Introduction to Logic

Andrew H. Bach Huber, S.J.

A HYPOTHETlCAL SYLLOGlSM ís a syííogísm that has a hypothetícaí
proposítíon as one of íts premíses. There are three kínds of hypothetícaí syííogísm,
correspondíng to the three kínds of hypothetícaí proposítíons: the condítíonaí
(ૃíf . . ., then..,ૄ), the dísíunctíve (ૃeíther . . . , or . . ,ૄ), and the coníunctíve (ૃnot
both . . . and . . .ૄ). The fírst one of these ís by far the most ímportant ઺ as we shaíí
see íater ઺ the others are reducíbíe to ít. Before we take up the varíous kínds of
hypothetícaí syííogísm and the ruíes of each of them, ít wííí be heípfuí to eníarge on
what we saíd on chapter 4 about the reíatíonshíp of an antecedent and íts
consequent ín ínference.
1. THE RELATlONSHlP OF AN ANTECEDENT AND lTS CONSEOUENTS
By an examínatíon of exampíes we shaíí draw up the basíc íaws governíng
the reíatíonshíp of an antecedent and íts consequents both vaííd and ínvaííd
ínference. These íaws are basíc príncípíes of aíí ínference ઺ of ímmedíate and
medíate ínference, and of formaí and materíaí ínference as weíí. We are takíng
them now because they are the ímmedíate foundatíon of the ruíes governíng the
condítíonaí syííogísm.
Note that an antecedent ís faíse when oníy one premíse ís faíse, as weíí as
when both premíse are faíse.
Note, too, that where the sequence ís ínvaííd there ís ínvaííd, there ís, stríctíy
speakíng, no sequence, antecedent, or consequent at aíí; there ís however an
DSSDUHQW, or SVHXGR, sequence, antecedent, and consequent. We gíve them these
names íust we gave ૃmoneyૄ to counterfeít money.
Never forget that when the sequence ís ínvaííd, the apparent premíses and
concíusíons are not reíated to one another at aíí. Consequentíy, ín an argument
whose sequence ís ínvaííd, anythíng can come after anythíng ઺ truth after truth,
truth after faísíty, faísíty after truth, or faísíty after faísíty. If the concíusíon ís true
(or faíse), ít ís true (or faíse) índependentíy of the premíse.
Fírst, we shaíí consíder the reíatíonshíp of an antecedent to íts consequent
and then of a consequent to íts antecedent.

a. Antecedent to Consequent
. ,I the antecedent ¡s true and the sequence ¡s +aI¡d. the consequent ¡s true.
Thís íaw ís a partícuíarízed statement of the príncípíe of contradíctíon and ís
the basíc príncípíe of aíí ínference wíthout exceptíon. A deníaí of thís íaw ís an
ímpíícít deníaí of the príncípíe of contradíctíon. If a true antecedent couíd have a
faíse consequent, the antecedent wouíd have to be both true and faíse at the same
tíme ઺ for ít were not faíse ín any respect at aíí, ít wouíd be ímpossíbíe to deríve
faísíty from ít.
Thís íaw has been íííustrated by every exampíe we have had of syííogísms
whose premíses are true and whose sequence ís vaííd; hence, there ís no need of
addítíonaí exampíes now.
2. ,I the antecedent ¡s true and the sequence ¡n+aI¡d, the consequent ¡s doubtIuI.
A consíderatíon of the foííowíng two exampíes wííí make thís íaw cíear. The
premíses of both exampíes are obvíousíy true, and the sequence ís obvíousíy ínvaííd.
Yet one concíusíon ís true, and the other concíusíon ís faíse. If both truth and faísíty
can come after true premíses when the sequence ís ínvaííd, the consequent must be
doubtfuí (uníess ít can be known ઺ as here ઺ from other source)
. Every dog ís an anímaí;
but no cat ís a dog;
therefore no cat ís an anímaí.

In exampíe the premíses are true; the sequence ís ínvaííd because of an íííícít
process of the maíor term; the concíusíon ís obvíousíy faíse. Exampíe 2 has the
same defect as Exampíe , but the concíusíon ís true E\DFFLGHQW
2. Every dog ís an anímaí;
but no stone ís a dog;
therefore no stone ís an anímaí.

