAboutIt: DoesthehypotheticalstatementifP,thenQhavethesamemeaningasifQ,then P?

DisjunctiveSyllogisms
Athirdkindofsyllogismisthedisjunctivesyllogism,whichuseseither/orstatementssuchas Eithertheplaneisintheairoritisontheground.Thiskindofsyllogismhastwoforms.Thefirst disjunctiveform(modustollendoponens)deniesonetermintheminorpremiseandthenaffirms theothertermintheconclusion.Itlookslikethis: DenialAffirmation EitherPorQ. NotP. Therefore,Q. Eithertheplaneisintheairoritisontheground. Theplaneisnotintheair. Therefore,theplaneisontheground. (Althoughthisdenialaffirmationpatternisvalidinthedisjunctivesyllogism,wesawearlierthat itisnotvalidinthehypotheticalsyllogismwithoutqualification.)Avariantofthistypeofsyllogism istodenyQ: EitherPorQ. NotQ. Therefore,P. Eithertheplaneisintheairoritisontheground. Theplaneisnotontheground. Therefore,theplaneisintheair. Thesecondformofthedisjunctivesyllogism(modusponenstollens)affirmsoneterminthe minorpremiseandthendeniestheothertermintheconclusion: AffirmationDenial EitherPorQ. P. Therefore,notQ. ThepreacherwillreadeitherfromMattheworfromMark. ThepreacherreadfromMatthew. Therefore,thepreacherdidnotreadfromMark. InthisformwecanalsoaffirmQanddenyP: ThepreacherwillreadeitherfromMattheworfromMark. ThepreacherreadfromMark. Therefore,thepreacherdidnotreadfromMatthew. Thisaffirmationdenialform,ormood,ofthesyllogismisvalidonlyifPandQareseenas exclusiveofeachotherthatis,wherePandQcannotbothoccur.Aswewillseebelow, sometimespeoplemakethemistakeofcreatinganeitherorpropositioninwhichtheyuseorin theexclusivesensewheninfactitisnonexclusive.

ReasoningErrorintheDisjunctiveSyllogism
AffirmingaNonexclusiveDisjunct Sometimesthedisjunctivesyllogismusesorinanonexclusivemanner.Considerthefollowing examples: EitherKarenwenttothestoreorshewenttothebank. Karenwenttothestore. Therefore,Karendidnotgotothebank. EitherBobstartsshowinguptoworkontimeorhewillbefired. Bobstartedshowinguptoworkontime. Therefore,Bobwillnotbefired. ItispossiblethatKarenwenttothestoreandwenttothebank.AnditispossiblethatBob startedshowinguptoworkontimebutwasfiredforanotherreason.Inthesecases,somemight arguethattheeitherorpropositionswerefalsedisjuncts.Nonetheless,peopleuseorinthis mannerfrequentlyandthenbyaffirmingone,theyattempttodenytheother.Toaffirmoneofthe disjunctsinthefirstpremiseandthereforedenytheotheristocommitthefallacyofaffirminga nonexclusivedisjunct,unlessthetwodisjunctscannotbothoccur.(Forfurtherclarificationofthe truthvalueofpremisesusingand,or,andifthenstatements,seetheAppendixon propositionallogic.)

ValidConversions

Youmayhavenoticedbynowthatsomeofthepremisesofasyllogismcanreversetheir predicateandsubjectwithnolossofmeaning.Thisreversalprocessiscalledconversion.For example,thestatementNoXisY(NoRepublicanisaDemocrat)canbeconvertedtoNoYis X(NoDemocratisaRepublican)withoutlossofmeaning.Similarly,SomeXisY(Some computersaremalfunctioningmachines)canbeconvertedtoSomeYareX(Some malfunctioningmachinesarecomputers). Anotherpropositionthatisconvertible,butwithproperchanges,isAllXareY.Wemustbe carefulaboutthisonebecauseitsconversionisnotasimplereversalofpredicateandsubject.If wesay,forexample,AllXareY(AllmodelT'sareblackcars),wecannotsayAllYareX(All blackcarsaremodelT's).Asanotherexample,Allveryintelligentcreaturesarehumandoes notvalidlyconverttoAllhumansareveryintelligentcreatures.Obviouslythisisfalse.Whatwe candowithAllXareY(Allveryintelligentcreaturesarehuman)isconvertittoOnlyYareX (Onlyhumansareveryintelligentcreatures).AnotherconversionisSomeYareX.Thus,all veryintelligentcreaturesarehumancanbeconvertedtosomehumansareveryintelligent creatures.However,theconversionofAllXareYtoSomeYareXdoesnotleadtoan equivalentproposition.Wehavegonefromauniversalstatementtoamorelimited,particular statement(fromalltosome)andhavelostsomeofthepowerfulmeaningoftheoriginal statement.Moreover,becauseauniversalstatementdoesnotmeanthatamemberofthesubject classactuallyexists,andbecausesomemeansthatatleastonememberofthesubjectdoes exist,thisconversionfromAllXareYtoSomeYareXispossibleonlywhenweknowthat thereexistsoneormoremembersofthesubjectclassoftheuniversalpropositioninthiscase, whenweknowthatatleastoneXexists.TheVenndiagrambelowillustratesthelogicofthetwo conversionsofAllXareY.

FromAllXareYitistruethatOnlyYareXand(ifXexists)SomeYareX.

OnemustalsotakeprecautionwiththepropositionSomeXarenotY,foritisnotvalidto convertSomeXarenotYtoSomeYarenotX.ThenotmustgowiththeY.Thus,thisisnot, technically,aconversion.Tosay,Somelawyers(X)arenotrichpeople(Y)isnotthesameas saying,Somerichpeoplearenotlawyers.Eventhoughinthiscasetheconversionisatrue statement,itisnotderivedlogically,andforthisreasonitisinvalid. Let'sapplythesamelogictoanotherexampletoillustratemoreclearlytheinvalidityofthis conversion.ConsiderthetruestatementSomehumanbeings(X)arenotgreatthinkers(Y).If weconvertthistoSomegreatthinkers(Y)arenothumanbeings(X),we'vechangedthe meaning,movingfromatruestatementtoafalsestatement.Eventhoughsometimesthis conversionresultsinatruestatement,thetruthofsuchastatementisnotderivedlogicallyfrom theconversionbutisknownbyexperience.ThestatementSomehumansarenotfastrunners converts(invalidly)toSomefastrunnersarenothumans.Weknowthroughourexperiencewith animalsthatthisconversionhappenstobetrue,butwedonotknowitfromlogic.Forexample,it ispossibletoimagineatimeonearthwhenthefastnonhumananimalshavebecomeextinct.If thatwouldhappen,thentheconversionofSomehumansarenotfastrunnerstoSomefast runnersarenothumanswouldresultinafalsestatement.Thusthisconversioncannotbe logicallyderived.Inshort,whatwecandowithSomeXarenotYischangeittoSomenotY areX:SomehumansarenotfastrunnersbecomesSomenotfastrunnersarehumans. Thevalidconversionsofcategoricalstatementsarelistedbelow: 1. NoXareY?NoYareX (Nogirlsareboys?noboysaregirls) 2. SomeXareY?SomeYareX (Somecatsareblackcreatures?Someblackcreaturesarecats) 3. AllXareY(assumingXexists)?SomeYareX (AllmodelT'sareblackthings?SomeblackthingsaremodelT's) AllXareY?OnlyYareX

(AllmodelT'sareblackthings?OnlyblackthingsaremodelT's) Therearemanyinvalidconversions,anditwouldonlybeconfusingtolistthemall.However, onepopularinvalidconversiondeservesspecialmention:theconversionofahypothetical (conditional)statement.ItisnotvalidtoconvertIfP,thenQtoIfQ,thenP.Considerthe statementIfJackwinsthelottery,thenJackwillbeveryhappy.ItsconversionisIfJackwillbe veryhappy,thenJackwillwinthelottery.UnfortunatelyforJack,thisconversionisnotlogical.If allofthissoundsfamiliar,itisbecausetheconversionisnothingmorethanavariationofaffirming theconsequent,aninvalidmaneuverdescribedabove.Theinvalidsyllogismthatexpressesthis exampleis: IfJackwinsthelottery,thenJackwillbeveryhappy. Jackisveryhappy. Therefore,Jackwonthelottery. 9.8.ThinkingActivity WritingValidConversions Writeavalidconversionforthefollowingpropositions.Whereavalidconversionisnot technicallypossible,writeanequivalentstatement.Assumethesubjectsofuniversal statementsexist. 1. Onlypeopleinpoliticsarepeoplewhomakeasignificantcontributiontotheir country. 2. Allmathematiciansareintroverts. 3. Nohumanbeingisasaintlyperson. 4. Somewealthypeoplearenotstingypeople. 5. Somefathersaregentlecreatures. 6. Somecelestialbodiesarenotplanets. 7. Onlycreatureswithabrainarecreatureswithamind. 8. Someatheistsarenotevilpeople. 9. Allhomosexualpeoplearesupportersofgayrights. 10. Allpeoplewhoowngunsarepeoplewhoopposeguncontrol.

InformalDeductiveFallacies
Wehaveexaminedthedifferentreasoningerrorsassociatedwitheachkindofsyllogism.Other reasoningerrorsarenotdirectlyrelatedtosyllogismsbutarestillerrorsindeductivelogic.We explorethreeofthembelow:(1)thefallacyofdivision,(2)circularreasoning,and(3)the either/orfallacy.

