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Logic & Scientific Philosophy

Multitasking At Its Finest

So as an attempt  to prepare for an English test tomorrow and also get some philosophy out of the way, I’ve decided to look for logic used in the script of Macbeth by Shakespeare, and decipher it both logically and into our modern day English. First (spoiler alert!) here’s the conversation between Malcolm and Donalbain (the king’s sons, Malcolm being heir to the throne) in Act II, Scene III following the murder of King Duncan.

Malcolm: What will you do?
Let’s not consort with them.
To show and unfelt sorrow is an office
Which the false man does easy.
I’ll to England.
Donalbain: To Ireland, I.
Our separated fortune shall keep us both the safer.
Where we are, there’s daggers in men’s smiles.
The near in blood, the nearer bloody.
Malcolm: This murderous shaft that’s shot
Hath not yet lighted, and our safest way
Is to avoid the aim. Therefore to horse,
And let us not be dainty of leave-taking,
But shift away. There’s warrant in that theft
Which steals itself when there’s no mercy left.

So lets look at what the facts:

-Their father, the king, was murdered less than 12 hours prior

-Malcolm, the eldest son, was declared heir to the throne less than 48 hours prior

Given these two facts, the sons concluded through deductive reasoning that someone murdered their father in desire to become king, and that if someone wanted to be king they would have to murder them both as well.

The evidence that this conclusion was based on is all reliable, as these are all events that were confirmed by Malcolm’s and Donalbain’s own experiences.



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