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Logic & Scientific Philosophy, Uncategorized

Sheldon’s Logic ~Lazar

Richard Feynman played the bongos and was a world famous physicist,

Sheldon plays the bongos,

ergo, Sheldon will be a world famous physicist.

Here is a great example of a valid argument that is not factually correct, hence is not sound. We see that both premises are correct; however, the conclusion is inaccurate. Of course Sheldon does not directly state this, but his logic behind his “logic” retreats to how children usually believe if they mimic a famous person, then not only will they be ‘exactly’ alike this so called famous person, but would as well one day be famous as they are. For example, many kids playing sports will purchase identical equipment to their favorite professional athletes, believing if they use this equipment they will be exactly like their idol and one day attain their identical position in fame. Unfortunately one cannot accomplish such tasks by only mimicking their famous idols. Concluding, that indeed this form is logically correct, the content is quite frankly false; thus, disallowing the argument from being sound.

The logic behind this allows for huge business opportunities for companies; and more so for athletic companies, (as i used an example in the previous paragraph) for they can idolize the best athletes and pay them to wear their company’s equipment. For example Sydney Crosby uses Reebok (Only) and millions of young children that play hockey now want to purchase Reebok equipment specifically to match Crosby.

Therefore, although Sheldon is a “brilliant” scientist, he sure thinks like a seven year old!



6 thoughts on “Sheldon’s Logic ~Lazar

  1. I like how we’re continuing to mine television for our logical arguments, Lazar (even if I’ve yet to catch the “Big Bang” bug).

    Something I would highlight is the phrasing of your first premise though:

    “Richard Feynman played the bongos and was a world famous physicist,”

    The first logical term here – “Richard Feynman” – is a solitary man (when it could qualify either of the other two terms – playing the bongos and being a world famous physicist – with “all,” “some” or “no”); that Richard Feynman both plays the bongos and is a world famous physicist implies only that he is either, not that anyone else might be. While it might seem a critique of content rather than form, in the form that is language, one thing cannot be another; in other words, a car is a car and not a truck; Richard Feynman is himself and no one else.

    Rephrasing thus might do the trick:

    Some world famous physicists play the bongos.

    Sheldon plays the bongos.

    Ergo, Sheldon is a world famous physicist.

    Picky stuff, but worth exploring in these examples – nice work!

    Mr. J

    Posted by bryanjack | September 25, 2013, 3:47 am
  2. Ah I see! Thank you for the clarification, yes this seems to be more confusing than as thought.

    Posted by thelaserbeam17 | September 25, 2013, 3:58 am
  3. Hi Lazar, nice work on the Big Bang Theory reference! And Mr. J, you summed up almost exactly what I was going to say about this blog post right before I was about to post it.

    Posted by evandervelden | September 25, 2013, 5:02 am
  4. Richard Feynman plays bongos, Sheldon plays bongos, therefore Sheldon is Richard Feynman.
    This argument would as well work more effectively and support my conclusion.

    Posted by thelaserbeam17 | September 25, 2013, 5:27 pm

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