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RULES OF INFERENCE AND RULES OF REPLACEMENT1

1. Modus Ponens
PQ
_P_
:. Q
3. Hypothetical Syllogism
PQ
QR
:. PR
5.Constructive Dilemma
(PQ) o (RS)
PVR
:.QVS
7. Destructive Dilemma
(PQ) o (RS)
~Q V~S
:. ~P V~R

2. Modus Tollens
PQ
~Q_
:. ~P
4. Disjunctive Syllogism
PVQ
_~P_
:. Q

9. Conjunction
P
Q_
:.P o Q

10. Absorption
P Q
:. P ( P o Q)

RULES OF REPLACEMENT:

Within a context of a proof, logically equivalent


expressions may replace each other
~(P o Q) (~PV~Q)
~(PVQ) (~P o ~Q)
(PVQ) (QVP)
(P o Q) (Q o P)
[PV (QVR)] [(PVQ) VR]
[Po (Q o R)] [(P o Q) o R]
[Po(QVR)] [(P o Q) V (P o R)]
[PV (Q o R)] [(P V Q) o (PVR)]
P ~~P
(PQ) (~Q~P)
(PQ) (~PVQ)
(P Q)
[(P Q) o (Q P)]
(P Q)
[(P o Q) V (~P o ~Q)]
[(P o Q)R)] [P(QR)]
P (PVP)
P (P o P)

10. De Morgans Rule


11. Commutation
12. Association
13. Distribution
14. Double Negation
15. Transposition
16. Material Implication
17. Material Equivalence
18. Exportation
19. Tautology

6. Simplification
PoQ
:.P
:.Q
8 Addition
P_
:.P V Q

Condensed by Roland L. Aparece, MA from Dan Magat, A First Book in Logic (Manila: Felta,
1991) p.60 and Patrick Hurley, A Concise Introduction to Logic.(Belmont: Wadswoth/Thompson
Learning, 2000) pp. 370,379-380,389-390,399-400.

STRATEGIES FOR APPLYING THE RULES OF INFERENCE


AND RULES OF REPLACEMENT
TO PROVE
1. A statement letter or the
negation or a sentence letter
2. A o B
3. ~(A o B)
4. A V B
5. ~A V ~B
6. A B
7. ~(A B)
8. A B

STRATEGY
Use Modus Ponens, Modus Tollens, Disjunctive Syllogism
Work for A and work for B, then use conjunction
Work for the equivalent disjunction
~ A V ~B then apply De Morgans rule
Work for A and infer A V B by Addition or use Constructive
Dilemma
Work for the equivalent conjunction ~A o ~B then apply
De Morgans rule
Use any strategy for 1, or conditional proof. Work for the
equivalent ~A V B then apply Material Implication.
Sometime Hypothetical Syllogism will do also.
Work for the equivalent ~(~A V B) then apply Material
Implication.
Work for A B, and B A separately and derive the
conjunction (A B) o (B A).
Or work for [(A o B) V (~A ~B)] by Disjunctive Syllogism
or constructive Dilemma.

9. ~(A B)
10. A A

Note if AB occurs as a premise then the first step which


you need is to break or translate the equivalence to
(A B) o (B A), or (A o B) V (~A o ~ B).
Work for (A B) (B o ~A) using the strategies outlined
above for implications and conjunctions.
To derive (A A), or any tautology, the best strategy is to
use conditional proof or indirect proof)

1. Always begin by attempting to fine the conclusion in the premises.


Given
~J
JVK
KL
Prove
L
Let us examine the above argument in detail. The conclusion is L. Upon inspection, we
can find K L in the premises wherein K is the antecedent of the consequent L. More so, K is
found in another premise, a disjunctive statement, J V K. In this case, the partner or other
disjunct of K is J. Lastly, we have a single letter ~J. To solve this argument, one could simply
infer mentally the flow of the solution: J V K and ~J, by applying disjunctive syllogism to the two
premises, one could get K. Now we have K L and K, by applying Modus Ponens to the two
premises, one could get L. Thus, the argument is valid as demonstrated and the key to this
solution is by starting to find the conclusion in the premises.
JVK
given
~J
K
Disjunctive Syllogism
K L given
K
above
L
Modus Ponens

