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Logic & Scientific Philosophy

Being Sick is Sound -Aman

For my last example I will be talking about something I heard at my swimming lesson today. Basically what happened is that the teacher asked my peer, “Where’s Candace?” (Names have been changed) To which my peer replied:

Candace was not feeling well today;
Today she was throwing up;
Therefore, Candace was sick.

Or something along those lines. Any ways, this was the general jist of the discussion. Let’s break down the form of this now. Let Candace represent X; let today represent Y; Let sick (throwing up) represent Z.

X was Y;
Y was Z;
Therefore X was Z.

Logically (form wise) this makes sense. The premises lead to the conclusion and from what I can tell so far, they are all true.

Content wise, let’s look at the argument. My peer was the only one who could confirm Candace was sick today, however I don’t believe he would lie. From his character and her character I don’t believe she would skip class and I don’t believe he would cover for her. I know that’s not a positive, air tight way to think but I do believe Candace was not feeling well today, and that she throw up and that she is sick. So this argument is factually correct if we listen to the one person who could recount what happened. Now, when I see her next I could always just ask her myself as well, which I’ll do and comment here whether or not it was true. For today though, let’s go with that everything (premises and conclusion) are true. This make the argument factually correct.

THIS ARGUMENT IS SOUND! HALLELUJAH! I FOUND ONE!

This, ladies and gentleman is an example of a sound argument.

The logic from this argument probably comes from the fact that my peer lives with Candace and saw her not feeling well, and saw her being sick. My peer and Candace probably didn’t want the teacher think she was skipping out, so my peer came up with this argument.

Socially, today we missed out on a great, happy classmate during my lesson. Culturally, we maybe bonded a little bit by asking how Candace was doing; she was kind of a conversation starter. Politically, I sure hope this had no affect on the government. Economically, Candace just misses out on one class she paid for. But that’s not what matters, what matters is that being sick is sound! Thanks Candace!

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Discussion

2 thoughts on “Being Sick is Sound -Aman

  1. Hi Aman,

    I certainly hope this Candace gets better – unfortunately I’m in the same boat. But on an actually related note – make sure when you’re devising arguments, you don’t skip steps. Assumptions are easy to skip over in the early levels, but when arguments get more complicated, they confuse things. In your argument, you never told us how Candace got sick. Does throwing up mean she was sick? Does not feeling well mean she is sick? You give two premises:

    1. She was not feeling well today
    2. She was throwing up today

    Using that argument, I can’t really conclude anything, without further (common) knowledge. Explicitly stating that throwing up = sick may clear things up in the statement. I would also break it into two parts:

    1. When Candace is not feeling well, she throws up
    2. Candace was not feeling well today
    3. Therefore, Candace threw up today

    1. When Candace throws up, she is sick
    2. Candace was throwing up today
    3. Therefore, Candance was sick today

    By the way, I absolutely love your writing (I’ve read all your other posts, and they’re really well written and super-interesting), so keep up the good work!

    Jonathan Toews

    Posted by JonathanToews | September 27, 2013, 5:40 am
    • Hi Jonathan,

      First off, I hope you feel better! Secondly, from reading your logic with this post I completely understand where you’re coming from. When I was writing this it didn’t occur to me to create an argument that doesn’t even need common sense to follow. I definitely overlooked that part while stating the premises. I like the idea of blatantly stating throwing up means Candace is sick. Otherwise, you’re right, her throwing up doesn’t necessitate her being sick. Thank you for pointing that out and in the future I’ll try to ensure that I don’t assume and skip steps.

      Finally, thank you so much! That means a lot. I hope you’re having a good time out of high school. 🙂

      Aman

      Posted by amanmonkey | September 30, 2013, 7:08 am

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