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Logic & Scientific Philosophy

Gifted Individuals Proved “Ungeniuses”

All gifted individuals are geniuses.

Stephanie is a gifted individual.

Therefore, Stephanie is a genius.

Though this syllogism is valid, it is not sound as the information was based upon subjective opinions.  This statement is valid because it follows a correct form in which it includes a middle term “A” (all the gifted individuals), a predicate term “B” (geniuses), and a subject term “C” (Stephanie).  It is not a true statement or sound statement as the first premise is a false claim, because not all gifted individuals are geniuses.  Though many possess extraordinary traits, this does not necessarily mean all, including Stephanie, is a genius.

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Discussion

2 thoughts on “Gifted Individuals Proved “Ungeniuses”

  1. The syllogism is valid, as you suggest. However, it is not “not sound as the information was based upon subjective opinions.” A statement may be based on a subjective opinion and yet still be true.

    For an argument to be shown to be unsound, a premise must be *shown* to be false. You want to show that not all gifted individuals are geniuses. You state that it is false, but you give me no reason to be false. You need to identify a case where a person is a gifted individual but not a genius. For example, Wayne Gretzky is a gifted individual – he is a great hockey player – but he is not a genius.

    Posted by Stephen Downes | October 3, 2012, 11:30 am
    • Perhaps my definition of “gifted” wasn’t clear enough. By “gifted” I meant people who are “identified gifted through a standardized test of higher level thinking”. In my syllogism, Stephanie is a gifted individual, which does show a case/ example. Do you suggest that I reword my syllogism or my reasoning?

      Posted by stephsmiles777 | October 4, 2012, 6:35 pm

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