Exercise 6

If you haven’t done so already, you might like to read the post 6. Syllogisms before trying the following exercises. Afterwards, you can check your answers here.

For the following arguments, draw the appropriate conclusion and show whether it is formally valid or not. Proceed by defining the terms and showing the pattern. Then state whether the argument is valid. The first one has been done for you as an example:

i).
Terms:
S = the elderly priest’s first confessor
M = a murderer
P = the local businessman
Pattern:
1. The elderly priest’s first confessor is a murderer S is M
2. The local businessman was the elderly priest’s first confessor P is S
3. The local businessman is a murderer. P is M
This argument is valid.

ii).
A wise politician once said that he kept his friends close but his enemies even closer. His colleague, Xhiang Tsu, was always boasting that the wise politician always said no one was closer to him than Xhiang Tsu.
Therefore, _____________________________________________________ .

Terms:
S = the politician’s enemy
M = closest to the wise politician
P = Xhiang Tsu
Pattern:
1.
2.
3.
This argument is Valid / Invalid ?

iii. My friend says he believes in ghosts, but my dad said people who believe in ghosts are just superstitious. Therefore, _____________________________
Terms:
S =
M =
P =
1.
2.
3.
This argument is Valid / Invalid ?

iv. John is dishonest. All my friends are honest. Therefore, ___________________ .
Terms:
S =
M =
P =
1.
2.
3.
This argument is Valid / Invalid ?

Check the answers or continue reading

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