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Week 3 Discussion 2: Understanding Deductive Categorical Reasoning
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Read/review the following resources for this activity:
Textbook: Chapter 5, 6
Minimum of 1 scholarly source
Initial Post Instructions
Deductive categorical reasoning is demanding. Its forms are rigid, but they are rigid with a reason; deductive categorical arguments are intended to prove the conclusion. If the premises are true and the conclusion logically follows, you have no choice but to accept the argument. The categorical syllogism is like a piece of machinery, the parts working together to produce a result – in the case of the categorical syllogism, the truth of the conclusion.
For the initial post, address all of the following:
Explain how the machinery of the categorical syllogisms works.
Why two premises and one conclusion?
Why only three terms?
Why only four standard forms?
When and where, in your private life or your work life, would you want to use this type of reasoning?
Look at “One Step Further” at the end of Chapter 6 or choose from Exercise 6.22, examples 1, 5 or 7. Translate one of the arguments there into a categorical syllogism.
Follow-Up Post Instructions
Deductive Categorical Reasoning
The machinery of the categorical syllogism works on the basis of a mediate inference that comprises of two premises that come together to determine the conclusion’s truth. Overall, categorical syllogism deductively determines the truth of a given conclusion by way of comparison of the relationship between categories or terms (as it were).
Importantly, a categorical syllogism must contain two premises and one conclusion. This is because since this syllogism is based on categorical judgment, having two premises and one conclusion allows for the presence of one of the three terms in the two premises (it actually links them) but which must be absent in the conclusion to give ground for a mediated inference. Since a syllogism must have two premises and one conclusion, it goes without saying that it consists of three propositions, hence three terms because each term occurs two times. Additionally, a categorical syllogism has only four standard forms because the terms can only be expressed in four possible orders. The standard forms are the possible statements that can be taken by both premises, and they in specific are the universal affirmative and negative statements as well as the particular affirmative and negative statements (Veszelka, 2016). In general, the number of terms and standard forms constitute some of the rules upon which to evaluate categorical syllogism’s validity (Benitez, 2016).
An example where deductive categorical reasoning would be applied in work life would be when trying to analyze a business scenario while trying to make a major decision in the same context. Assuming one wants to make a decision to invest in a given industry; a starting point is make an assumption that investing in such an industry would indeed be profitable. One would then move to prove this through deductive categorical reasoning by taking into account the industry history, market facts, and prevailing conditions.
All indefinite pronouns refer to unnamed or unknown people, places, or things. Everyone refers to unnamed people, because everyone is used to indicate any group of people. So it clearly is an indefinite pronoun.
All indefinite pronouns refer to unnamed or unknown people, places, or things.
Everyone refers to unnamed people.
Therefore, everyone is an indefinite pronoun.
Benitez, J.L. (2016). Aristotelian Categorical Syllogism: An Alternative Pedagogical Approach. KRITIKE, 10(1),301-314.
Veszelka, A. (2016). Correcting categorical syllogisms: How people untrained in logic show the way out of illogical logic. Pellea Human Research, Working Paper– August 2016. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.2333.9764/1