TheFallacyofDivision
PeoplewhohavenevervisitedtheUnitedStatesmighterroneouslyassumethatallcitizensofthe UnitedStatesarerich.Theirreasoningcommitsthefallacyofdivision,whichistheattemptto arguethatwhatistrueofthewhole(theUnitedStates)istrueofitsparts(itscitizens).Thereare, ofcourse,manyinstancesinwhichthepartsdosharecharacteristicswiththewhole,butthisis notbecauseoflogicalnecessity.Thereisnologicalrulethatallowsustomakesuchdeductions. TosaythataminoritygroupintheUnitedStatesisoppresseddoesnotallowustoconcludethat eachandeverymemberofthatminoritygroupisoppressed. Wemustbecarefulnottoconfusethisissuewithuniversalpropositions.Fromthestatement Allanimalsaresentientcreatureswecanassumethateachandeveryanimalisasentient creature.ButthisisbecauseAllanimalsaresentientcreaturesmeansthesamethingasEach andeveryanimalisasentientcreature.ButAllcarsareheavyobjectsdoesnotmeanthesame thingasAllpartsofcarsareheavyobjects.Becausethecarasawholeisdifferentfromthe partsthatmakeupthewhole,wecannotconcludeforlogicalreasonsthatanyofthecar'sparts areheavy.Considerthenatureofthehumanbeing:eachofusisatotalitythatisfarmore complexthananyofourhumanparts.Thesodiumandpotassiumionsofournervoussystem,for example,donotseekGod,love,knowledge,andapplepie.(SeeFallacyofComposition,p.206 fortheoppositeofthisfallacy.)

CircularReasoning
Circularreasoning,alsocalledbeggingthequestion,isanerrorinwhichaconclusionthataperson isarguingforisalreadyassumedtobetrueinoneoftheargument'spremises.Ifwesay,The BibleisthewordofGodbecauseitsayssorightintheBible,wehaveengagedincircular reasoning.Thepremise,TheBiblesaysitisthewordofGod,isonlyimportanttothisargument ifitisalreadyassumedtobethewordofGod,butthatassumptionissupposedtobewhatoneis tryingtoprove. AclassicexampleofcircularreasoningcomesfromWhately'sElementsofLogic:

Toalloweverymananunboundedfreedomofspeechmustalwaysbe,onthewhole, advantageoustotheStateforitishighlyconducivetotheinterestoftheCommunity,that eachindividualshouldenjoyalibertyperfectlyunlimited,ofexpressinghissentiments. (Whately,1827,p.181) InthisexampleitisarguedthatfreedomofspeechisgoodfortheStatebecauseitisinthe interestoftheState(goodfortheState)thatindividualsbefree.Thereasoningerrorisobvious whenwerephrasethelanguage,butintheoriginalversiontheerrorwouldnotbenoticeableto manyreaders. Thelongerthecircularstatement,theeasieritistoforgetaboutwherewebegan.Whencircular statementsorargumentsareshort,itisnotverydifficulttospotthem.Wearemostvulnerableto acceptingcircularreasoning,eitherourownorothers',whentheargumentismorelengthyandthe propositionsaremorenumerous.

TheEither/OrFallacy
Theeither/orfallacyhasalsobeencalledtheallornothingfallacy,blackandwhitefallacy,and falsedilemma.Inthedisjunctivesyllogismwesawadeductiveargumentthathadasitsfirst premiseaneither/orstatement.Weshowedthatifthetwoalternativesareexclusiveofeach other,wecanaffirmoneanddenytheother,orviceversa.Thisisvalid.However,ifthefirst premiseisnotanaccuraterepresentationofthesituation,thenthesyllogism,althoughvalid,may yieldafalseconclusion.Itisimportantthatthefirstpremisebeatruestatement.Inotherwords, whensettinguptheeither/orcondition,allpossibilitiesmustbeaccountedforinthestatementor theconclusionmaybefalse. Specifically,theeither/orfallacyistheportrayalofacomplexsituationinsimplisticeitheror terms,notacknowledgingthat(1)bothalternativescouldbetrue,(2)grayareasexistbetween thetwoalternatives,or(3)otherpossibilitiesexist.ItisonethingtostatethatJohneitherfailed orpassedthetest,andanothertostatethattheU.S.Congressiseithergoodorbad.Theformer statementisatruedisjunctivestatement,asonecannotbothpassandfailatthesametime.But inthelatterexamplewehaveaneitherorfallacy,forpartsoftheU.S.Congressmightbegoodfor thecountry,whereasotherdimensionsofitmightbebad.Itmight,forexample,begoodforour country'srelationshipswithothercountriesbutbadforourcountry'sdomesticeconomy.Orit couldbegoodformanypeople,butbadformanyotherpeople,andsoon.Inthisexample,a complexstateofeventsisreducedtosimplisticalternatives.Inreality,theU.S.Congressis probablybothgoodandbad,yetthedisjunctivestatementimpliesthatitiseithergoodorbadbut notboth. Theeither/orfallacyisalsocommittedwhentherearegrayareasbetweenthealternatives. ConsiderthestatementTomiseitheraheterosexualorahomosexual.Thisstatementfailsto recognizethecontinuumthatexistsbetweenthetwoalternatives.ItispossiblethatTomis bisexualthatis,heisheterosexualmostofthetime,butengagesinhomosexualbehaviorfrom timetotime. Oftentimespeoplepresentuswitheither/oroptionswhenotheroptionsareavailable.Thisploy isoftenusedbysalespersons.Tomotivateacustomertobuyaproduct,asalespersonmightsay, Thesaleendstonight,soeitheryoubuyitthisevening,oryou'llenduppayingfullretailpricefor it.I'dhatetoseethathappen.Whatthesalespersonleavesoutarethemanyotheroptions:you couldwaituntilthenextsaleatthisstore,youcouldchoosenottobuytheproductaltogether,you couldgotoanotherstore,youmightfindagooddealonline,youmightbeabletobargainwiththe storemanagerlater,youcouldpossiblygetadeallaterbyaskingthesalespersontogiveupsome ofthecommission,youcouldbuyacheaperalternativethat'snotonsale,andsoforth. Thecreationismversusevolutiondebateoftengetsentangledintheeither/orfallacy.Many creationistsbelievethatiftheycanshowevolutiontobefalse,oratleastproblematic,thatwould constitutesupportforcreationism.Thisisbasedonthedisjunctivesyllogism:eitherAorBnotA thereforeB.Settingupthecreationism/evolutiondebatethiswaycommitstheeither/orfallacy becausetheremightbeotherpossibleexplanationsforthevarietiesoflife.Ifso,current evolutionarytheoryandcreationismcouldbefalse. 9.9.ThinkingActivity IdentifyingtheEither/OrFallacy Theeither/orfallacyiscommittedwhensomeonesetsupadisjunctivepropositionthat doesnotallowforalloftheoptions.Ofthestatementsbelow,identifytheonesthat committheeither/orfallacy.Writeyesinfrontofthosethatcommitthefallacyand noinfrontofthosethatdonot. 1. _________Impatientexecutive: We'vejustreceivedtheJohnsonproposaltodayandalreadywearefighting aboutit.Let'scutoutthisnonsenseandmakeadecision.Eitherweacceptthis proposalorwedon't!

2. _________Angryboss: Karenjustcalledtoseeifshe'sonthedean'slist.Willyougetbacktoher quickly,please.Eithersheisorsheisn't.It'sthatsimple. 3. _________Sameangryboss: Say,isthatcolleagueofyoursaprettybrightguy?Inotherwords,wouldhebe goodforthecompanyifIofferedhimajob?Answer:Well,yesandno.Reply: Yesandno!Whatkindofansweristhat?Eitherheisorheisn't! 4. _________Madscientist: IstherelifeonMars?Orarewealoneintheuniverse? 5. _________Parenttodaughter: DoesyourboyfriendbelieveinGod?Orisheanatheist? 6. _________Chauvinist: Arewegoingtohaveagoodtimefishingthisweekend?Orareyoubringing yourwifealongagain? 7. _________Newparent: Isitaboyoragirl? 8. _________Philosopher: Eithereachofuslivesoneternallyafterdeathorweeachgiveupourlives forever.Toaffirmoneistodenytheother.

ReductioadAbsurdum Adeductiveargumentcanbeattackedbypointingoutthattheconclusionorpremiseof theargumentleadstoanabsurdityorcontradiction.Thisapproachtodisprovingan argumentiscalledreductioadabsurdum.Forexample,consideraspeakerarguingthe following: Mindisnothingbutthecauseandeffectprocessofourphysicalbrains.Freedom, myfriends,isanillusion.Allyourthoughts,behaviors,andfeelingsarenothingbut theeffectofcomplicatedcauseandeffectinteractions. Areductioadabsurdumargumentattackingthispositionmightgoasfollows: Mr.Speaker,yousaythatallthoughtsarenothingbutcauseandeffectinteractions andthereforewearenottrulyfree.Ifthatisso,thenevenyourthoughtsabout thoughtsarenotfreeandyourstatementsaboutourlackoffreedomareonlycause andeffectproductions.Yet,youcomeheretodaytosharewithusthisinformation whichhastakenyearsofstudyandreflectionasthoughyouhavecometoitfreely, asthoughitreflectstruth,asthoughyouhavesomethingobjectiveandabsoluteto offerus.Perhapsyoushouldhaveprefacedyourspeechtodaywithanotationthat youcouldnothelpbutcomehere,thatwecouldnothelpbutattend,thatyoucould nothelpbutdiscoverwhatyoudiscovered,andthatyoubelievewhatyou'resaying tobetruebecauseyoucan'thelpbutbelieveittobetrue.Andthenyoushouldsay thatyourhelplessnessinbelievingisamereproductofcauseandeffectandsois thisinsight,andsoon. Andthen,Mr.Speaker,attheendofallyourqualifyingstatements,whichyou cannothelpbutqualify,wewillhavelistenedtonothingbuttheconclusionsofyour physicalbrain,thesimpleeffectofuntoldcauses.And,becausewecannothelpit, wewilltreatitwithamusementandnothingmore,notunlikethestoryofAlicein WonderlandorPoohandtheHoneyBear.Andifyoutakeoffenseatusforthis disrespect,atleastdonotblameus,forwe'llhavehadnochoice,asyousay,to havedoneotherwise. Thisreductioadabsurdumargumentchallengesthepropositionthatthoughtsare nothingbuttheeffectofmyriadcausesbyreducingthepropositiontoabsurdity,orat leasttoapositionthatthespeakerwouldnot,orcouldnot,accept.Itforcesthe speaker,inthiscase,toeitherrejecthispropositionortorefineitsoitcannotbe reducedtoabsurdconsequences.

