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**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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