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Distribution

 “Unprepared Students Never Pass”

 Universals distribute Subjects.
 Negatives distribute Predicates.
 “Any Student Earning B’s Is Not On Probation”
 A distributes Subject
 E distributes Both
 I distributes Neither
 O distributes Predicate
Review
5.5 The Traditional Square of Opposition
The Traditional Square of Opposition
Four relations in the traditional square
of opposition

 Rules to remember:
1. Contradictory: opposite truth value
2. Contrary: at least one is false (not both true)
3. Subcontrary: at least one is true (not both false)
4. Subalternation: truth flows downward, falsity flows upwards
Inferences from the Traditional Square
of Opposition
 A number of very useful immediate inferences may be readily drawn
from the information embedded in the traditional square of opposition.
Given the truth or falsehood of anyone of the four standard-from
categorical propositions, it will be seen that the truth or falsehood of
some or all of the others can be inferred immediately.
 If A is true: E is false; I is true; O is false
 If E is true: A is false; I is false; O is true
 If I is true: E is false; A and O are undetermined
 If O is true: A is false; E and I are undetermined
 If A is false: O is true; E and I are undetermined
 If E is false: I is true; A and O are undetermined
 If I is false: A is false; E is true; O is true
 If O is false: A is true; E is false; I is true
5.6 Immediate Inferences
Conversion
Obversion
Contraposition
5.6. Further Immediate Inferences
 There are three other immediate inferences that are not
directly associated with the square of opposition that have to
be considered.
 These are:
1. conversion,
2. obversion, and
3. contraposition.
Conversion
 “In general, we say that the converse of a given proposition
is obtained by exchanging the S-term and the P-term” (Hall, 2012:
78).

Source: Hurley (2000)

Conversion
 Conversion is valid in the case of the E proposition and the I
proposition.
 An example of an E conversion: “No men are angels” is
converted to “No angels are men”
 An example of an I conversion: “Some politicians are liars,”
and “Some liars are politicians” are logically equivalent.
(either can be validly inferred from the other)
Conversion

 In general, the conversion of an O proposition is not valid (Copi

and Cohen, 2013: 199).

 Clearly if the O proposition “Some animals are not dogs” is

true, it does not follow that “Some dogs are not animals” is
true.
 An O proposition and its converse are not, in general, logically
equivalent. The first proposition is true, but its converse is false.
Conversion
 The converse of an A proposition is valid only by limitation.
 By a combination of subalternation and conversion, we can make
the converse of the A proposition valid by limitation.
 If we know that “All S is P,” then by subalternation we can conclude
that the corresponding I proposition, “Some S is P,” is true, and by
conversion that “Some P is S.”
 Example: “All dogs are animals”
by subalternation “Some dogs are animals”
by conversion “Some animals are dogs”
 the inference from an A proposition to its limited converse is valid,
and without this limitation, the inference is invalid
Source: Hurley (2000)
Table of Valid Conversions

Convertend Converse
A: All S is P I: Some P is S. (by limitation)
E: No S is P E: No P is S
I: Some S is P I: Some P is S
O: Some S is not P Conversion not valid
Complement

 According to Copi and Cohen (2013) it “…is the collection

of all things that do not belong to the original class.”
 For example, the complement of the class of dogs is the class of
everything that is not a dog.
 the complement term is usually formed by simply attaching
the prefix ‘non-’ to the term
 Thus, the complement of dog is non-dog
Complement

the circle represents the class of dogs, then everything outside

the circle represents the class of non-dogs (cats, fishes, trees,
and so on)

Source: Hurley (2000)

Obversion
 “to obvert a proposition…change its quality…and replace
the predicate term with its complement” (Copi and Cohen, 2013: 201)
 The inference from any of the four standard-form
propositions to its obverse is valid (Hall, 2012: 80)

Source: Hurley (2000)

Obversion
 The obverse of an A proposition “All S is P” is the E
proposition, “No S is non-P.”
 The E proposition “No S is P” obverts to “All S is non-P.”
 The I proposition “Some S is P” logically implies its obverse
“Some S is not non-P.”
 The O proposition “Some S is not P” logically implies its
obverse “Some S is non-P.”
 Note, however, that the subject term remains the same, and
so does the quantity of the proposition being obverted.
Source: Hurley (2000)
Table of Valid Obversions

Obvertend Obverse
A: All S is P E: No S is non-P
E: No S is P A: All S is non-P
I: Some S is P O: Some S is not non-P
O: Some S is not P I: Some S is non-P
Contraposition
 There are two steps in order to derive the contrapositive of a
given standard-form proposition
(1) switching the subject and predicate terms and
(2) replacing the subject and predicate terms with their term
complements

Source: Hurley (2000)