InductiveThinking
Intheprevioussection,ondeductivethinking,welearnedthatvaliddeductivethinkingbeginswith

asetofpremisesthatleadstoaconclusionthatmustlogicallyfollowfromthepremises,andin suchawaythatifthepremisesaretruetheconclusionmustbetrue.Inthissectionwelookat argumentsthatcanonlyyieldmoretentativeconclusions,nomatterhowtruethepremisesand howperfecttheformofargument.Suchargumentsareexamplesofinductivereasoning. Inductivereasoningusuallybeginswithasetofevidenceorobservationsaboutsomemembers ofaclass,oraboutsomeevents.Fromthisevidenceorobservationwedrawaconclusionabout othermembersoftheclass,orotherevents.Theevidenceofinductiveargumentsmayrenderthe conclusionhighlyprobablebut,unlikesounddeductivereasoning,theconclusionsofgoodinductive reasoningonlylikelyorprobablyfollowfromtheobservationtheydonotfollowwithcertainty becausetheconclusionsofinductivereasoninggobeyondthepremisesandarenotlogically containedinthem.Wecanseethisinthefollowinginductiveargument: EverydayInoticethatthesunrisesintheeastandsetsinthewest.ThoughI'llbedeadin onehundredyears,Iknowthatmygrandchildrenwillalsoseethesunriseintheeastandset inthewest. Inalllikelihoodthegrandchildrenwillmaketheobservationspredicted.However,itisnot necessarilythecase.Itcouldbe,althoughitisunlikely,thattheearthwillencountersomecosmic matterorforcethatunsettlesitsrotationsuchthatthesunrisesinthenorthandsetsinthe south.Theonlywaywewillknowforsureistowaituntilthegrandchildrenobservethesun. Ininductivereasoningthepremisesoftheargumentconsistoftheevidenceorobservations fromwhichwederiveourconclusion.Asindeductivearguments,thesepremisescanbe challenged.Forexample,ifweseethreeblackcrowsandconcludethatallcrowsareblack, someonecouldsay,Well,yousawthemfromfaraway,didn'tyou?Don'tyouknowthatcolors disappearwithdistance,andeveniftheywereredtheywouldhavelookedblacktoyou?Thusthe observationischallenged.Science,whichreliesheavilyontheinductivemethod,oftenfaces challengesthisway,aswhensomeonepointsoutthattheresultsofaparticularexperimentare flawedbecauseofpoorexperimentaldesign(seeChapter10,ScientificThinking). Oftendeductiveargumentscontainpremisesthatareinductivelyderived.Considerthe following: Ifthestockmarketcrashes,thenthesuicideratewillrise. Thestockmarketcrashed. Therefore,thesuicideratewillrise. Inthishypotheticalsyllogism,thefirstpremiseisreallyaconclusionofinductivereasoning: Wheneverthestockmarketcrashedinthepast,thesuicideratewentup.Therefore,ifthestock marketcrashesagain,thesuicideratewillgoup.Manyofthesyllogismswelookedatearlier containpremisesthatarebasedoninductivereasoning.Andaswelearned,thesepremisescan oftenbechallenged,therebyweakeningthedeductiveargument. Inductivereasoningcanalsobechallengedbyfindingevidencecontrarytotheconclusion.Let's gobacktotheevidenceinourexamplewiththeblackbirds:Isawthreecrowstodayandallof themwereblack.Theconclusionisthatthereforeallcrowsareblack.Theconclusionofthis inductiveargumentwouldberefutedinstantlyifsomeonefoundaredorbluecrow.Thus,the conclusionsofinductivearguments,evenwithtruepremises,arealwaysopentothepossibility, howeverunlikely,thattheyarefalse,fortheyarestatementsofprobability,notcertainty.In contrast,theconclusionofadeductiveargumentcannotbefalse,giventruepremisesandvalid syllogisticform. Considerthefollowinginductiveargument:Becausenootherplanetinthesolarsystemhasany signsofeventhelowestformoflife,wemustconcludethatwearetheonlyintelligentcreaturesin theuniverse.Heretheargumentwentfromasetofobservationsaboutsomeplanets(nolifeon anyotherplanetsinoursolarsystem)toaconclusionaboutotherplanets,inthiscaseallplanets (nolifeonanyotherplanetsinanysolarsystem).Thisconclusioncanbedisputedinseveral ways:wecanattackthemethodsthathavebeenusedsofartosearchforlifethatis,wecan attacktheobservationwecanarguethatthenumberofplanetsthatwehaveobservedistoo smalltojustifyageneralizationtoallplanetsorwecanactuallydiscoverlifeonanotherplanet,a possibilitythatisnotforeclosedbytheinductiveconclusionbecausetheconclusionofinductive argumentscannotbecertain.Discoveringlifeonanotherplanetwoulddefinitelyrefutethe conclusionabove.However,onecommonlyattackstheinductiveargumentwithanotherinductive argumentthatis,withevidenceorobservationthatsuggestsacontraryconclusion.Forexample, astronomershavediscoveredplanetsrevolvingaroundnearbystarsandcanarguefromthis evidencethatourplanetarysystemisnotunusual,thatmanyormoststarshaveplanets. Therefore,consideringthebillionsofstarsineachgalaxyandthebillionsofgalaxiesinthe universe,itishighlyunlikelythatlifeexistsonlyonearth.Thisevidenceofotherplanetary systemsinourgalaxydoesnotrefutethepreviousconclusionthatthereisnolifeintheuniverse exceptonearth,butitcertainlyweakensit. Giveninduction'sapparentuncertainty,isthereanysuchthingasasoundinductiveargument? Wehaveseenthatsounddeductiveargumentsarevalidargumentswithtruepremisesand

thereforeconclusivelytrueconclusions.Somephilosophers,suchastheskepticDavidHume, arguedthattherearenoabsolutelysoundinductiveargumentsthatallinductiveargumentsfall shortofyieldingconclusionsascertainasthoseinsounddeductiveargumentsbutthereare good,practicalinductivearguments.Iftheinductiveargumentisbasedonrepeated,accurate observations,andaswewillsee,iftheanalogiesusedarebasedonstrongsignificantsimilarities ratherthanonweakones,thentheinductionmaybe,practicallyspeaking,rathersolid.Such stronginductiveargumentscanbereferredtoassoundaslongasweunderstandthattheir conclusionsarenotabsolute,astheyareinsounddeductivearguments. Weusesuchsoundinductionseverydayindeed,itwouldbedifficulttolivewithoutthem.Here aresomeexamples: 1. Drivingtoworkafterafreshsnowwedrivebyonecarintheditch,andthenasecond one.Shortlyafterwardweseeacaraheadofusspinoutofcontrol.Weconcludefrom theseobservationsthattheroadsinourentireareaareslipperybecauseofthenew fallensnow.Wecallonourcellphonetowarnourfamilyandfriendsabouttheslippery conditionsthey'relikelytoencounterontheirwaytoworkandschool. 2. Weletourcatoutofourhouseandnoticethatitrunsbehindaneighbor'sgarage.Welet ourcatoutthenextdayanditrunsthereagain.Andonthethirddayourcatagainruns behindourneighbor'sgarage.Weconcludefromtheseobservationsthatourcatwillrun behindthegarageuponbeingletout.Wedecidetotalktoourneighborstoseeifthey mindifourcatroamsontheirproperty. 3. Wearedroppedofffromworkandwaveourfriendonbeforeweopenthedoor.Wehave thekeystothehouseandweknowthatwewillbeabletogetin.Weknowthisbecause ourkeyshaveworkedinourlockhundredsoftimesbefore. Conclusionsofgoodinductivereasoningarehighlyprobable,butnevercertain.Intheabove examples,theconclusionscouldhavebeenwrong.Considerthesepossibilities: 1. Theroadswereonlyslipperyalongthisstretchofroadbecauseawatermainbrokeand thewaterfrozeunderthesnow.Allotherroadswerejustfine. 2. Thecatwentbehindtheneighbor'sgaragebecausetheneighborhadsomegarbagefrom ThanksgivingDaybackthere,andthecathadafancyforturkey.Afterthegarbagewas collectedthecatwasnolongerinterested. 3. Wewavedourfriendsonknowingthatwehadourkeysandcouldgetin.Unfortunately, thekeysdidn'tworkthistimebecausethelockwasbroken. ThinkAboutIt: Youcan'tseeyourbestfriend'smindorfeelyourbestfriend'spain,sowhichformof reasoningdoyouuse,inductiveordeductive,toarriveattheconclusionthatyourfriend doesindeedhaveamindandcanexperiencepain?

