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WSM-080429

ForClassDiscussionsOnly/Teacher/ArmandoLTan/AssociateProfessor/

DepartmentOfPhilosophy/SillimanUniversity

Because the number of truth values multiplies in consonance with

the number of distinct variables, it would be difficult to manage

arguments involving more than five variables. Logicians, however,

developed the method of proof using the rules of inference as

proofs for the validity of complex or extended arguments.

Consider the following argument: (Ref. Copi/Cohen, 1990:303-304,

No.10 of Ex.IV):

1. If Smith once beat the firemen at billiards, then Smith is not

the fireman. (2) Smith once beat the fireman at billiards. (3) If

the brakeman is Jones, then Jones is not the fireman. (4) The

brakeman is Jones. (5) If Smith is not the fireman and Jones is

not the fireman, then Robinson is the fireman. (6) If the brakeman

is Jones and Robinson is the fireman, then Smith is the engineer.

Thus Smith is the engineer. [O -Smith once beat the fireman at

billiards; M -Smith is the fireman; B -The brakeman is Jones;

N -Jones is the fireman; F -Robinson is the fire-man; G -Smith is

the engineer].

In constructing a proof we follow these simple steps:

1. Write the number before each statement (as we have done above)

and symbolize them. 2. Write the last premise and the conclusion

on one line. 3. You may draw a horizontal line separating the

premises from the proofs.

Symbolically we have

1. O>-M

2. O

3. B)-N

4. B

5. (-M.-N)>F

6. (B.F)>G

/ G

-----------------To prove the validity of this argument by matrix test would

require us to write 64 rows of TV for each variable, since the

argument has six of them. But the method of proof requires no

more than two rules of inference to deduce the conclusion of the

argument from its premises. By combining 1 and 2, we can infer -M

by modus ponens. Again we use MP to deduce -N from the combination

of 3 and 4. By Conjunction, we join -M and -N, giving us -M.-N.

From -M.-N and the fifth premise, we infer F by modus ponens.

Again by Conjunction we join the fourth premise B with F, giving

us B.F which we can use with premise 6 so that we can validly

This proves the argument valid using MP and CJ as rules of

inference to deduce the conclusion of the argument.

The formal proof for this argument is written as

1. O>-M

2. O

3. B>-N

4. B

5. (-M.-N)>F

6. (B.F)>G

/ G

-------------------7. -M

1,2 MP

8. -N

3,4 MP

9. -M.-N

7,8 CJ

10. F

5,9 MP

11. B.F

4,10 CJ

12. G

6,11 MP

inference used in a single column to the right of each statement.

The numbers and the inference rule on the right column serve as

explanatory notation on how we got the statement written on the

left column. They are the "justifications" for the proof. For

instance, on line 7, the numbers 1,2 and MP tell us that we got

-M as a valid conclusion from premises 1 and 2 by the rule of

modus ponens. In other words, MP allowed us to infer -M from the

premises O>-M and O.

This method of proof may be further clarified by providing some

partially constructed arguments. For our part, we write the

"justification," that is, the numbers and the inference rule that

allowed us to infer validly the statement on the left column.

For the following partially constructed proofs, state the numbers

and the inference rule that justify the proofs.

1).

1. A>B

2. B>C

3. -C

4. A>E

/E

------------5. A>C

6. -A

7. E

2).

1. (P>Q).(R>S)

2. PvR

3. (Q>R).(S>T)

4. -R

/T

--------------5. QvS

6. RvT

7. T

-3-

3).

1. A.B

2. B>(E.F)

3. -EvC

4. C>D / D

-----------5. B

6. E.F

7. E

8. C

9. D

4)

1. A>B

2. (A.B)>(CvD)

3. (CvD)>-E

4. (A>-E)>F

/ F

------------------5. A>(A.B)

6. A>(CvD)

7. A>-E

8. F

cannot construct simply because no inference rules can be used

without necessarily replacing the statements with their logically

equivalent expressions. Hence, for these arguments, we need the

so-called rule of replacement. For this rule, the following

tautologies are used.

1.

2.

3.

4.

DN

TA

MI

ME

(Double Negation)

(Tautology)

(Material Implication)

(Material Equivalence)

5.

6.

7.

8.

TR (Transposition)

EX (Exportation)

CM (Commutation)

9.

AS (Association)

10. DT (Distribution)

p=(--p)

p=(pvp)or(p.p)

(p>q)=(-pvq)

(p:q)=[(p>q).(q>p)]

=[(p.q)v(-p.-q)]

-(pvq)=(-p.-q)

-(p.q)=(-pv-q)

(p>q)=(-q>-p)

[(p.q)>r]=[p>(q>r)]

(p.q)=(q.p)

(pvq)=(qvp)

[p.(q.r)]=[(p.q).r]

[pv(qvr)]=[(pvq)vr]

[p.(qvr)]=[(p.q)v(p.r)]

[pv(q.r)]=[(pvq).(pvr)]

As you can see, these are not arguments (unlike the inference

rules) but logically equivalent expressions. Their role in proof

construction is to replace (hence replacement) and thereby simplify statements so that proofs can be provided using the usual

inference rules. The rule of replacement states that "any logical

ly equivalent expressions may replace each other whenever they

occur(Copi/Cohen, 1990:304).

-41).

1. A>B

2. B>C

3. A>-C

/-A

------------4 A>C

1,2

5. C>-A

4

6. C>-A

5

7. A>-A

4,6

8. -Av-A

7

9. -A

8

2).

HS

TR

DN

HS

MI

TA

1. -(AvB)

2. (-A.-B)>C

3. -Cv(E:F)

/E>F

-------------------4. -A.-B

1 DM

5. C

2,4 MP

6. --C

5 DN

7. E:F

3,6 DS

8. (E>F).(F>E)

7 ME

9. E>F

8 SP

A>-C by Transposition (line 5) and by Double Negation (line 6) so

that we can proceed with A>C (line 4) and C>-A (line 6)by Hypo

thetical Syllogism. These rules help facilitate the construction

of proofs.

The second example is more complicated, and as can be observed, no

inference rules would allow us to infer validly from the combination of any of the premises. So as the first step, we use the De

Morgan Theorem (line 4) without which it would seem impossible to

provide proofs for this argument.

Exercises: A. For the following partially constructed arguments,

write the number(s) and the rule of inference and replacement.

3). 1. (p.q)>r

2. p

3. (q>r))s

4. -sv(t>m)

/-tvm

-------------------5. p>(q>r)

6. q>r

7. s

8. --s

9. t>m

10. -tvm

4). 1. a>-(bvc)

2. (-av-b)>c

/c

-----------------3. --(bvc)>-a

4. bvc)>-a

5. -(bvc)v-a

6. (-b.-c)v-a

7. -av(-b.-c)

8. (-av-b).(-av-c)

9. -av-b

10. c

1). 1. a>b

2. a

3. b>(c.e)

4. -cve /e

------------

2). 1. a>b

2. (-a>-b)>c

3. -cv(d.e) /d

---------------

3). 1. av-(bvc)

2. b

/a

----------

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