Q.E.D.
2. If the conclusion contains a letter that appears in the consequent of a conditional statement in
the premises, consider obtaining that letter via Modus Ponens.
Given
AB
AB
given
A
A
Prove
B
Modus Ponens
B
Q.E.D
3. If the conclusion contains a negated letter and that appears in the antecedent of a conditional
statement in the premises, consider obtaining the negated letter via Modus Tollens.
Given
AB
AB
~B
given
~B
~A
Modus Tollens
Prove
Q.E.D
~A
4. If the conclusion is a conditional statement, consider obtaining it via Hypothetical syllogism.
Given
AC
AC
given
CB
CB
Prove
AB
Hypothetical Syllogism
AB
5. If the conclusion contains a letter that appears in a disjunctive statement in the premises,
consider obtaining that letter via Disjunctive Syllogism.
Given
AVB
AVB
given
~A
~A
Prove
B
Disjunctive Syllogism
B
Q.E.D
6. If the conclusion contains a letter that appears in a conjunctive statement in the premises,
consider obtaining it via simplification.
Given
AoB
Ao B
given
Prove
A
Simplification
A
Q.E.D.
7. If the conclusion is a conjunctive statement, consider obtaining it via conjunction by first
obtaining the individual conjuncts.
Given
AB
A
given
A
C
C
A o C Conjunction
Prove
Q.E.D
Ao C
.
8. If the conclusion is a disjunctive statement, consider obtaining it via Constructive Dilemma or
Addition. Given
(AB) o (CD)
(AB) o (CD)
given
BC
AVC
given
AVC
BVD
Constructive Dilemma
Prove
Q.E.D

BVD
Given
AVC
B
Prove
BVD

B
BVD

given
Addition
Q.E.D

9. If the conclusion contains a letter not found in the premises, Addition must be used to obtain
that letter. (See second example under strategy 8.)
10. Conjunction can be used to set up De Morgans Rule.
~A
given
~B
given
~A o ~B
Conjunction
~(AV B)
De Morgans Rule
Q.E.D
11. Constructive Dilemma can be used to set up De Morgans Rule.
(A ~B) o (C ~D)
given
AVC
~BV~D
Constructive Dilemma
~(B o D)
De Morgans Rule
12. Addition can be used to set up De Morgans Rule.
~A
given
~AV~B
Addition
~(A o B)
De Morgans Rule
13. Distribution can be used in two ways to set up Disjunctive Syllogism
(A V B) o (AVC)
given
~A
AV (B o C)
Distribution
BoC
Disjunctive Syllogism
A o (B V C)
(A o B) V (A o C)
~(A o B)
AoC

given
Distribution
given
Disjunctive Syllogism

14. Distribution can be used in two ways to set up Simplification.


A V (B o C)
given
(A V B) o (A V C)
Distribution
(A V B)
Simplification
(A o B) V (A o C)
A o (B V C)
A

given
Distribution
Simplification

15. If inspection of the premises does not reveal how the conclusion should be derived, consider
using the rules of replacement to deconstruct the conclusion. (See the example above)
16. Material implication can be used to set up Hypothetical Syllogism
~AVB
given
~BVC
given
A B
Material Implication
B C
AC
Hypothetical Syllogism

17. Exportation can be used to set up Modus Pones.


(A o B)C)
given
A
A(BC)
Exportation
A
Above
BC)
Modus Ponens
18. Exportation can be used to set up Modus Tollens.
A(BC)
given
(A o B)C
Exportation
~C
given
~(AB)
Modus Ponens
19. Addition can be used to set up Material Implication.
A
Given
AV~B
Addition
~BVA
Commutation
B A
Material Implication
20. Transposition can be used to set up Hypothetical Syllogism
AB
given
~C~B
BC
Transposition
AB
above
AC
Hypothetical Syllogism
21. Transposition can be used to set up Constructive Dilemma.
Given
(AB) o (CD)
given
(~B~A) (~D ~C)
Transposition
~BV~D
given
~AV~C
Constructive Dilemma
22. Constructive Dilemma can be used to set up Tautology.
(A C) o (B C)
given
AVB
CVC
Constructive Dilemma
C
Tautology
23. Material Implication can be used to set up Tautology.
A~A
given
~AV~A
Material Implication
~A
Tautology
24. Material Implication can be used to set up Distribution.
A (Bo C)
given
~AV (Bo C)
Material Implication
(~A V B) o (~AVC)
Distribution