9.10.ThinkingActivity DistinguishingBetweenInductiveandDeductiveArguments Analyzethesevenstatementsbelowforthekindofreasoningused.PlaceanIinfront oftheinductiveargumentsandDinfrontofdeductiveones.Becarefulthatyoudonot confusepremisesofdeductiveargumentsthatwereobviouslyderivedthroughinduction withtheinductiveformofargument. 1. _________Anythingthatquestionsthefactofitsownexistencemustexist.I questionthefactofmyownexistence.Therefore,Imustexist. 2. _________Everypersonwhoquestionsthefactoftheirownexistenceis depressed.Maryhasrecentlybeenquestioningthefactofherownexistence. Therefore,Marymustbedepressed. 3. _________Ifawomangetsmarried,shewillregretit.Sharonisgetting marriedsoon.Therefore,Sharonwilleventuallyregretit. 4. _________Myfriendisaveryintelligentpersonbutalsoquiteneurotic.So,I thinkintelligentpeopleingeneral,perhapsbecausetheyaresooverdeveloped intheirintelligence,mustbeunderdevelopedelsewhere,leavingthemwith somewhatdisturbedpersonalities. 5. _________Ihaveneverwonathinginmylife,andIneverwill.It'snotinmy karma. 6. _________Nohumanbeingliesallthetime.Therefore,Marydoesnot,as yousuggest,lieallthetimemaybealot,butnotallthetime. 7. _________Nospeciesonthisplanethassurvivedformorethan100million years.Thehumanracewillbenoexception.

9.11.ThinkingActivity ConsideringPastErrors Listexamplesoferroneousinductivereasoningthatyouhaveusedinthepast.Consider reasoningthatyoudoatwork,athome,andinyourrelationships.Foreachexample, identifywhyyourconclusionswerewrong.Weretheybasedontoofewobservations,or weretheerrorsduetosomeveryunusualcircumstances? 1. Example:____________________________________________________ Reasonforerror: _____________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ 2. Example:____________________________________________________ Reasonforerror: _____________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ 3. Example:____________________________________________________ Reasonforerror: _____________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________

ThinkAboutIt: Aretheconclusionsofdeductiveargumentsanymoreconclusivethaninductive argumentsifoneormorepremisesofthedeductiveargumentaretheresultofinductive reasoning?

AnalogicalArgument
Analogicalargumentisaformofinductivereasoningthatrestsonthesimilaritiesbetweentwo things.InthiskindofargumentwereasonthatifAandBaresimilarinsomefeatures,then anotherfeatureofAwillalsobefoundinB,whenitisunknownoruncertainifBhasthatfeature. Forexample,onecouldgivereasonswhychildneglectwillinhibitachild'sdevelopment,orone couldsay,asarosewithtoolittlewaterwillfailtobloom,achildwhoreceivestoolittlelovewill failtogrow.Thestrengthofthisargumentrestsonthedegreetowhichachildandaroseare similar.Theyarebothlivingthingsrequiringnourishmenttheyarebothborntheybothgrow, flourish,anddieandtheybothdependontheirenvironmentforlifeandproperdevelopment. Theaboveanalogyhasametaphoricalelement,thelikeningofachildtoarose.Amore straightforwardanalogyisfoundinthefollowing,whichlikensonetyranttoanother: Weshouldremovethistyrantfromhisthrone!Merelypunishinghimwillbeineffective.The tyrantHusseinwaspunishedforhistyrannyandalltooquicklyreturnedtoterrorizeand slaughterhisenemiesagain.So,too,thisonewillreturnifheisnotousted! ThemoresimilarAandBaretoeachother,thestrongertheanalogicalargumentwillbe.But evenwithfewsimilarities,ifthesimilaritiesarestrongandcompelling,theanalogicalargument canhaveforce.Thetwoexamplesabovearereasonablygoodanalogicalarguments.Butone person'sstronganalogyisnotalwaysanother's.Ananalogicalargumentwillbeeffectivein persuadingothersonlytothedegreethatothersagreeontheaptnessoftheanalogy.Inthe debateontheexistenceofGod,thelikeningofnaturetothecomplexityofafinewatch,ortheeye toatelescopeisoftenused.Neitherwatchnortelescopeseemcapableofevolvingontheirown eachhadamaker,andeachwasmadewithapurpose.Therefore,itisargued,we,too,are designedbyaCreatorandwithapurpose.Manymodernsupportersofevolutionarytheory, however,simplydisagreewiththisanalogy.Oneexample: Theanalogybetweenthetelescopeandtheeye,betweenwatchandlivingorganism,isfalse. Atruewatchmakerhasforesight:hedesignshiscogsandsprings,andplanstheir interconnections,withafuturepurposeinhismind'seye.Naturalselectionhasnopurposein mind.Ithasnomindandnomind'seye.Itdoesnotplanforthefuture.Ithasnovision,no foresight,nosightatall.(Dawkins,citedinRuse,2001,p.113) Wehavenofoolprooftesttodeterminewhichanalogiesarestrongandwhicharenot.However, thedegreetowhichthesimilaritiesmatchandstrikemostpeopleasappropriateandeffective,as opposedtothedegreetowhichthedissimilaritiesoftheanalogystrikemostpeopleasdissonant, isonewaytogaugetheanalogy'seffectiveness.Noanalogycanbeusedtoprovesomething becausenotwothingsareidenticalineveryrespect.Butonecanconsiderthesimilaritiesand

differencesbetweenthetwoelementsbeingcomparedandacceptthoseanalogiesinwhichthe similaritiesarestriking.Itisreasonabletoassumethatiftwothingsareknowntohavealotin common,theymayshareothersimilaritiesaswell. ChuangTzu'sAnalogies Analogicalargumenthasbeeninuseforthousandsofyears.TheTaoistphilosopher ChuangTzu,c.369286B.C.E.,usedthemcopiously.InoneofChuangTzu'sstories, EmperorYaooffersthesagelyhermitHsYutheopportunitytoruletheChineseempire. Hedeclines: WhentheTailorBirdbuildshernestinthedeepwood,sheusesnomorethanone branch.Whenthemoledrinksattheriverhetakesnomorethanabellyful.Go homeandforgetthematter,myLord.Ihavenousefortherulershipoftheworld! (Watson,1968,pp.3233) Thisanalogyrecognizesthesimilarityofthehumanbeingtoothernaturalcreatures.We findinnaturethatcreaturestakeonlywhattheyneed.Ifhumanbeingsaretoliveas natureintended,wetooshouldtakeonlywhatweneed.Doesthisanalogywork?Isita goodone?TherearemanydifferencesbetweenahumanbeingandaTailorBird,butare thosedifferencesoutweighedbythesimilaritythatweshareascreaturesofnature? ChuangTzuusesanotheranalogy,thistimebetweenthesensesandunderstanding.Lien ShuchastisesChienWuforhisrefusaltobelievesomeremarkabletalesaboutasage: Wecan'texpectablindmantoappreciatebeautifulpatternsoradeafmantolisten tobellsanddrums.Andblindnessanddeafnessarenotconfinedtothebodyalone theunderstandinghasthemtoo,asyourwordsjustnowhaveshown.(p.33) Istheunderstandingsufficientlysimilartothesensesofsightandhearingthatwecan beconvincedthatittoocanbecomeblindanddeaf?Wouldyouconsideroneofthese analogiestobebetterthantheother?

9.12.ThinkingActivity UsingAnalogies Usingoneormoreanalogies,trytomakeabriefargumentfororagainstsomeofthe mostdebatedmoralissuesofourtimes,suchasabortion,guncontrol,euthanasia,or capitalpunishment.

Causation
Onecommonuseofinductivethinkinginoureverydaylifeisthesearchforcauses.Discovering causesusesinductivethinkingbecauseitisbaseduponobservationsofparticulareventsfrom whichwethengeneralizetoallsimilarevents.Forexample,weconcludethatloweringwater temperaturecauseswatertofreezebecauseonprioroccasionsithasdoneso.Philosophers remindusthatourconclusionaboutwhatcausesaparticulareventisnotbasedonlogical necessity,asinadeductiveargument,butuponexperience.Therefore,ourconclusionabouta causeandeffectrelationdoesnotnecessarilyfollowfromourobservationitonlyprobably follows.Inotherwords,experiencecannottelluswhatmustbe,butonlywhathasbeenfrom whathasbeenwemakeassumptionsaboutwhatmustbe. Althoughinastrict,philosophicalsensewemayneverbeabsolutelysureaboutwhatevent causesanother,itseemsessentialtolivingthatweactintheworldwithconfidenceaboutour ideasconcerningcauseandeffectrelations.Thisconfidencecanbestrengthenedby understandingthedifferentkindsofcausesthatexistforthedifferenteventsweexperience. Accordingtoonetypology,therearefourmainclassesofcauses:(1)necessarycause,(2) sufficientcause,(3)necessaryandsufficientcause,and(4)contributorycause.Anecessary causeisonethatmustbepresentforaneventtooccur,butitspresencealonedoesnotleadto theevent.Forexample,foruncontrolleddrinkingtooccuritisnecessarythattherebeready accesstoalcohol.Butreadyaccesstoalcoholdoesnotbyitselfcauseuncontrolleddrinking.A sufficientcauseisonethatbyitselfcanbringaboutanevent,suchthatwheneverthesufficient causeispresenttheeventoccurs.Asufficientcauseofanautomobile'sfailuretostart,for example,isanemptygastank.However,thisisnotanecessaryandsufficientcauseof automobilefailurebecauseitisnotnecessaryforanautomobiletohaveanemptygastankin ordertofail.Thereareothercausesofautomobilefailure.Anecessaryandsufficientcauseisone thatmustbepresenttocauseaneventandissufficientitselftocausetheevent.HIVisa necessaryandsufficientcauseofAIDSbecauseonecangetAIDSonlythroughHIV,andHIVby itselfleadstoAIDSnootherfactoralsoneedstobepresent. Thelastcategoryofcausesiscontributorycause.Acontributorycauseisnotnecessaryforan

eventtooccurandisnotsufficientforaneventtooccur,butithelpstobringabouttheevent, suchthataneventbecomesmorelikelybecauseitoccurs.Forexample,theassassinationofa presidentinacountryalreadyriddenwithstrifemightcontributetoacivilwar.Suchaneventitself isnotanecessarycauseofthewarnorasufficientcause,butitaddsmoretensionandhostilityto asituationalreadyaggravatedandleaningtowardconflict.Thus,onemightwanttosaythatthe assassinationledtothewarbecausethewarfollowedsoonafter.Infact,however,the assassinationmayhavebeenonlyacontributorycause. ThinkAboutIt: Thecauseofaparticularphenomenonhasitsowncause.Whenameteorologisttellsus thatthecauseofanunusualweatherpatternisanunusuallywarmoceancurrent,we canaskaboutthecauseofthewarmcurrent.Andforthatexplanationwecanseekits cause,andsoonadinfinitum.Canweevergettoafundamentalcauseforwhichthereis nomeaninginaskingforitscause?