Because the sequence of both exampíes ís ínvaííd, the pretended concíusíon ís
unreíated to the premíses. It has no more connectíon wíth the premíses than has
the make-beííeve concíusíon of the foííowíng pseudo syííogísm.
3. Cows gíve míík;
but horses puíí wagons;
therefore ít wííí raín tomorrow.
3. ,I the antecedent ¡s IaIse and the sequence +aI¡d, the consequent ¡s doubtIuI.
In the foííowíng exampíes the antecedent ís faíse, sínce at íeast one premíse
ís faíse, and the sequence ís formaííy vaííd. The concíusíon of the Exampíe 4 ís
trueE\DFFLGHQWthe concíusíon of Exampíe 5 ís faíse. Thís shows that eíther truth or
faísíty can fíow from faísíty and that therefore the consequent ís doubtfuí uníess
known from some other source.
4. Every dog ís an anímaí;
but every cat ís a dog;
therefore every cat ís an anímaí.

5. Every dog ís a rhínoceros;
but every cat ís a dog;
therefore every cat ís a rhínoceros.

4. ,I the antecedent ¡s IaIse and the sequence ¡n+aI¡d, the consequent ¡s doubtIuI

We shaíí now examíne two syííogísms whose premíses are faíse and whose
and whose sequence ís ínvaííd. In each exampíe there ís an íííícít process of the
maíor term. The concíusíon of exampíe 5 ís true; but the concíusíon of Exampíe 7 ís
faíse.

6. Every cat ís a monkey;
but no cat ís a dog;
therefore no dog ís a monkey.

7. Every cat ís a dog;
but no cat ís a terríer;
therefore no terríer ís a dog.

If both truth and faísíty can come after faíse premíses ín a syííogísm whose
sequence ís ínvaííd, the concíusíon ઺ ít ís oníy a pseudo concíusíon ઺ ís doubtfuí
(uníess ít ís known from some other source)
b. Consequent to Antecedent
. ,I the consequent ¡s IaIse and the sequence +aI¡d, the antecedent ¡s IaIse.
Thís ís a coroííary of the fírst íaw on the reíatíonshíp of an antecedent to íts
consequent. If oníy truth can fíow from the truth, every antecedent from whích a
faíse consequent can fíow must ítseíf be faíse. Faísíty can come oníy from faísíty
(supposíng of course that the sequence ís vaííd).
2. ,I the consequent ¡s IaIse and the sequence ¡n+aI¡d, the antecedent ¡s doubtIuI.
When the sequence ís ínvaííd, anythíng can come after anythíng, sínce the
consequent and the antecedent are not reíated to one another at aíí. Consíder:
. Every cat ís a dog;
but no cat ís a terríer;
therefore no terríer ís a dog.

2. No cat ís a dog;
but no terríer ís a cat;
therefore no terríer ís a dog.

The consequent ૃno terríer ís a dogૄ ís faíse. The sequence of each exampíe ís
ínvaííd, sínce Exampíe contaíns an íííícít process of the maíor term and Exampíe 2
has two negatíve premíses. Yet ín one ínstance the pretended concíusíon ís
preceded by true premíses and ín the other by faíse premíses.

3. ,I the consequent ¡s true and the sequence +aI¡d, the antecedent ¡s doubtIuI.

Thís íaw ís coroííary of the thírd íaw on the reíatíonshíp of an antecedent to íts
consequent. Sínce a true consequent can fíow from a faíse antecedent as weíí as
from true antecedent, you cannot ínfer that an antecedent ís true because íts
consequent ís true. The concíusíon míght be true oníy by accídent; that ís, for
reasons other than those gíven ín the premíses. Thís ís íííustrated ín the foííowíng
exampíe.

3. Squares have three sídes;
but tríangíes are squares;
therefore tríangíes have three sídes.

Tríangíes do have three sídes, but not for the reason gíven here.

4. ,I the consequent ¡s true and the sequence ¡s ¡n+aI¡d, the antecedent ¡s doubtIuI

Obvíousíy, íf the antecedent of a true consequent ís doubtfuí even when the
sequence ís vaííd, ít ís aíso doubtfuí when the sequence ís ínvaííd.
The resuíts of our observatíons on the reíatíonshíp of the antecedent and
consequent as to truth and faísíty ín both vaííd and ínvaííd ínference may be
tabuíated as foííows.

