PHI 103 Informal Logic

Topic: Write
two arguments in English, one in the form of modus
ponens and one in the form of modus tollens. Then, write the
arguments in symbols using sentence letters and truth-functional connectives.
(If your computer does not have all the symbols needed, use some other symbol
you do have access to and explain what its meaning is.)

What advantages does being able to symbolize our arguments provide? Are there
disadvantages to using this technique to make the structure of our arguments
more explicit and clear?








If I go to work, then I’ll get paid


I get paid for the work


Therefore, I’ll go do the work


P. Do My Work


Q. Paid For Work


Modus Tollens      (P > Q  
)      (P/ Q) 






If the AC is not on, then I can’t feel the
cool air


I can’t feel any cool air


Therefore, the AC is not turned on


P. Cool air on AC is not turn on


Q. Can’t not feel any cool air


P* Q






“Symbolizing arguments has one big advantage:
it allows us to see clearly the structure of the argument, and often that
allows us to determine very quickly how good the argument is” (Mosser, 2011).


I believe that the use of symbolic logic can
be an advantage in an argument supporting reasoning for the fact not everyone
understands and comprehends languages, however they may understand symbols. If
someone understands the symbols being used then a good argument will be
introduced. At a very young age, we as children are taught symbols for example:
a public restroom for women will have the symbol of a female with a dress/or
skirt on representing that will be the ladies room. The symbols are a faster
and easier way for the direction need to be taken in whatever the issue maybe.
Symbols are a clear visual tool which could help prevent communication


The disadvantage that symbolic logic could be
that not everyone has an understanding and communication breakdown has
occurred. If so this could lead to weak and unsupported arguments. I also feel
that it could lead to dangerous situations. If I was visiting a country and was
not familiar with their road sighs, I may run a stop sign and get hit by a
truck and get seriously injured or killed




Second Comment:




Symbolic Logic

Modus ponens is an inferential rule that affirms the antecedent of a
conditional: “If P then Q, and P. therefore Q.”

 P > Q     If Aaron passes all his classes, then he

 P           Aaron
passed 8th grade.

 Q.          Therefore, Aaron
promotes to 9th grade.

Modus Tollens is an inferential rule that denies the consequent of a
conditional; “If P then Q, and not Q, therefore not P.”

P > Q      If Aaron passes all his classes, then he

~Q          Aaron does not promote to
9th grade.

~P          Therefore, Aaron did not
pass all his classes.

Arguments often get sidetracked because of
the information presented, and although
that information is important, we can avoid
being sidetracked in this way by focusing on
the structure of the arguments. Symbols are
helpful in keeping the focus
on such structures,
(Mosser, 2011). To give us an advantage we just use symbols
to make the various structures involved a
bit more explicit. By doing this, it helps to clarify the way the sentences should
be in order to understand the forms and rules of truth-function connectives.

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