9.13.ThinkingActivity ThinkingAboutCausation Casesaboundinwhichonespouse'sbehaviordrivestheothertoabusealcoholinan attempttocopewiththeoppressive,physicallyabusive,orotherwisestressfulmarriage. Whatkindofcauseisthis?Isthemarriageanecessarycause,sufficientcause, necessaryandsufficientcause,orcontributorycause?Explorethekindsofcausal relationshipsamarriagecouldhavetoaspouse'sdrinkingproblem.Towhatkindof causearepeoplereferringwhentheysay,Hermarriageledhertodrinking?

InformalInductiveFallacies
Whendonewell,inductivethinkinggivesusreasonable,althoughnotabsolute,conclusionsthatwe liveby.Unfortunately,considerableunsoundinductivethinkingalsooccurs.Belowwelookatsome ofthemajorkindsofinductivereasoningfallacies.Ifwecanlearntoavoidthem,wewillthink morecompetently.

HastyGeneralization
Ageneralizationisastatementaboutaclassofobjectsorsituationsbasedonobservationof somemembersofthatclass.Therearereasonablegeneralizationsandtherearehastyones.A reasonablegeneralizationisonethathasalargeenoughsampletowarrantaninference.For instance,ifwerandomlysurveyed40percentofthewomeninasmallcollegeabouttheir attitudestowardmen,wecouldreasonablyassumethattheresultsofoursamplereflectthe attitudesofwomeningeneralinthatcollege.Ontheotherhand,hadweaskedonlyafewwomen abouttheirattitudesandconcludedthatallwomenatthatcollegefeelthesameway,wewouldbe makinganerror,specifically,ahastygeneralization. Ahastygeneralizationoccurswhenaconclusionisdrawnfromasamplethatistoosmallor selectivetoassumewithanyconfidencethatitrepresentsthesubjectaccurately.Forexample,a manwhohasonebadexperiencewithawomanmightconcludethatallwomenarenothingbut usersandlosers.Orastudentwhohastakenherfirstcollegecourseandencounteredan egotisticteachermightconcludethatallcollegeteachersareegotists.Itiseasytoseehowthese hastygeneralizationscanfuelstereotypes.Onebadexperiencewithapersonofanotherrace, creed,oreconomicstatusmightleaveoneconcluding,Allthosepeoplearelikethat. Hastygeneralizationsoftenoccurinargumentsbetweencouples,oftenwiththehelpofselective memoryorselectiveattention.Intheheatofanger,awomanmightaccuseherpartnerofbeinga veryselfishpersonbecauseduringthepastyearheactedselfishlyafewtimes.Oramanmight accusehisspouse,whooccasionallyforgetstodothedishes,ofneverhelpinginhouseholdchores. Theaccusercaneasilyrememberthemanytimesinwhichthedisheswerenotdonebutforgetsor failstonoticethemorenumeroustimesthattheyweredone.Onemightcallthisselective attention,noticingthebadandnotthegood.Nonetheless,thesampleofcasesonwhichthe accusationisbasedistoosmalltowarranttheconclusion. Hastygeneralizationsdonothavetobeaboutpeopletheycanbeaboutthingsorsituations too.Ifwebuyacomputeranditdoesn'twork,wemightconcludethatallcomputersofthatbrand arenogoodandthuscommitahastygeneralization.Orwemighttraveltoanewstateforthe firsttime,runintosomeindustrialandpollutedareas,andconcludethattheentirestateisan industrial,pollutedcesspool. Thereisnohardandfastrulethatonecanusetodeterminewhetherageneralizationis reasonableornoteachcaserequiresadifferentsetoffacts.Itisevenpossiblethatonedatum wouldbeenoughtoformareasonablegeneralization.Ifawomansuffersanattemptedrapeby herneighbor,forexample,sheshouldn'thavetowaitforadozenorsoexperiencesbeforeshecan concludethatthemanisdangerous.Similarly,ifamanwinsaracefaraheadoftheother

outstandingcompetitors,onewouldn'thavetosuspendjudgmentverylongtoconcludethatthe manisfast. Jumpingtoconclusions,ashastygeneralizationsaresometimescalled,frequentlyleadsusto falseconclusions.However,sometimesaconclusion(generalization)willbecorrectbychance butnotonthebasisoftheunrepresentativesample.

TheFallacyofComposition
Forwhenyouassembleanumberofmentohavetheadvantageoftheirjointwisdom,you inevitablyassemblewiththosemenalltheirprejudices,theirpassions,theirerrorsofopinion, theirlocalinterests,andtheirselfishviews.Itthereforeastonishesme,Sir,tofindthis systemapproachingsoneartoperfectionasitdoes BenFranklin,AutobiographicalWritings(LastSpeech) Similartohastygeneralization,thecompositionfallacyassumesthatwhatistrueofthewhole's partsistrueofthewhole.Althoughitmayoftenbetruethatcharacteristicsofthepartsarealso characteristicsofthewhole,itdoesnotlogicallyfollowthatthisisthecase.Forexample,ifwe knowthatAllisonispleasanttobearoundandherhusbandispleasanttobearound,wecannot concludethattheyareanicecoupletobearound,forwhentheyaretogethertheymightengage incompetitionwithoneanotherandbecomeargumentative.Aswecanseefromthisexample,the partsofawholedonotexistinisolationfromeachotherinstead,theyinteractwithoneanother. Thisinteractioncancreatesynergisticeffectsinthewholethatarenotsharedbytheindividual parts.Twentyoutstandingmusiciansmayormaynotcreateanoutstandingorchestra,nordoa hundredgreatindividualsnecessarilymakeagreatU.S.Senate.Ifyoudoubtthisfallacy,addtwo softingredients,waterandplasterofparis,andseeifyougetasoftproduct.

PostHocErgoPropterHoc
Oneofthemorepersuasiveandpowerfulfallaciesisposthocergopropterhoc(afterthis, therefore,becauseofthis).Becauseaneffectalwaysfollowsitscause,itisaneasyfallacyto assumethatifaneventfollowsX,itisthereforecausedbyX.Obviouslythiscouldbethecase,but itcertainlyisnotnecessarilysotoassumesuchistogeneralizewellbeyondwhatthedatamay allow.ItistruethatifAcausesB,thenBfollowsA,butjustbecauseBfollowsAdoesnotmean thatAcausesB. Someassociationsaremerelycoincidentalthetwothingsassociatedhavenothingwhateverto dowitheachother.Thedeathofaparent,forexample,mightbefollowedbyason'sdivorce.Itis illegitimatetoargue,however,thattheparent'sdeathledtotheson'smaritaldissolutionsimply becausethedissolutionfollowedthedeath.Manytragiceventshappeneverydaysoonafter sunrise,butwewouldnotwanttoconcludethattherisingsuncausedthetragicevents.Similarly, wecouldnotlegitimatelyconcludethatawoman'smarriagecausedherdrinkingproblemjust becauseitstartedsoonaftershegotmarried.Therecouldbeothercausesofthedrinkinga changeinjobs,thedeathofaparent,conflictwithcolleaguesatwork,excessiveschooldemands, andsoforththatjusthappenedtocoincidewithhermarriage. ThinkAboutIt: Posthocergopropterhocreasoningcanbethesourceofmuchsuperstitiousthinking.If youseeablackcatontheroadandthensoonafterhaveaflattire,youmightconclude thatseeingablackcatleadstosomemisfortuneontheroad.Doyouhaveany superstitiousbehaviorsorbeliefsthatwerestartedbecauseofthisfallacy?

