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Logic & Scientific Philosophy

Jonathan Toews, a Famous Hockey Player

Someone named Jonathan Toews is a famous hockey player

Jonathan Toews

I am someone named Jonathan Toews

Jonathan Toews

Therefore, I am a famous hockey player

Me, Jonathan Toews, the famous hockey player


This syllogism is both categorically invalid as well as not sound. Even though both premises are true, the two premises are particular propositions and do not relate to each other in a general fashion. This means that a conclusion cannot be drawn from them. Because the syllogism is not valid, it also lacks soundness. In this case:

A: Middle Term = Someone having the name  “Jonathan Toews”

B: Predicate Term = Famous Hockey Player

C: Subject Term = I

If this categorical invalidity were to be expressed in letters, it would look something like this:

A is B

C is A

Therefore, C is B

This is assuming that all A’s are B, which is not represented. In order for the argument to be valid, everyone named Jonathan Toews would have to be a hockey player (which would be a false premise). Unfortunately, this means I am not a famous hockey player.




3 thoughts on “Jonathan Toews, a Famous Hockey Player

  1. Awesome original syllogism, Jonathan – great work to include the images as well!

    Posted by bryanjack | October 3, 2012, 3:41 am
  2. Between writing my post, and posting it, basically in the hour I was on the phone with my sister, you managed to take exactly what I had planned, and do a better job of it. Thanks, Jonathan.

    Posted by kellyannebryant | October 3, 2012, 4:47 am
  3. Hilarious. I enjoyed this big time.

    Posted by Chris Price | October 4, 2012, 4:59 pm

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