Argument forms

So the arguments:

f. All radicals are anti-corporate. Lucy is a radical. Therefore, Lucy is anti-corporate.


b. All softmicro products are junk, and FrontSheet is a softmicro product, so FrontSheet is junk.

Have the same underlying form:

All A are B. x is A. Therefore, x is B.

  1. What are the premises?
  2. What is the conclusion?
  3. What are x, A, and B in the above arguments?
  4. Think of some other arguments with the same form.

This is a valid form for an argument.

The invalid argument, (d), presented above, has the form:

x is A. y is A. Therefore x is y.

  1. Do you think it helps to put things 'generally', as we have, replacing the real words with letters or holes that could be filled by anything? Or do you think it makes things more difficult? In what way is it useful? In what way does it complicate matters? (This one doesn't have a right answer)

Another important form is

If P then Q. P. Therefore, Q.

An example of this form, from our friends the economists, is:

If inflation is to be fought at all costs, then unemployment must be maintained at a high level. Inflation must be fought at all costs. Unemployment must be kept high.

  1. Is this valid? Why?
  2. Is the conclusion true? If not, why not? (Hint: look at the enormous premises and the assumptions about the world buried in them)



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