ExtravagantHypothesis
Wehavejustseenhowpeoplesometimesjumptoconclusionsaboutthecausesofthingsjust becauseonethingfollowsanother.Peoplejumptoconclusionsinyetanothermannerwhenthey committheextravaganthypothesisfallacy,whichistheformulationofacomplexorunlikely explanationforaneventwhenasimplerexplanationwoulddo.AprinciplecalledOccam'srazor statesthatthesimplestexplanationforaneventistobepreferredoveramorecomplexone,so longasthesimpleroneisadequate.TheprincipleofOccam'srazorhasshownitselftobeagood thinkingprincipleoverthecenturies.Asanexample,comparePtolemy'searthcenteredsystemof theuniversewithCopernicus'ssuncenteredmodel.Theformermodelisrathercomplex,whereas thelatterissimpler.Scientificevidencehassupportedthesimplermodel.Butthatdoesn'tmean thatextravaganthypothesesarenevertrue.Theycanbe.Butitismorerationaltoexplorethe simpler,moreprosaicexplanationsfirst.Theyaretheonesmostlikelytobetrue. Asanexampleofanextravaganthypothesis,considerthefollowing,somewhatcommon, experience: Iwenttobedlastnightatmyusualtime.Myhusbandwasalreadysleeping.IfoundIhadno troublegoingtosleepbutsomethingawakenedmeshortlythereafter.IknowIwasawake, butIwasunabletomove.Iwasparalyzedandveryfrightened.Itriedtocallouttomy husbandbutIcouldn't.Hewassoundasleep,unawareofthetraumaIwasexperiencing.AsI

waslyingthereparalyzedwithfear,Isensedapresenceintheroom.Ican'ttellyouwhatthey lookedlike,butitseemedliketherewereseveralcreaturesstandingattheendofmybed.I felthelpless,andtorturedwithfear.Aftermanyminuteshadpassed,Iwasabletomove again.Isatupinbedwithacuteanxiety,asIexpectedtoseesomesmallcreatures,butthey weregone. SomepeoplemightbelievethatthisexperienceisavisitationbyUFOalienswhohavearrivedto abducttheparalyzedvictimforascientificexaminationquiteanextravaganthypothesis.Others seethisasasimplecaseofsleepparalysis,acommonbutoftenfrighteningnuisancethatis oftenaccompaniedbyhallucinations. Commonlypeopleimaginebraintumorsinsteadoftensionheadachesorinterpretunfamiliar namesandphonenumbersonapieceofpaperasevidenceofinfidelityinsteadofasimple referencetoachild'steacheroranautorepairshop.Peoplewithhypochondriacalandparanoid disordersareespeciallyvulnerabletocreatingwildhypotheses,butitisinnowayrestrictedto them.Studentswhohaven'tbeencalledonbytheirprofessormightassumethattheirprofessor dislikesthem,whereasthosewhoarecalledonmoreoftenmightimaginearomanticinterest.To thechagrinofsome,theworldisoftensimpleranddullerthanweimagineittobe. ConspiracyTheories:DidWeLandontheMoon? SomeAmericansbelievethemoonlandingin1969wasfaked.Insteadoftakingevents atfacevalue,theadvocatesofthisviewhaveidentifiedevidencethatsuggeststhe wholeeventwasstagedintheAmericandesert.Atfirstglancetheirargumentsappear interestingandevenplausible.Investigationwillshow,however,thatthereisasimple explanationforeachoftheanomaliesthattheyclaimsupportstheircase.Conspiracy theoriesaretypicallyextravaganthypotheses.Isthemoonconspiracytheoryan extravaganthypothesis?Orisitmoreextravaganttobelievethatweactuallylandedon themoonwithcomputerpowerlessthanthatusedbymanytoys?

FalseAnalogy
Afalseanalogy,alsocalledaweakanalogy,occurswhenthesimilaritiesbetweentwothings beingcomparedarenotsubstantialenoughtoassumethatanothercharacteristicofoneofthem probablyappliestotheother.Someonemightargue,Justasanappletreeundersomestress bearsmorefruitthananothertreethatlacksfornothing,sotooawomanunderstresswillbear morechildrenthanonewhosuffersnothingatall.Obviouslythisanalogyisfalse.Thesimilarities betweenawomanandanappletreeregardingfertilityareweakandsuperficialthedifferencesfar outweighanysimilarity.

SlipperySlope
Waterslidesarebecomingincreasinglypopularinthemeparkstheyalsoexistwithsome popularityinourthinkingparks,althoughtheyhavenoplacethere.Theslipperyslopeargument isfallaciousreasoningwhicharguesthat,asonawaterslide,onceapersoninitiatesanaction, thereisnostoppingituntilithitsbottom.Thisargumenthasbeenused,forexample,by opponentsofguncontrollaws.Theselawsgenerallyaimatremovinghandgunsandhaveno intentionofeliminatinghuntingrifles,knives,andsoforth.Nonetheless,itisnotuncommonto heararebuttaltohandguncontrolthatsoundslikethefollowing: Sure,theywanttotakeawayourhandguns.That'swhattheywantnow.Butwhatarethey goingtowanttotakeawaynext?Soonitwillbeourhuntingrifles,nextitwillbeourhunting knives.Soonwewillhaveapolicestateinwhichonlytheoppressivegovernmentwillown arms.Givethemaninchtodayandthey'llsoontakeamile.Inshort,givingawayour handgunsisnothinglessthangivingawayourfreedom! Theerroneousassumptionbehindthisargumentisthateachstepbetweentheremovalof handgunsandultimateoppressionisverysmallandthustherewillbenostoptotheactionuntil allstepshavebeentaken.Inotherwords,theassumptionisthatonemustinevitablyslidefrom handguncontroltosevereoppressionthereisnostoppinginthemiddle.Thisargumentoften soundsquiteconvincing,butnologicalnecessitysupportsit.Thefirsttimeamankilled somethingthathedidn'teatandthatwasn'ttryingtoeathim,achannelwasopenthatmade Hiroshimapossible,butitcertainlydidn'tmakeitinevitable(Slater,1974).Oninnumerable occasionspeopledostopalongtheslipperyslopeandtravelnofurther.Somepeopledostopat twodrinks,andsomedoeatonlyafewpotatochips. Humanrelationshipsprovidemanyoccasionsforslipperyslopearguments.Sometimesaman andwomanbecomeuncompromisingbecauseofthefearthatonecompromisewillleadtoanother untilonepersoniseventuallydominatedentirelybytheother,sometimesslidingdownthe slipperyslopetoadivorce.Onekindofhumanrelationshipproposal,thehomosexualmarriage, seemstogreasetheslipperyslopeaspeopleseriouslyarguethatallowinghomosexualstomarry willopenthedoortoaplethoraofunconventionalmarriages,includingmarriagesbetweenpets andtheirowners!

Theslipperyslopeargumentholdshumanappeal,butlogicallyitisfallacious.Ifitweren't, smokerswouldneverquit,everydrinkerwouldbecomeadrunkard,everysexualfantasywould leadtoadultery,andeveryviolentmanwouldeventuallyrapeandmurder.

OtherReasoningFallacies
Thefollowingreasoningfallaciesaredifficulttoclassifyexclusivelyaserrorsineitherdeductiveor inductivethinking.Nonetheless,theyarecommonandegregiouserrors.

TheGeneticFallacy
Thetermgeneticisderivedfromthewordgenesis,meaningorigin.Thegeneticfallacy,broadly stated,istheassumptionthatthepropertiesoftheoriginofXarethepropertiesofX.Toassume thatamedicationispoisonousbecauseitismadeofpoisonmushroomsistocommitthisfallacy. Whenappliedtoideas,thegeneticfallacyisthemistakenbeliefthattheoriginofanideahas somebearingonthetruthorfalsityofit.GoodideascomeoutofIvyleagueschools,butsodo badideas.Andsomeofthegreatestmenandwomeninhistorycamefrompoorfamiliesorbroken homes,ortheyworkedinverymenialcareers.ThephilosopherSpinozawasahumblelensmaker livingaverysimpleandfrugallife,themysticJacobBoehmewasashoecobblerwhenhiswork wasdiscovered,andJesuswasapoorcarpenter'ssonwhowascalledabastardbyhistown's people. Besidesoriginatingfromhumbleorigins,worksofgeniusalsocomefromtheneuroticand psychotic.Todisparagetheworkofsuchpersonagessimplybecauseoftheiroriginswouldbe foolish.TherenownnineteenthcenturyDutchpainterVincentvanGogh,forexample,wasdeeply disturbed,andsowasoneofthegreatestcontributorstoamonumentalliteraryachievement,the OxfordEnglishDictionary:NooneattheDictionaryhadhithertoexpectedthattheirmost assiduouscontributorwasamadman,amurderer.(Winchester,2003,p.200).Asthe philosopher/psychologistWilliamJamesputit,Inthenaturalsciencesandindustrialartsitnever occurstoanyonetotrytorefuteopinionsbyshowinguptheirauthor'sneuroticconstitution. Opinionshereareinvariablytestedbylogicandbyexperiment,nomatterwhatmaybetheir author'sneurologicaltype(1902,pp.1718). Clearlytheoriginoftheideaorproductdoesnotalwaysbearonitsveracity.Butsometimesit does.Forexample,itisnotfallacioustoassumethatthequalityofanitemisprobablypoor becauseofitsmaker'sbadreputation.