Contraposition
 Contraposition is valid for both A propositions and O
propositions.
 An example of an A proposition: the contrapositive of the A
proposition “All students are wisdom seekers” is “All non-
wisdom seekers are non-students.”
 An example of an O proposition: from the O proposition
“Some pets are not cats” its contrapositive is “Some non-cats
are not non-pets”
Contraposition
 In general, the contraposition of I propositions is invalid.
 The true I proposition, “Some citizens are nonlegislators” has its
contrapositive the false proposition “Some legislators are non-
citizens.”
 The reason for its invalidity becomes evident when we try to
derive the contrapositive of the I proposition by successively
obverting, converting, and obverting
 The obverse of the I proposition “Some S is P,” is the O proposition
“Some S is not non-P.” The next step is to take the converse of the
obverse. However, we have discussed earlier that an O
proposition and its converse are not logically equivalent. Hence,
in general, the contraposition of an I proposition is not a valid
form of inference.
Contraposition
 The immediate inference of an E proposition to its contrapositive
is not a valid form of inference without an appropriate
qualification which is by limitation.
 Contraposition by limitation is done by obverting, then by
converting, and by obverting again.
 If we have the E proposition “No S is P,” and obvert it, we obtain
the A proposition, “All S is non-P.” Subsequently, we get the I
proposition “Some non-P is S.” Obverting this, we attain the O
proposition “Some non-P is not non-S.”
Source: Hurley (2000)
Table of Valid Obversions

Obvertend Obverse
A: All S is P A: All non-P is non-S
E: No S is P O: Some non-P is not non-S
(by limitation)
I: Some S is P Contraposition not valid
O: Some S is not P O: Some non-P is not non-S
Memory Aid
 To help remember when conversion and contraposition yield
logically equivalent results, note the second and third vowels
of the words.
C O NV E R S I O N
-conversion works for E and I
C O NT R A P O S IT I O N
-contraposition works for A and O
5.7 Existential Import and the Interpretation
of Categorical Propositions
Existential Import
Boolean Point of View
5.7 Existential Import and the Interpretation
of Categorical Propositions
 A proposition is said to have existential import if it asserts the
existence of objects of some kind.
 The problem with existential import presents some problems
for the relationships suggested by the traditional square of
opposition.
 Particular propositions, the I and O propositions, surely do have
existential import.
 The I proposition “Some flowers are roses” asserts that there exists at least one
flower which is a rose.
 The O proposition “Some dogs are not companions” says that there exists at
least one dog that is not a companion.
Existential Import and the Interpretation of
Categorical Propositions

 In Aristotelian logic, I and O propositions follow validly from

A and E propositions by subalteration. Hence, Aristotelian
logic requires A and E propositions to have existential
import.
 As a rule, “…a proposition with existential import cannot be
derived validly from another that does not have such import”
(Copi and Cohen, 2013: 210).
Review
 Rules to remember:
1. Contradictory: opposite truth value
2. Contrary: at least one is false (not both true)
3. Subcontrary: at least one is true (not both false)
4. Subalternation: truth flows downward, falsity flows upwards
 A and E propositions in the traditional square of opposition
are contraries. We discussed earlier that contraries cannot
both be true, but can both be false. However, if both A and E
propositions have existential import, then both propositions
can be true. Take a look at the example given by Hall (2012):
 Example:
 A proposition: “All the money in my wallet is yours.”
 E proposition: “No money in my wallet is yours.”
 If we assume that the A and E propositions have existential import – that is,
that there is money in my wallet – then both the A and the E propositions are
true when there is no money in my wallet.
 A and O propositions with the same subject and predicate
terms are contradictories, and so they can neither be true or
false at the same time. However, if A and O propositions do
have existential import, then both contradictories could be
false.
 Example:
 A proposition: “All inhabitants of Mars are blond.”
 O proposition: “Some inhabitants of Mars are not blond.”
 If they have existential import, we assert that there are inhabitants in Mars,
then we say that both these propositions are false if Mars has no inhabitants.
Boolean Interpretation
 In the late 19th Century, mathematician and logician George Boole
proposed a resolution to this dilemma by denying that universal
propositions have existential import.
 This had the following effects:
1. I and O propositions have existential import;
2. A and O propositions and E and I propositions with the same subject
and predicate terms retain their relationship as contradictories;
3. Since A and E propositions have no existential import, subalternation
is generally not valid;
4. Contraries are eliminated because A and E propositions can now both
be true when the subject class is empty. Similarly, subcontraries are
eliminated because I and O propositions can now be both false when
the subject class is empty;
5. Some immediate inferences are preserved: conversion for E
and I propositions, contraposition for A and O propositions,
and obversion for any proposition. However, conversion by
limitation and contraposition by limitation are no longer
generally valid.
6. Any argument that relies on the mistaken assumption of
existence commits the existential fallacy (Copi and
Cohen, 2013: 213).
7. The result is to undo the relations along the sides of the
traditional square of opposition but to leave the diagonal,
contradictory relations in force.
The Modern Square of Opposition
References
Cohen, I. M., & Cohen, C. (2013). Introduction to Logic (13th Edition
ed.). Philippines: Pearson Education South Asia PTE. LTD.
Hall, R. L. (2012). Logic: A Brief Introduction. DeLand, Florida:
Stetson University.
Hurley, P. (2000). A Concise Introduction To Logic (7th Edition ed.).