Formal Fallacies

Week 4 Study Guide
Answer the following seven questions about the reading and videos for the week. Write out your answers on a computer and then either upload the file or paste into the submission text box. Do not write directly into the text box because it doesn’t save your work. If you upload a file, only use doc, docx, pdf, or jpg.

1. Truth tables are foundational in understanding the way these logical operators work. Show whether or not the following inferences are valid using indirect truth tables and explain your reasoning in a sentence or two. It can be hard to format truth tables online. The easiest way is to make a table in your word processor. If that doesn’t work, you can simply draw them out on paper and upload a photo along with the assignment.

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A ∙ B
B ⊃ C

A v B
B ⊃ C

∼(A v B)
∼A ⊃ ∼C
∼C ∙ ∼B


A ≡ B
A ⊃ (B ⊃ C)
B ⊃ (A ⊃ C)

2. Material implication says that P ⊃ Q is equivalent to ~P v Q (in quasi-english, “if P then Q” is equivalent to “not-P or Q”). Why is it important to understand this? Give an example of a conversation in which this equivalence could be useful.

3. Here is an example of affirming the consequent:

If Thor has his hammer, then he can shoot lightening.
Thor can shoot lightening.
Therefore, Thor has his hammer.

If it’s not clear that this argument is invalid, watch Thor: Ragnarok. In this movie, Thor’s hammer is destroyed, but he is still able to shoot lightening. In other words, Thor can shoot lightening with or without his hammer (although it takes him most of the movie to realize it).

Why do you think it’s so common for people to make this type of fallacious argument? In answering this question, be sure to explain what valid argument form this fallacy resembles.

4. Here is an example of denying the antecedent:

If the Hulk gets irritated, then he will smash stuff.
The hulk is not irritated.
Therefore he is not smashing stuff.

Again, this argument isn’t valid. The Hulk also smashes stuff when he’s happy, it’s just one of the things the Hulk often gets excited about doing. Why do you think it’s so common for people to make this type of fallacious argument? In answering this question, be sure to explain what valid argument form this fallacy resembles.

5. What does it mean for a disjunct to be inclusive? Take a standard sentence in English —say, “Thor will win the fight or all of Asgard will be destroyed” (Thor is from Asgard). Is this use of “or” inclusive? Explain.

6. Here is an example of affirming a disjunct:

You either love Guardians of the Galaxy or you love Avengers Endgame.
You love Avengers Endgame.
Therefore, you don’t love Guardians of the Galaxy.

Of course, you could love both movies, so this argument isn’t valid. Once again, why do you think people make this type of fallacious argument?

7. What is your favorite idea from Chapter 4 (either this week or last week). Why? Explain your thinking.

in the attachment :Chapter 4 – Tools for Deductive Reasoning with Claims, 4.3 & 4.5 (pp. 90-96 & 101-105)

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