Categorical Proposition

A sentence that relates two classes, or categories.
It asserts either all or part of one class is included
or excluded from the other class.
Examples:
All Nursing students are exposed to hospital setting.
No Nursing course is an engineering course.
Not all Nurses seek employment abroad.
Celeste is enrolled in the College of Nursing.
A number of nursing students are planning to take
the medical course later.
Categorical Proposition
Components:
1. Subject Term
2. Predicate Term
3. Copula
All Nurses are health care providers.
------- ===============
Subject Term
Copula
Predicate Term
Categorical Proposition
Types of categorical propositions:
1. Those that assert that the whole subject class is
included in the predicate class.
2. Those that assert that whole of subject class is
excluded in the predicate class
3. Those that assert that a part of a subject class is
included in the predicate class.

4. Those that assert that the part of the subject class
is excluded in the predicate class.

All S are P.
No S are P.
Some S are P.
Some S are not P.
Categorical Proposition
Note: The words “all”, “no” and “some” are called
quantifiers because they specify how a subject class
is included or excluded from the predicate class.
Analysis of a standard form categorical proposition.
Quantifier:
Given : All nurses are patient advocates.
Subject Term:
Copula:
Predicate term:
All
nurses
are
patient advocates
Categorical Proposition
QUALITY and QUANTITY
Quality: This is an attribute of categorical proposition. It
is either affirmative or negative depending on whether it
affirms or denies class membership.
Quantity: This is an attribute of a categorical
proposition. It is either universal or particular
depending on whether the proposition makes a claim
about every member or just some member of the class
denoted by the subject term.
Categorical Proposition
QUALITY and QUANTITY
Propositions Meaning in class Notation
All S are P.
No S are P.
Every member of the S class is a member of
the P class; that is, S class is included in the P
class.
Some S are P.
Some S are not P.
No member of the S class is a member of the
P class; that is, the S class is excluded in the P
class.
At least one member of the S class is a
member of the P class.
At least one member of the S class is not a
member of the P class.
Categorical Proposition
QUALITY and QUANTITY
Propositions Letter Name
All S are P.
No S are P.
Universal
Some S are P.
Some S are not P.
SUMMARY
A
E
I
O
Quantity Quality
Affirmative
Universal Negative
Particular Affirmative
Negative Particular
Categorical Proposition
DISTRIBUTION
All S are P.
Some S are not P.
No S are P.
Distribution is an attribute of the terms ( subject and predicate )
of a proposition. A term is said to be distributed if the
proposition makes an assertion about every member of the class
denoted by the term otherwise it is undistributed.
A E
I
O
Some S are P
s
P
S
S P
P P
*S
*S
Categorical Proposition
QUALITY and QUANTITY
Propositions Letter Name
All S are P.
No S are P.
Universal
Some S are P.
Some S are not P.
SUMMARY
A
E
I
O
Quantity Quality
Affirmative
Universal Negative
Particular Affirmative
Negative Particular
Terms
Distributed
S
S and P
none
P
Traditional Square of Opposition
All S are P.
No S is P.
Some S are P.
Some S are not P.
A E
I O
T
contrary
sub contrary
s
u
b
a
l
t
e
r
n

F
T
F
At least one is false (but
not both true)
At least one is true(but
not both false)
Traditional Square of Opposition
SUMMARY
E being given as true: E is false, I is true, O is false
I being given as true: E is false, while A and, O are undetermined

A being given as true: E is false, I is true, O is false

O being given as true: A is false, while E and I are undetermined

A being given as false: O is true, E and I are undetermined

E being given as false: I is true, while A and O are undetermined

I being given as false: A is false, E is true, O is true

O being given as false: A is true, E is false, I is true

Square of Opposition
1. What is the truth value of the propositions if A proposition is assumed to
be true/false.
All successful nurses are college graduates.
No successful nurses are college graduates.
Some successful graduates are college graduates.
Some successful nurses are not college graduates.


If A is true: E is false, I is true, O is false
If A is false: O is True, E and I are undetermined.
Answer
2. If O is false what can we validly infer about A, I, and E?
A is true, E is false, and I is true.
Answer
A
E
I
O
Existential Import and the Interpretation of
Categorical Propositions
A proposition has an existential import if typically it is uttered to assert the
existence of an object of some kind.
Illustration: (1) All Nurses are passers of the Nursing Licensure Examination.
(2) Some Doctors are nurses.

