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Logic & Scientific Philosophy

Hershel’s Logic

In The Walking Dead, *SPOILERS* for those of you who don’t watch (morons), a group of survivors meet up with another group of survivors who live on a farm. They agree to let them stay, so long as they keep out of their personal affairs. It soon becomes evident that something weird is going down in the farm family’s barn. The newcomers eventually have enough of guessing, and bust open the doors. They find out that they were keeping infected family members in the barn, because the man of the house was determined that someone would find a cure.

Only the first 25 seconds are relevant.


All zombies are sick

All sick are still alive

/ All zombies are still alive


All X are Y

All Y are Z

/ All X are Z


He argued that zombies were not dead, they were sick. Although I may have paraphrased, the remainder of his implied logic would be as follows, all sick are not yet dead, and therefore zombies are still alive. This form, f1, is valid. Because zombies is X, sick is Y, and Z is alive. The premises, however, depend on opinion and perspective. Hershel’s opinion can be dismissed as grieving and denial, but at first glance, they really do seem alive. Walking and eating are things that dead things cannot do. They actually uphold many of the 7 characteristics of life, but they do not reproduce and they do not grow. In the eyes of a biologist, zombies are most certainly not alive. Therefore I will conclude that the premises are not factually correct, even though zombies are (as of now) fictitious. Being that the premises are not factually correct, the argument is not sound.

That seemed to be the conclusion of the newcomers, and they shot the crap out of all those zombies. (It was an awesome episode)

Hershel’s argument’s logic comes from a place of misunderstanding and desperation. He had no contact with the outside world and didn’t really know how bad it was until Rick & the gang showed up. Although I admire the efforts he went to to wait it out for a cure for them, it was dangerous for everyone & they should have realized that sooner. The barn would have been a great place of refuge for Andrea when she got straight ditched.

It doesn’t have any real effect considering it is entirely fictitious (for now) however, if we do one day have a zombie apocalypse, people who may have previously had this opinion of walkers might realize that they’re being a Hershel and that they should just clear the storage.



2 thoughts on “Hershel’s Logic

  1. If “the walking dead” argues that zombies are alive, I guess they should change the title of the show, shouldn’t they? 😉

    Posted by ashleyashrafian | September 28, 2013, 2:22 am


  1. Pingback: Heather 2013 | Philosophy 12 - October 29, 2013

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