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Thus, the conclusion follows necessarily from the premises and inferences. In this way, it is supposed to

be a definitive proof of the truth of the claim (conclusion). Here is a classic example:

2. Socrates was a man. (premise)

3. Socrates was mortal. (conclusion)

As you can see, if the premises are true (and they are), then it simply isn't possible for the conclusion to

be false. If you have a deductive argument and you accept the truth of the premises, then you must also

accept the truth of the conclusion; if you reject it, then you are rejecting logic itself.

An inductive argument is one in which the premises are supposed to support the conclusion in such a way

that if the premises are true, it is improbable that the conclusion would be false. Thus, the conclusion

follows probablyfrom the premises and inferences. Here is an example:

1. Socrates was Greek. (premise)

2. Most Greeks eat fish. (premise)

3. Socrates ate fish. (conclusion)

In this example, even if both premises are true, it is still possible for the conclusion to be false (maybe

Socrates was allergic to fish, for example). Words which tend to mark an argument as inductive - and

hence probabilistic rather than necessary - include probably, likely, possibly and reasonably.

It may seem that inductive arguments are weaker than deductive arguments because there must always

remain the possibility of their arriving at false conclusions, but that is not entirely true. With deductive

arguments, our conclusions are already contained, even if implicitly, in our premises. This means that we

don't arrive at new information - at best, we are shown information which was obscured or unrecognized

previously. Thus, the sure truth-preserving nature of deductive arguments comes at a cost.

Inductive arguments, on the other hand, do provide us with new ideas and thus may expand our

knowledge about the world in a way that is impossible for deductive arguments to achieve. Thus, while

deductive arguments may be used most often with mathematics, most other fields of research make

extensive use of inductive arguments.

Formal Fallacy

Exposition:

A Formal Fallacy is a type of argument the logical form of which is not validating, that is, there

are arguments of that form that are not valid. Formal Fallacy is the most general fallacy

for fallacious arguments that are not formally valid, and a given argument will usually commit a

more specific formal fallacy―see the Subfallacies, below. A given fallacious argument would be

classified as a Formal Fallacy only if it could not be given a more specific classification. For this

reason, there is no Example of Formal Fallacy given; instead, see the Examples under the

Subfallacies.

In modern systems of formal logic there are usually an infinite number of argument forms that

are not validating. For this reason, to count as a formal fallacy, a non-validating form of

argument needs at least one of the following additional characteristics:

It is deceptive and likely to be committed, usually by having a logical form that is similar

to and liable to be confused with a validating form of argument. The fallacies of

propositional logic are of this type.

It is part of a system of rules such that any argument of a type which the rules can be

applied to, and which commits no fallacy, thereby breaks no rules. Syllogistic fallacies

are of this type.

Exposure:

The distinction between a Formal and an Informal Fallacy is that a formal fallacy is based solely

on logical form, and an informal fallacy takes into account the non-logical content of the

argument. This roughly parallels the distinction between deductive and non-deductive modes of

reasoning. Typically, formal fallacies are committed by deductive arguments, whereas informal

fallacies occur in arguments that could be at best inductively strong. However, there are

exceptions to this pattern, for instance Begging the Question.

Source:

Subfallacies:

Probabilistic Fallacy

Syllogistic Fallacy

The following rules must be observed in order to form a valid categorical syllogism:

Rule-1. A valid categorical syllogism will have three and only three unambiguous categorical

terms.

The use of exactly three categorical terms is part of the definition of a categorical syllogism, and

we saw earlier that the use of an ambiguous term in more than one of its senses amounts to the

use of two distinct terms. In categorical syllogisms, using more than three terms commits the

fallacy of four terms.

Example:

Knowledge is power

Knowledge tends to corrupt

Justification: This syllogism appears to have only three terms, but there are really four since one

of them, the middle term “power” is used in different senses in the two premises. To reveal the

argument’s invalidity we need only note that the word “power” in the first premise means “ the

possession of control or command over people,” whereas the word “power” in the second

premise means “the ability to control things.

Rule-2. In a valid categorical syllogism the middle term must be distributed in at least one of

the premises.

In order to effectively establish the presence of a genuine connection between the major and

minor terms, the premises of a syllogism must provide some information about the entire class

designated by the middle term. If the middle term were undistributed in both premises, then

the two portions of the designated class of which they speak might be completely unrelated to

each other. Syllogisms that violate this rule are said to commit the fallacy of the undistributed

middle.

Fallacy: Undistributed middle

Example:

All salmon are fish

All salmon are sharks

Justification: The middle term is what connects the major and the minor term. If the middle

term is never distributed, then the major and minor terms might be related to different parts of

the M class, thus giving no common ground to relate S and P.

