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Logic & Scientific Philosophy

Broken Dubstep and Criminal Surgeons

All Dubstep makes loud harsh electronic sounds

Broken electronics also make loud harsh electronic sounds

Therefore broken electronics are Dubstep

In this syllogism:

“A” (middle term) is Harsh Electronic Sounds

“B” (predicate term) is Dubstep

“C” (subject term) is “Broken Electronics”

In ABC form. This syllogism would be represented like this:

All B produce A

C produces A

Therefore  C is an A

If you read this carefully you will realize that there are major flaws with my syllogism. When I wrote it, I did not take into account validity or soundness. The true fun is here, where I get to dissect it.

Starting off, we can look at the structure of this syllogism. Consider that all B (dubstep) produces A (harsh electronic noises) -bear in mind that “harsh electronic noises” is a subjective term as well. If C also produces A does this mean that it must fall under the category of B? Do Broken electronics or anything for that matter have to be Dubstep to produce harsh electronic noises? No. The category of “things that produce harsh noises” is larger than the category “Dubstep”. Therefore the conclusion is not supported by the argument making the entire structure of the syllogism invalid.

If this argument isn’t valid it, by default, is not sound or true.

Now, let’s dissect in further detail the things that are going on inside this syllogism and what mistake is being made here. By saying that all things that create harsh electronic noises is dubstep, this syllogism suggests that broken electronics, having the ability to produce such noises are classified as dubstep. In doing this, this argument commits the fallacy of Sweeping Generalization. If I say that people who cut others are criminals, does that make surgeons criminals? My syllogism commits the same error: it does not account for the plausible exceptions. Instead, it creates a false generalization that covers the exception.



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