AppealtoAuthority
Thebookthatyouareholdingpurportstogiveadescriptionofthephysicalworld.Whydoyou believewhatItellyou?BecauseIamaprofessorofphysicalchemistryandhavecanvassed yourvote? BrianSilver,TheAscentofScience Onetypeofgeneticfallacyistheappealtoauthority.Peopleuseitwhenevertheyjustifytheir valuesandideasbyappealingtoanauthoritativesource.Thisisnotnecessarilyfallacious.Inthe complexworldinwhichwelive,noonecanmasterallsubjects.Weconsultourdoctorabout mattersofhealth,ourautomechanicaboutourcar,thechildpsychologistaboutchildraising practices,andsoon.However,thesepeoplearenotalwayscorrectintheirjudgments.Therefore, abeliefthatsomethingistruebecauseanexpertsaidsoisusuallyagoodbet,butitisnot necessarilyso.Nonetheless,relyingonexpertsisstillprudentgivenourgenerallackofknowledge aboutmostofwhatgoesonaroundus. Althoughappealtoauthorityisoftenreasonableforobtainingknowledgeabouttheworldaround us,therearemanyinstancesinwhichitisabused.Onesuchinstanceistheappealtofalse authority,suchastelevisioncelebrities,athleticheroes,andprominentmusicianswhentheyare presentedtousasauthoritiesinareaswelloutsidetheirfields. Evenappealtolegitimateauthorityisnotwithoutitsproblems.Considerthenumberof authoritiesinthefieldsofphilosophy,physics,psychology,andsoforthwhodisagreewitheach otheronimportantmatterswithintheirfield.CarlJungandSigmundFreuddisagreedaboutthe roleofsexualmotivationinhumanbehavior.Bothofthemwereauthorities,bothofthemhad brilliantminds,butatleastoneofthemwasverywrong! Likewise,books,includingthisone,arenotanabsolutesourceofauthority.Studentsin classroomsoftenappealtoatexttoargueagainsttheirprofessor.Theassumptionisthatifitisin thetext,itisthereforemoreaccuratethantheprofessor'sknowledge.Individualswritebooks,and theseindividualsarefallible. AnotherkindofbooktowhichpeopleoftenappealistheBible.SomepeopleconsulttheirBible formattersthatareoutsidetheauthorityoftheBible,suchasmattersofastronomy,health,and anthropology.Thesesubjectsarebetterlefttoastronomers,physicians,andanthropologists becausetheBiblehasbeenshowntobeunreliableinthesematterswhenitiscomparedwith scientificstudies. Insum,anytimeweappealtoanauthoritythatisnotasourceofaccurateinformationona

topic,weareengaginginaninvalidappeal.Andgiventhedissensionamongevenlegitimate authorities,wemustbecautiousintheseappealsalso.Wheneverpractical,wemustrelyonthe validityoftheauthority'sargumentsandthestrengthoftheevidencepresented,ratherthanon thatperson'swordalone. ThinkAboutIt: Aristotlebelievedtheheavenstobecrystallinespheres,physiciansusedtoengagein bloodletting,chemistsusedtopracticealchemy,andchurchofficialsbelievedinwitches whomadepactswithdevils.Canyouthinkofotherauthoritieswhohavebeenwrong?

AppealtoTradition
Traditionhasastrongappeal.Traditionsarerootedinfamilyandcorporatestructuresandin religiousandpoliticalrituals.Ifthosetraditionsaresoundandhealthy,andhaveprovensuccessful inraisingpeopleorproducingcorporateproducts,theycanbereferredtoastriedandtrueand shouldbekept(ifitain'tbroke,don'tfixit).Butbecausesomethinghasalwaysbeenthecase doesnotmeanthatitisrightorappropriatenow,orthatitwaseverrightorappropriate.Appeal totraditionisanattempttojustifyapracticeorpolicybecauseithasalwaysbeenthatway.This isfallaciousreasoningbecauseinnumerableinstancescanbecitedofthingshavingbeen traditionallydonewrong.Moreover,giventhechangesinknowledgethatsciencehasbroughtus andtherapidculturalchangethathastakenplacethroughouttheworldinthelastseveral decades,apositionorideathatwasonceappropriatemaybewhollyinadequatenow.For example,considerthisargument:Awoman'splaceisinthehome.That'sthewayit'salways been,andthat'sthewayitoughttobe.Suchanappealtotraditionwillnotswaythemillionsof womenwhowouldloathetoreturntoaworldthatoppressedandsubjugatedwomenforhundreds ofyears,tosaynothingabouttheeconomichardshipthiswouldbringtomanyfamilies. Onegentlemantriedtoreturnmerchandisetoastoreforacashrefund.Thestoreclerkrefused, saying,That'sbeenourpolicyforthirtyyears.Onecouldcertainlyarguethatthat'sbeenapoor orunfairpolicyforthirtyyears.(Itcertainlyresultedinthelossofatleastonecustomer.)As anotherexample,amanwashavingsomeremodelingworkdoneonhishome.Theowner questionedsomeunorthodoxpracticesofthebuilder,onlytobetoldthatthat'sthewayI'vebeen buildingthesethingsforfifteenyears.Aftertheprojectwascompleted,amorecompetentbuilder lookedattheprojectandidentifiedadozenexamplesofpoorconstruction.Forfifteenyearsthis personhadbeenbuildingincompetently.Obviously,becausesomethinghasbeentraditiondoes notmeanitshouldremainso. Thewatertrial,usedbyEuropeanancestors,makesafinalandpoignantargument: Inthejudgmentbyboilingwater,theaccused,orhewhopersonatedtheaccused,wasobliged toputhisnakedarmintoacaldronfullofboilingwater,andtodrawoutastonethenceplaced atagreaterorlessdepth,accordingtothequalityofthecrimes.Thisdone,thearmwas wrappedupandthejudgesethissealontheclothandattheendofthreedaystheyreturned toviewitwhenifitwerefoundwithoutanyscald,theaccusedwasdeclaredinnocent(Water ordeal,EncyclopediaBritannica,1771). Thankgoodnessthistraditionisnolongerwithus.

TheIs/OughtFallacy
Theappealtotraditionisaformoftheis/oughtfallacy,whichoccurswheneverwetrytoargue thatbecausesomethingisthecase,itthereforeoughttobethecase.Theprobleminthisfallacy isthatoneisattemptingtogofromadescriptivestatement,orstatementoffact,toanobligatory one.Theseseemtobeverydifferentkindsofstatements,sogoingfromonetotheotheris generallyconsideredtobeillegitimate.Forexample,itmightseemreasonableenoughtothe casualthinkertosaythatpeoplearesexualcreatures(statementoffact)andthereforethey oughttohavesex(statementofobligation),butmanywouldrightfullyfindnoforcebehindthis argument.Theycouldarguethatifweacceptthepremisethatbecausepeoplearesexual creaturestheyoughttobesexual,thenwemustalsoaccepttheargumentthatbecausepeople areaggressivecreaturestheyoughttobeaggressive,orbecausehumanseatsweetsanddrink alcohol,theyoughttoeatsweetsanddrinkalcohol,andsoon.Andtheseobligationsarenotlikely tobeaccepted.Iftheconclusionsofsomeis/oughtstatementsarelegitimatewhileothersare not,themovementfromanistoanoughthasrestrictionsandmustinvolveotherconcerns, values,orotherconditionsifitislegitimateatall.Insum,althoughtheremaybesome exceptionsasthereareafewphilosopherswhosupportsomeistooughtstatementsthemove fromanistoanoughtisgenerallyconsideredaninvalidthinkingmaneuver.That,however,does notmeantheconclusions(obligatorystatements)fromthesemaneuversarenecessarilywrong, onlythatthoseconclusionscannotbesupportedbyorderivedfromthedescriptivestatement. MoreThoughtsAboutOughts Canstatementsofobligationbeentirelyindependentoffacts?Considertheargument thatpeopleoughttodogoodbecausedoinggoodleadstogreaterhappiness.Inthis

argumentthereappearstobeamovefromanis(goodleadstohappiness)toanought (thereforeweshoulddoit).Andbehindthismovethereisanassumptionthatweought toseekhappiness.Isthatbecauseofthefactthatthatiswhatpeopleseek?If statementsofobligationarenotentirelyindependentfromfacts,thenwhatconditions allowustomakethismovefromfacttoobligation?Andhowarethoseconditionstobe determined?Ifstatementsofobligationarecompletelyseparatefromfacts,thenhow arewetodeterminewhatweareobligedtodo?Orarequestionsofoughtssomething likequestionsabouthowheavythecolorredis?Thesethoughtsaboutoughtswecan leavetothephilosophers.

ThinkAboutIt: Theis/oughtfallacyisoftenusedbythepublictoarguethatheterosexualityshouldbe practiced,nothomosexuality.Thesexualorgansaremadeforprocreation,the argumentgoes,thereforetheyshouldbeusedforsuch.Ofcourse,thisnotonlymakes homosexualitywrongbutallformsofsexualbehaviorwhereprocreationisnotintended. Moreover,thestatementthatsexualorgansaremadeforprocreationcouldbe challenged.Someonemightarguethattheyareusedtoprovidepleasurealso,orthey couldrestatetheentireargument:Ifoneishomosexualbecauseofconditionsofnature, oneoughttobehomosexual.Whatdoyouthinkabouttheis/oughtfallacy?Haveyou usedtheis/oughtfallacyinanyofyourargumentsabouthowhumanbeingsoughtto behave?

BandwagonAppeal
Similartoappealtotraditionisthebandwagonappeal,whichisanappealtopopularity.Itisthe attempttojustifyapositiononthebasisthateverybodyisdoingit.Mostpeoplehaveheardof thebandwagoneffectwithrespecttopoliticalelections.Itiswellknownthatagoodsegmentof oursocietydoesnotwanttobeassociatedwithlosers.Thus,whentheylearnthataparticular candidateisfallingoutoffavororiscapturingtheattentionoflargeaudiences,theyadoptthe stancethatthemajorityistaking,ineffect,sidingwiththewinner.Totakeacontraryopinion oftenrequiressignificantselfesteemandcourage.Thuswefindpoliticianseagerlysharinganypoll theycanfindthatputsthemintheleadthebandwagoneffectwillonlyenhancetheirleadthat muchmore. Ofcourse,justbecausemostpeoplearedoingsomethingdoesnotjustifyit,foritispossible thattheyarewrong.Historyisrepletewithexamplesinwhichthemajorityofapopulation adheredtoerroneousideas,madepoorchoices,oractedunjustly.ThewidesupportofHitlerisbut oneexamplethemasspurchasesofstocksbeforethe1929stockmarketcrashisanother. Tohelpusresistthebandwagonappeal,weshouldrememberthatallgreatideas,suchasour modelofthesolarsystem,thetheoryofevolution,Einstein'stheoryofrelativity,andthedouble helixmodelofDNA,wereoncenovelideas.Mostgreatideaswerenotacceptedinstantlythey hadtocompetewithlessaccuratebutmorepopularnotions.Eventheautomobilewasscornedby manyasitbeganreplacingthehorseandbuggy.Fortunately,novelideascanovercomethe obstacleofcontrarypopularopinion,forwithoutnovelideas,therecouldbenogrowthwithout peoplewiththecouragetobedifferent,therewouldbeintellectualandculturalstagnation.

