REMINDERS/SUGGESTIONS FOR STUDYING FOR THE SECOND MID-
When reconstructing an argument, please remember to follow the
As always, remember to number the lines, to underline the last premise, and to
make sure that you get the order of the premises correctly, and so on.
Your premises should conform to the forms that you learnt in class, and it is
possible to mix different forms in one argument.
So, you might have
of the form ‘If P, then Q’, and specific
P and Q, etc.
You might also get categorical propositions such as ‘All A are B’, ‘Some A are not
B’, etc., as well as
statements such as ‘x is an A’, etc.
generalisations as categorical propositions rather than conditionals is often not
only a more natural way to speak, but also gives you a stronger argument.
When you add a generalisation as an implicit premise, it must be true.
are certain that it is true, try to make it as wide as possible (e.g., ‘most’ rather
than ‘some’ or ‘all’ rather than ‘most’ as your quantifiers) all the while preserving
its truth as much as possible.
If that is not possible, then of course it’s better to
have a true narrow generalisation rather than a false wide one.
You should do
this in order to make sure that your argument is well-formed.
Always make certain that the sentences in your argument are not incomplete:
that is, don’t forget to make generalisations by using quantifiers (‘some’, ‘most’,
E.g., don’t write ‘Cats like to chase mice’ but put whichever quantifier