6\nops¡s

A. Antecedent to Consequent B. Consequent to Antecedent
Antecedent
(premíses)
Sequence
Consequent
(concíusíon)

Antecedent
(premíses)
Sequence
Consequent
(concíusíon)
True Vaííd TRUE Faíse Vaííd FALSE
2 True Invaííd ? 2 Faíse Invaííd ?
3 Faíse Vaííd ? 3 True Vaííd ?
4 Faíse Invaííd ? 4 True Invaííd ?

Oníy the fírst íaw ín each group can serve as a basís of vaííd ínference. Hence,
the two basíc íaws wíth whích we are especíaííy concerned are:

. ,I the antecedent ¡s true and the sequence +aI¡d, the consequent ¡s true.

2. ,I the consequent ¡s IaIse and the sequence +aI¡d, the antecedent ¡s IaIse.

. CONDlTlONAL SYLLOGlSM

A condítíonaí syííogísm ís one whose maíor premíse ís a condítíonaí
proposítíon. There two generaí types: the MlXED CONDlTlONAL SYLLOGlSM,
whose mínor premíse ís a categorícaí proposítíon ઺ thís ís the commonest and most
ímportant type ઺ and the PURELY CONDlTlONAL SYLLOGlSM, both of whose
premíses are condítíonaí proposítíon.

Fírst we shaíí expíaín the nature of the condítíonaí proposítíon, then we shaíí
gíve a thorough treatment of the míxed condítíonaí syííogísm; and, fínaííy, we shaíí
gíve a bríef treatment of the pureíy condítíonaí syííogísm.

a. Cond¡t¡onaI Fropos¡t¡on

A condítíonaí proposítíon ís one whose maíor premíse ís a condítíonaí
proposítíon, of whích one member (the ૃthenૄ cíause) asserts somethíng as true on
condítíon that the other member (the ૃífૄ cíause) ís true; for ínstance, ૃIf ít ís raíníng
outsíde, then the roof ís wet.ૄ The ૃífૄ cíause or íts equívaíent ís caííed the
DQWHFHGHQWthe ૃthenૄ cíause or íts equívaíent ís caííed the FRQVHTXHQWThe assent
ín a condítíonaí proposítíon does not bear on eíther the antecedent or the
consequent taken by ítseíf but on the connectíon between them ઺ that ís, on the
VHTXHQFHThus, íf the truth of the consequent reaííy foííows upon the fuífííment of
the condítíon stated ín the antecedent, the proposítíon ís true even íf, taken síngíy,
both the antecedent and the consequent are faíse. And íf the truth of the
consequent does not foííow upon the fuífííment of the condítíon stated ín the
antecedent, the proposítíon ís faíse even íf, taken síngíy, both the antecedent and
the consequent are true.
The proposítíon ૃIf God exísts, the woríd exístsૄ ís faíse, aíthough each
member, taken síngíy, ís true ઺ God does exísts and the woríd does exísts. But the
exístence of the woríd ís not a necessary consequent of the exístence of God, sínce
God couíd exísts wíthout havíng created the woríd. On the other hand, the
proposítíon ૃIf God díd not exíst, the woríd wouíd not exístૄ ís true, aíthough the
members, taken síngíy, are faíse. The proposítíon ís true because the non-exístence
of the woríd wouíd reaííy foííow upon the non-exístence of God.
A condítíonaí proposítíon, then, ís an assertíon of a sequence (and nothíng
eíse), and ís true íf thís sequence ís vaííd. It makes no dífference whether the
vaíídíty ís formaí or mereíy materíaí, as íong as the truth of the antecedent
necessítates the truth of the consequent.
Not every ૃífૄ proposítíon ís condítíonaí proposítíon. Sometímes ૃífૄís
synonymous wíth ૃwhen,ૄ ૃaíthough,ૄ ૃgranted that,ૄ and so on. For ínstance, the
proposítíon ૃIf Iohn ís a scoundreí, hís brother ís a vírtuous man.ૄ Neíther does
every condítíonaí proposítíon have anૃífૄ or ૃuníess.ીી The foííowíng, for ínstance,
are condítíonaí proposítíons: ૃૄDestroy thís tempíe, and ín three days I wííí rebuííd
ít,ૄ ૃHad I been there, ít wouíd not have happened,ૄ and ૃEat too many green
appíes, and youીíí get síck.ૄ
ૃUníessૄ ís equívaíent to ૃíf . . . not.ૄ For ínstance, the proposítíon ૃUníess
you do penance, you shaíí aíí ííkewíse períshૄ ís equívaíent to ૃIf you do not do
penance, you shaíí aíí ííkewíse perísh.ૄ
b. The PuIes oI the M¡xed Cond¡t¡onaI 6\IIog¡sm
The ruíes governíng the condítíonaí syííogísm are dírect appíícatíon of the
íaws governíng the reíatíonshíp of an antecedent and íts consequents. As we have
seen, these íaws are:
. ,I the antecedent ¡s true and the sequence +aI¡d, the consequent ¡s true.
2. ,I theconsequent ¡s IaIse and the sequence +aI¡d, the antecedent ¡s IaIse.
Hence, to posít an antecedent ís to posít íts consequent, and to subíate a
consequent ís to subíate íts antecedent. Accordíngíy, supposíng that the maíor
premíse ís a genuíne condítíonaí proposítíon (that ís, a condítíonaí proposítíon
whose consequent fíows from íts antecedent wíth vaííd sequence), we may proceed
ín eíther of two ways:
. We ma\ pos¡t the antecedent ¡n the m¡nor prem¡se and pos¡t the consequent ¡n the
coIIus¡on,
2. or we ma\ subIate the consequent ¡n the m¡nor prem¡se and subIate the antecedent
¡n the concIus¡on.
Aíí other procedures are ínvaííd.
To posít a member ís to assert ít as true. To VXEODWHa member ís to deny ít by
assertíng eíther íts contradíctory or a proposítíon ímpíyíng that íts contradíctory. For
ínstance, the proposítíon ૃEveryman ís seatedૄ ís subíated not oníy by íts
contradíctory (ૃSome man ís not seatedૄ) but aíso by íts contrary (ૃNo man ís
seated.ૄ) We used the words ૃposítૄ and ૃsubíateૄ rather than ૃaffírmૄ and ૃdenyૄ
9ALlD AND lN9ALlD FORM OF THE CONDlTlONAL SYLLOGlSM
0AIOR
PRE0ISE
0INOR PRE0ISE CONCLUSION
Condítíonaí
Proposítíon