AppealtoIgnorance
Theappealtoignoranceisnotanappealtoone'sstupidity,asthenamesuggests.Instead,it statesapositiontobetrue,oratleastwellsupported,byappealingtothefactthatthereisno evidencetoprovethepositionfalse.Or,conversely,itstatessomethingtobefalse,orlikely false,becauseitisnotproventobetrue.Butthislineofreasoningisnotlegitimate.Forexample, wecannotprovethatangelsdonotexist,butthatdoesnotmeanthattheydonomorethanthe earlyfailuretoprovethattheearthwasnotflatmeantthatitwas.Conversely,wecannotbelieve thattheideaoflifeoutsidethesolarsystemisfalsesimplybecausethereisnoevidencethat provesittobetrue. Thiskindoffallaciousreasoningisusedallthetimeeveninpresidentialdebates.Apresidential candidateonceaccusedtheincumbentpresidentofdeliberatelyspreadingfalseandnegative propagandaagainsthim.Oneofthepresident'srepresentativesrespondedbysayingthathedidn't believetherewasanyevidencetoprovethat.Theimplicationwasthat,becausetherewasno proofthatitwastrue,theaccusationwaspatentlyfalse.Whethertrueornot,theresponsetothe accusationwasanappealtoignorance,forproofornot,theaccusationmayhavebeentrue. Indesperation,bothsidesinadebatemayresorttotheappealtoignorance.PersonAargues thatBcannotshowA'spositiontobefalse,andthereforeA'spositionistrue.ButpersonBmight retortthatpersonAhasnotprovedB'spositiontobefalseandthereforeB'spositionistrue. Hereinliesthecomedyofthiskindofthinking:Ifneitherposition,neitherAnorB,canbeproved false,andeachpositioncontradictstheother,thinkhowabsurditwouldbeforbothpartiesto concludethattheirpositionisthereforetrue.

Therearesomecommonsenseexceptionstothisfallacy.If,forexample,somebodyruns severalscientifictestsforaspecificscientifichypothesisandtestaftertestyieldsnosupportfor thehypothesiswhen,ifthehypothesisweretrue,supportshouldhavebeenfound,thenitwould bereasonabletoarguethatthepositionisfalsebecauseithasnotbeenshowntobetrue. Insum,withexceptionsinmind,havingnoevidenceforapositiondoesnotmaketheposition false,andhavingnoevidenceagainstapositiondoesnotmakeittrue.Wecanallimaginea hundredmythicalmonsters,butwecannotlegitimatelyarguethattheyallexistsimplybecause thereisnoproofthattheydonot.

Summary
Alongwithcreativethought,inductiveanddeductivelogiccomprisethebedrockandsubstanceof allourthinking.Weexploreddeductivethinkingthroughthethreemajortypesofsyllogisms: categorical,hypothetical(ifthen),anddisjunctive(either/or).Weexploredsomeformalfallacies, suchasdenyingtheantecedentandaffirmingtheconsequent,andweemphasizedtheimportance ofcleardefinitionsforourterms.Validandinvalidconversionswerealsoaddressedwelearned thatwecannotalwayssimplyreversetheelementsofastatementwithoutchangingitsmeaning. Attheendofthesectionondeduction,weexploredsomeinformaldeductivefallacies.Herewe learnedthatweshouldnotassumethatthepartsofwholessharetheircharacteristics.Norshould weengageincircularreasoningbyassumingwhatwearetryingtoproveorfallpreytothe either/orfallacybyreducingcomplexissuesintosimplisticalternatives.Inthissectionwealso learnedtorefuteargumentsbyexposingtheseandotherreasoningerrorsorbyreducinga propositionorconclusiontoitsabsurdity. Finally,inductivethinkingwhichmovesfromtheparticulartothegeneral,yieldingconclusions withvaryingdegreesofprobabilitywasexploredandcontrastedwithdeductivethinking,inwhich conclusionsmustfollowfromthepremises.Weexploredtheanalogicalargumentasavalidform ofinductivereasoning,eventhoughaprecisetestforastronganalogycannotbefound.Wethen identifiedcommonerrorsininductivereasoningsuchasfalseanalogy,hastygeneralization,fallacy ofcomposition,extravaganthypotheses,andslipperyslopethinking.Wealsoexplorederrorsin causalthinkingthroughdiscussionofposthocergopropterhocandthedifferenttypesof causation:necessary,necessaryandsufficient,sufficient,andcontributory.Lastly,welookedat additionalfallaciesthebandwagonappealandtheappealstoauthority,tradition,andignorance. Weexploredtheis/oughtfallacyandlearnedthatjustbecausesomethingisthecasedoesnot meanitoughttobethecase.Andwelearned,throughouracquaintancewiththegeneticfallacy, tobecautiousaboutrejectingideasbecauseoftheirorigins.Throughalltheseideaswehave honedourthinkingtoamuchfineredge.

LogicChallenges
1. Giventhatcausallawsofnaturearedescriptionsofpastevents,onwhatbasiscanwe assumethattheselawsmustbethesameinthefuture? Howdotheemotionsofangeranddepressionaffectyourabilitytothinklogically? Ifsomeonecouldtakeoneofyourcherishedbeliefsandshowthatitisbasedonfaulty reasoning,wouldyoureadilyabandonit? Howlogicaldoyouthinkmosthumanbeingsare? Identifybeliefsandattitudesofthosearoundyouthatyoubelievearefoundedonpoor logic.Canyoufindillogicalthinkingembeddedinourculturalbeliefs? Shouldpeoplewhoareuninformedandreasonillogicallybeallowedtovoteforissuesand candidatesthatdeterminethecourseofthecountry?Why? Identifyexamplesinwhichwereasonlogicallybutdonotactaccordingly.Whataresome reasonsforthisinconsistency? Towhatextentcanwediscovertruthsabouttheworldthroughreasoningalone,without science?Aretheretruthsthatwewillneverdiscoverthroughreason? Whatwouldyouthinkaboutsomeonewhowassologicalthatheorshealwaysacted rationally,neverallowingfeelingstogetintheway?Isthistheidealperson?Orwouldthis beaflawedperson?Why? Howoftendoyouuseorinanonexclusivemanner?Whenyouuseitthisway,doothers knowhowyouareusingit?

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Thenexttimeyougetintoaseriousdebateorargument,writedownasummaryofthe pointsmadeonbothsides.Canyouidentifyanyreasoningerrors? Whatkindofthinkingerrorsdoyouthinkaremostcommonlymade,inductiveor deductive?Whatkindofthinkingerrorsdoyoumostcommonlymake? Whatkindofthinkingerrorsliebehindstereotypes? HowhaveyourespondedinthepasttothequestionDoyoubelieveinGod?Didyouask forthemeaningofGodbeforeyouresponded?HowmanydifferentmeaningsofGodcan youthinkof?Canyouthinkofotherquestionsthatshouldbequalifiedbeforeanswering? Whatissuesdoyoutendtolookatinblackandwhite(either/or)terms? Thinkofthecomplexnetworkofcausesthathaveledtoyourexistence.Whatarethe oddsofyourcreation? Whenwasthelasttimeyoumadeaposthocergopropterhocerror?Describeit. Canyouthinkofanypopularhypothesesforeventsthatwouldbeconsideredextravagant? Areallextravaganthypothesesinerror?Howwouldyourespondtosomeonemaintaining anextravaganthypothesiswhosaystoyou,ProveI'mwrong? Someanalogiesareweakandsomearestrong.Cananythingbeprovenevenwitha stronganalogy? Whathastygeneralizationshaveyoumaderecently? Identifysomepopularslipperyslopeargumentsforcontemporaryissuestoday. Insomefamiliesincestandchildabusearetraditional,beingpassedfromgenerationto generation.Canyouthinkofothertraditionalpracticesthatoughttobeabandoned? Whatillegitimateauthoritieshaveyouappealedtointhepast? IfyouareaChristianandhearargumentsagainsttheideaofGodandtheexistenceof Jesus,andifyouaretoldthattheseargumentscomefromahandbookforatheists,would youconsiderthem,orwouldyourejectthemoutright?Ifthelatter,wouldyoubeguiltyof committingthegeneticfallacy? Canyouthinkofanyexampleinwhichitseemslegitimatetoarguefromanistoan ought?Whataboutthisone:Humansseekandstruggleforfreedom,thereforethey oughttobefree?Ifthisargumentseemslegitimatetoyou,trytodevelopa counterargumentinwhichhumansseekandstruggleforsomethingbutoughtnothavethe objectoftheirstruggle.Oraretherenosucharguments? Towhatextentshouldwerelyonanyauthorityforinformation?Isthisapproachevera reasonablewayofknowing?Whatwoulditbeliketoliveinaworldinwhichwebelieved onlyinwhatweexperiencedandneverinwhatweheardfromothers?

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