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 Homework Help: Philosophy, Categorical Syllogisms

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Sailor Jupiter
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PostSubject: Homework Help: Philosophy, Categorical Syllogisms   17th January 2015, 4:56 pm

I am taking an introductory argumentative philosophy course at my university and could use some help!

Right now we are dipping our toes into categorical syllogisms and I'm having a lotta lotta trouble.

Here are my homework problems - I'm having trouble figuring any of them out. I have to look up definitions for each one and then double check it and then sometimes I still get the answers wrong. Does anyone have any advice or tips or a chart or well, anything to help out?

True or False?

(1) A valid argument may have a false conclusion. If so, provide an example and explain why
this example does not violate the definition of validity. If not, explain why not.

(2) All arguments with false premises and a false conclusion are valid. If so, explain why. If
not, explain why not in terms of an example.

(3) All arguments with false premises and a false conclusion are invalid. If so, explain why. If
not, explain why not in terms of an example.

(4) An argument with true premises and a false conclusion must be invalid. If so, explain why.
If not, explain why not in terms of an example.

(5) An argument with true premises and a true conclusion must be sound. If so, explain why.
If not, explain why not in terms of an example.

(6) If an argument is unsound, then it must have false premises. If so, explain why. If not,
explain why not in terms of an example.

(7) A sound argument must have a true conclusion. If so, explain why. If not, explain why not
in terms of an example.

(8 ) If an argument is invalid and it has true premises, then it must have a false conclusion. If
so, explain why. If not, explain why not in terms of an example.

(9) All unsound arguments are invalid. If so, explain why. If not, explain why not in terms of
an example.

(10) If an argument is valid and it has true premises, then it must have a true conclusion. If so,
explain why. If not, explain why not in terms of an example.

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Sailor Jupiter
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Age : 26
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PostSubject: Re: Homework Help: Philosophy, Categorical Syllogisms   17th January 2015, 6:04 pm

Okay, I think I figured it out.

1. True. A valid argument can have a false conclusion if the premise(s) are false because the form of the argument may be valid but the argument itself may be unsound.

Example:

All dogs are white (False premise)
All cats are dogs (False premise)
All cats are white (False conclusion)

In this example, if the premises were true (aka sound), the conclusion would be too. But they aren't, so it is unsound.

2. False, while some arguments with a false premise and false conclusion may be valid, all of them are not.

Example:

All cats are dogs (False premise)
All dogs are blue (False premise)
All cats are blue (False conclusion)

3. False. An argument can have a false premise and false conclusion and still have a valid form.

Example:

All cats are mice (False premise)
All mice are red (False premise)
Therefore all cats are red (False conclusion)

4. True, an argument with true premises and a false conclusion must be invalid because if both premises are true then the conclusion is true.

Example:

All dogs are animals (True premise)
All chihuahuas are dogs (True premise)
All chihuahuas are animals (True conclusion)

5. False. Some arguments with true premises and conclusions are invalid and therefore unsound.

Example:

All dogs are animals (True premise)
All chihuahuas are dogs (True premise)
All chihuahuas are animals (True conclusion)

6. False. While some arguments are unsound due to false premises, others are unsound due to invalid form.

Example:

All dogs are animals (True premise)
All chihuahuas are dogs (True premise)
All chihuahuas are animals (True conclusion)

7. True. A sound argument must have a true conclusion because a sound argument is valid - which means the premises are valid and therefore the conclusion is valid.

8. False. An invalid argument with true premises can have a false conclusion, but it can also have a true conclusion.

Example:
Some poodles are black (True premise)
Some dogs are black (True premise)
Some dogs are poodles (True conclusion)

9. False. Valid arguments may also be unsound but they will also have false premises.

All dogs are cats (False premise)
All hats are dogs (False premise)
All cats are hats (False conclusion)

10. True, because a valid argument cannot have true premises and a false conclusion.

-slam dunks homework- 

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