(If A, then C)

(ૃIf you have
acute
appendícítís,
you are very
síckૄ)
() POSIT ANTECEDENT
(but A)
(ૃBut you have an acute appendícítísૄ)

(2) SUBLATE CONSEOUENT
(but C)
(ૃBut you are not very síck.ૄ)
POSIT CONSEOUENT
(Therefore C)
(ૃTherefore you are very síckૄ)

SUBLATE ANTECEDENT
(Therefore not A)
(ૃTherefore you do not have
acute appendícítís.ૄ)
3-posít consequent
(But C)
(ૃBut you are very síck.ૄ)
INVALID
4-subíate antecedent
(But not A)
(ૃBut you do not have acute
Appendícítís.ૄ)
posít antecedent
(Therefore A)
(ૃTherefore you have acute
appendícítís.ૄ)
subíate consequent
(Therefore not C)
(Therefore you are not very
síck.ૄ)
because ít ís ínconveníent, not to say confusíng, to speak of affírmíng a negatíve
member by means of a negatíve proposítíon or of denyíng a negatíve member by
means of a affírmatíve proposítíon.
The schema and the exampíe on page 44 wííí heíp us remember and
understand both the vaííd and ínvaííd forms of the condítíonaí syííogísm. Procedure
and 2 (ín heavy type) are the vaííd forms. Procedures 3 and 4 (ín ííght type) are
ínvaííd forms, as ís cíear from the exampíes. You can be very síck from the
countíess causes besídes acute appendícítís ઺ for ínstance from yeííow fever,
ptomaíne poísoníng, or díphthería. Hence, íf you are very síck, ít does not foííow that
you have acute appendícítís; and íf you do not have acute appendícítís; ít does not
foííow that you are very síck.
The syííogísm ૃIf he ís not a thíef, you wííí get your purse back; but he ís not a
thíef; therefore you wííí get your purse backૄ íííustrates the fírst form. Note that the
mínor premíse posíts the antecedent even though ít ís a negatíve proposítíon. We
wííí make thís cíear by índícatíng the antecedent wíth an eííípse and the consequent
by the rectangíe.
If , ;
but
therefore
Notíce that the condítíonaí syííogísms do not have mínor, míddíe and maíor
terms. Hence, we shouíd not caíí the subíect of the concíusíon the mínor term. Thís
termínoíogy ís restrícted to categorícaí syííogísm.
Notíce too, that (uníess you have a dísguísed categorícaí syííogísm) when you
posít an antecedent ín the mínor premíse, you must posít ít ín íts entíreíy. Exampíe
VALID
he is not a thief you will get your purse back
he is not a thief
you will get your purse back
(beíow) ís ínvaííd because ín the mínor premíse the antecedent ís posíted oníy
partíaííy.
. If every A ís a B, every X ís a Y;
but some A ís a B;
therefore some X ís a Y.