Rule-3. In a valid categorical syllogism if a term is distributed in the conclusion, it must be

distributed in the premises.

A premise that refers only to some members of the class designated by the major or minor term

of a syllogism cannot be used to support a conclusion that claims to tell us about every menber

of that class. Depending which of the terms is misused in this way, syllogisms in violation

commit either the fallacy of the illicit major or the fallacy of the illicit minor.

Fallacy: Illicit major; illicit minor

Examples:

Some dogs are not horses

Some dogs are not animals

And:

All mammals are animals

All animals are tigers

Justification: When a term is distributed in the conclusion, let’s say that P is distributed, then

that term is saying something about every member of the P class. If that same term is NOT

distributed in the major premise, then the major premise is saying something about only some

members of the P class. Remember that the minor premise says nothing about the P class.

Therefore, the conclusion contains information that is not contained in the premises, making

the argument invalid.

Rule-4. A valid categorical syllogism may not have two negative premises.

The purpose of the middle term in an argument is to tie the major and minor terms together in

such a way that an inference can be drawn, but negative propositions state that the terms of the

propositions are exclusive of one another. In an argument consisting of two negative

propositions the middle term is excluded from both the major term and the minor term, and

thus there is no connection between the two and no inference can be drawn. A violation of this

rule is called the fallacy of exclusive premises.

Fallacy: Exclusive premises

Example:

Some dogs are not fish

Some dogs are not mammals

Justification: If the premises are both negative, then the relationship between S and P is denied.

The conclusion cannot, therefore, say anything in a positive fashion. That information goes

beyond what is contained in the premises.

Rule-5. If either premise of a valid categorical syllogism is negative, the conclusion must be

negative.

An affirmative proposition asserts that one class is included in some way in another class, but a

negative proposition that asserts exclusion cannot imply anything about inclusion. For this

reason an argument with a negative proposition cannot have an affirmative conclusion. An

argument that violates this rule is said to commit the fallacy of drawing an affirmative

conclusion from a negative premise.

Fallacy: Drawing an affirmative conclusion from a negative premise, or drawing a negative

conclusion from an affirmative premise.

Example:

Some wolves are not crows

Some wolves are birds

Justification: Two directions, here. Take a positive conclusion from one negative premise. The

conclusion states that the S class is either wholly or partially contained in the P class. The only

way that this can happen is if the S class is either partially or fully contained in the M class

(remember, the middle term relates the two) and the M class fully contained in the P class.

Negative statements cannot establish this relationship, so a valid conclusion cannot follow. Take

a negative conclusion. It asserts that the S class is separated in whole or in part from the P class.

If both premises are affirmative, no separation can be established, only connections. Thus, a

negative conclusion cannot follow from positive premises. Note: These first four rules working

together indicate that any syllogism with two particular premises is invalid.

Rule-6. In valid categorical syllogisms particular propositions cannot be drawn properly from

universal premises.

Because we do not assume the existential import of universal propositions, they cannot be used

as premises to establish the existential import that is part of any particular proposition. The

existential fallacy violates this rule. Although it is possible to identify additional features shared

by all valid categorical syllogisms (none of them, for example, have two particular premises),

these six rules are jointly sufficient to distinguish between valid and invalid syllogisms.

Fallacy: Existential fallacy

Example:

All tigers are mammals

Some tigers are animals

Justification: On the Boolean model, Universal statements make no claims about existence

while particular ones do. Thus, if the syllogism has universal premises, they necessarily say

nothing about existence. Yet if the conclusion is particular, then it does say something about

existence. In which case, the conclusion contains more information than the premises do,

thereby making it invalid.

|||| Summary

Rule 1: There must be exactly three unambiguous categorical terms

Fallacy = Four terms

Rule 2: Middle term must be distributed at least once.

Fallacy = Undistributed Middle

Rule 3: All terms distributed in the conclusion must be distributed in one of the premises.

Fallacy = Illicit major; Illicit minor

HINT: Mark all distributed terms first Remember from Chapter 1 that a deductive argument may

not contain more information in the conclusion than is contained in the premises. Thus,

arguments that commit the fallacies of illicit major and illicit minor commit this error.

Rule 4: Two negative premises are not allowed.

Fallacy = Exclusive premises .The key is that "nothing is said about the relation between the S

class and the P class."

Rule 5: A negative premise requires a negative conclusion, and a negative conclusion requires

a negative premise.

Fallacy = Drawing an affirmative conclusion from a negative premise. OR

Drawing a negative conclusion from affirmative premises. OR Any syllogism having exactly one

negative statement is invalid.

Note the following sub-rule: No valid syllogism can have two particular premises. The last rule is

dependent on quantity.

Rule 6: If both premises are universal, the conclusion cannot be particular.

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