Discussions
The aforementioned propositions presuppose that Nurses and Doctors
exist. In other words the classes referred by these propositions have at
least one member.
The aforementioned statements do not assert that unicorns exist.

Example of propositions that do not have existential import.
Illustration: (1) All unicorns are one-horned animals.
(2) No unicorns are friendly

Traditional Square of Opposition
All spiders are eight-legged animals. No spiders are eight-legged animals.
Some spiders are eight-legged animals.

Some spiders are not eight-legged animals.
A E
I O
T
s
u
b
a
l
t
e
r
n

T
Note: As shown in the traditional square of opposition, the inferences by sub
alternation from A to I and from E to O are valid. Here, A and E have existential
import. The contradiction between A and O as well as E and I holds.
Traditional Square of Opposition (TSO)
All spiders are eight-legged animals. No spiders are eight-legged animals.
Some spiders are eight-legged animals.

Some spiders are not eight-legged animals.
A E
I O
T
s
u
b
a
l
t
e
r
n

T
Note: There are cases, however, that TSO does not work. To illustrate: the A proposition All unicorns are single-horned animals.
and the corresponding O proposition, Some unicorns are not single-horned animals, are contradictory propositions based on
TSO. If both of them, however, are interpreted as having existential import, i.e. if we interpret them as asserting that there are
unicorns, then both of them are false if unicorns do not exist. Of course we know that unicorns do not exist. The two propositions
have the same truth value and therefore they are not contradictory after all..

All unicorns are single-horned animals.
Some unicorns are not single-horned animals. Some unicorns are single-horned animals.
No unicorns are single-horned animals.
If A and E validly implies their corresponding I and O propositions then it is not
correct for it to say that A and O are contradictories. Something must be wrong with
TSO!!! Can TSO be saved?
F
F
Traditional Square of Opposition
Is it possible to save TSO?
Two options?
OPTION 1. Treat all the categorical propositions as
having existential presuppositions.
OPTION 2. Boolean interpretation of all the categorical
propositions.
Traditional Square of Opposition
Is it possible to save TSO?
Two options?
OPTION 1. Treat all the categorical propositions as
having existential presuppositions.
This is actually what is presupposed by the Aristotelian logic. In many cases
this is in full accord with ordinary use of modern language like English.
However, there are serious limitations, Copi and Cohen explain:
1. We will not be able to formulate propositions that deny that it has members. But
propositions about classes that do not have members completely make sense, e.g. All
unicorns are single-horned animals.
2. Ordinary use of language is not in full accord with this presupposition. Sometimes
what we say does not suppose that there are members in the class we are talking about,
e.g. All violators of the Sexual Harassment Law will be prosecuted.
3. In science and in other theoretical spheres we often wish to reason without making
any presupposition about existence, e.g. Newton’s First law of Motion: bodies that are
not acted on by external forces persevere in rest or in their straight line motion.
Modern Square of Opposition
OPTION 2. Boolean interpretation of all the categorical
propositions.
The modern square of opposition is based on an interpretation of categorical
statements introduced by the 19
th
century logician George Boole. In his
interpretation the categorical propositions have the following meaning:
A All S are P. = No members of S are outside P.
E No S are P. = No members of S are inside P.
Note: The interpretation is neutral about existence
I Some S are P. = At least one S exists, and that S is P.
O Some S are not P. = At least one S exists, and that S is not a P.
Note: In this interpretation of I and O there is a positive assertion about existence.
This is the same as in the Aristotelian interpretation
Modern Square of Opposition
All S are P.
No S is P.
Some S are P.
Some S are not P.
A E
I O
The square of opposition that results from the Boolean interpretation
is:
Modern Square of Opposition
All S are P.
No S is P.
Some S are P.
Some S are not P.
A E
I O
All unicorns are single-
horned animals.
Some unicorns are not
single-horned animals.
Some unicorns are
single-horned animals.
No unicorns are single-
horned animals.
T
F
T
F
Modern Square of Opposition
When do we use TSO and when do we use MSO?
Although MSO may be used in all categorical
propositions, it is preferable to to use TSO on
categorical propositions that make assertions about
actually existing things, because it provides for more
inferences. On categorical propositions that make
assertions about things that do not actually exist, the
TSO cannot be used.

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