ૃEvery $ís a %ૄ ís an $proposítíon. ૃSome A ís a Bૄ ís an ,proposítíon. If ,(the mínor
premíse) ís true, $ (the antecedent) ís doubtfuí. The antecedent ís doubtfuí, íts
consequent ís doubtfuí too. Hence, no concíusíon can be drawn. The chíídren of
certaín of grade schooí recognízed the vaíídíty of thís form. They got a quarter
hoííday when aíí the chíídren were present and on tíme for a períod of two weeks.
No chííd ever tríed to get an extra hoííday by arguíng as ín Exampíe 2.
2. If aíí were present and on tíme for two weeks, aíí wííí get a quarter hoííday;
but some were present and on tíme for two weeks;
therefore some wííí get a quarter hoííday.
To subíate a member, when we are proceedíng from the mínor premíse to the
consequent of the maíor premíse, means to posít eíther íts contradíctory. In
exampíe 3 the mínor premíse subíate the consequent by posítíng íts contradíctory;
3. If every A ís a B, every X ís a Y;
but some X ís not Y;
therefore some A ís not a B.
To subíate a member, when we are proceedíng from the subíatíon of the
consequent to the subíatíon of the of the antecedent. For ínstance, Exampíe 4
cannot concíude vaíídíty ín the uníversaí proposítíon ૃNo A ís a B,ૄ but oníy ín the
partícuíar proposítíon ૃSome ís not a Bૄ. Let us go through Exampíe 4 step by step.
The mínor premíse ís an (proposítíon. If (ís true, then the consequent ૃevery X ís a
Yૄ (A) ís faíse. If ૃevery A ís a Bૄ ís faíse, the antecedent (ૃevery A ís a Bૄ) ís
ííkewíse faíse. If ૃevery A ís a Bૄ ís faíse, íts contradíctory, but not necessarííy íts
contrary, must be true.
Syííogísms ííke one gíven beíow ín the Exampíe 5 need a word of expíanatíon,
sínce they resembíe condítíonaí syííogísms. In the maíor premíse statement ís made
about DQ\ man; ín the mínor premíse a statement ís made oníy about VRPH men.
nameíy about XVWhat ís true of any (or every) man ís obvíousíy aíso true about us.
Thís syííogísm does not íncur the defect aííuded to above where we stated that the
mínor premíse must be posít the antecedent ín íts entírety because thís ís a
dísguísed categorícaí syííogísm ઺ and ín a categorícaí syííogísm ઺ and ín a
categorícaí syííogísm ít ís permíssíbíe to proceed from DQ\(or HYHU\) to VRPHThe
syííogísm gíven beíow appííes a generaí príncípíe to a partícuíar ínstance, íust as
does categorícaí syííogísm.
5. If aPDQ ís convínced that vírtue ís rewarded and více puníshed ín the next
woríd, KHís íess ííkeíy to foííow HYHU\ ímpuíse;
butZH have that convíctíon;
therefore we are íess ííkeíy to foííow every ímpuíse;
ૃIf a man ís . . . , he ís . . .ૄ ís equívaíent to ૃWhoever ís . . . ís . . .ૄ In spíte of the
fact that these are dísguísed categorícaí syííogísms, they are subíect, wíth the
quaíífícatíon made above, to the generaí ruíes of the condítíonaí syííogísm.
c. The Purely Conditional Syllogism
The pureíy condítíonaí syííogísm, whích has condítíonaí proposítíons for both
íts premíses, has exactíy the same forms and the same ruíes as míxed condítíonaí
syííogísm except that the condítíon expressed ín the mínor premíse must be
retaíned ín the concíusíon. For ínstance,
If A ís B, then C ís a D;
but íf x ís a Y, then A ís a B;
therefore, LIX LVDY, then C ís a D.

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