A syllogism against individuation.

  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » Logic
  3. » A syllogism against individuation.

Get Email Updates Email this Topic Print this Page

Reply Tue 27 Oct, 2009 04:35 am
[CENTER]SYLLOGISM[/CENTER]




i. premise: particulars are not compounds.

ii. premise: compounds can only exist in nature.

conclusion: particulars can not exist in nature.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 27 Oct, 2009 06:04 am
@diamantis,
diamantis;100036 wrote:
[CENTER]SYLLOGISM[/CENTER]




i. premise: particulars are not compounds.

ii. premise: compounds can only exist in nature.

conclusion: particulars can not exist in nature.


I'll give you the first premise (for now). But why should I accept the second premise.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Tue 27 Oct, 2009 06:35 am
@diamantis,
I'm a bit puzzled how premise ii leads to the conclusion.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Tue 27 Oct, 2009 06:51 am
@Khethil,
Khethil;100055 wrote:
I'm a bit puzzled how premise ii leads to the conclusion.


Me too. It doesn't logically follow:

Just because compounds can only exist in nature it does not follow that anything which is not a compound (particular) can not exist in nature.

It's like saying:

i. Bees are not trees
ii. Trees can only exist in nature
c: Therefore bees cannot exist in nature

:perplexed:

Most importantly, I want to know what "individuation" is, and how we're using "particular", "compound", and "nature" here.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Tue 27 Oct, 2009 07:30 am
@diamantis,
Why can't both particulars and compounds exist in nature?

Take this example:

1. Squirrels are not lizards
2. Lizards can only exist in nature
3. Squirrels can not exist in nature
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 27 Oct, 2009 09:43 am
@Khethil,
Khethil;100055 wrote:
I'm a bit puzzled how premise ii leads to the conclusion.


1. No particulars are compounds.
2. All things that exist in nature are compounds.

3. No particulars are things that exist in nature.

No A is B
All C is B

No A is C

Is a valid syllogism.

And it is a standard form translation of the argument.

Another example:

No Reptiles are Mammals
All Dogs are Mammals

Therefore, No Dogs are Reptiles.

So, the only issue is the truth of the premises.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Tue 27 Oct, 2009 09:53 am
@diamantis,
kennethamy wrote:

2. All things that exist in nature are compounds.



How is this the same thing as "Compounds can only exist in nature", the OP's second premise?

Don't you mean "All things that are compounds exist in nature"? That would mean the same thing.

I don't see how this is a valid syllogism.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 27 Oct, 2009 10:09 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;100110 wrote:
How is this the same thing as "Compounds can only exist in nature", the OP's second premise?

Don't you mean "All things that are compounds exist in nature"? That would mean the same thing.

I don't see how this is a valid syllogism.



I think you are wrong.

To say that 1.compounds can only exist is nature is equivalent to, 2. compounds, only, can exist is nature, which is equivalent to 3. only compounds can exist in nature, and that is equivalent to, 4. all things that exist in nature are compounds.

It is certainly not equivalent to, All things that are compounds exist in nature, for that would allow things other than compounds to exist in nature, and that is exactly what the original sentence excludes. For it says that only compounds exist in nature (and nothing but). I agree that if the converse were true, the argument would be invalid. But, as it stands, the converse is not true.

The OP is certainly awkward.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Tue 27 Oct, 2009 10:15 am
@diamantis,
is an electron or a positron a compound? If so, what are they compounds of?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 27 Oct, 2009 10:17 am
@Aedes,
Aedes;100115 wrote:
is an electron or a positron a compound? If so, what are they compounds of?


That, of course, is attacking the second premise. Not the validity of the argument.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Tue 27 Oct, 2009 10:32 am
@diamantis,
I've already attacked the validity of the argument. I'm now attacking the premise as well.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Tue 27 Oct, 2009 10:40 am
@diamantis,
kennethamy wrote:
It is certainly not equivalent to, All things that are compounds exist in nature, for that would allow things other than compounds to exist in nature, and that is exactly what the original sentence excludes. For it says that only compounds exist in nature (and nothing but). I agree that if the converse were true, the argument would be invalid. But, as it stands, the converse is not true.


How does it say that only compounds exist in nature and nothing but? It says compounds can only exist in nature. 'Tires can only be on cars' is just saying that that is the only place tires can be, on cars. But it doesn't exclude other possibilites of things which can be on cars, such as mufflers.

I don't see how "compounds can only exist in nature" equates to "all things that exist in nature are compounds". Just because compounds can only exist in nature, why does it follow that all things that are in nature are compounds? Trees can only exist in nature, so does it follow then that all things that exist in nature are trees? I exist in nature, too, and I'm not a tree. Am I?
 
Aedes
 
Reply Tue 27 Oct, 2009 11:08 am
@diamantis,
Is there anything that doesn't exist in nature?

Darth Vader exists in nature in a certain way.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Tue 27 Oct, 2009 11:12 am
@Aedes,
Aedes;100126 wrote:
Is there anything that doesn't exist in nature?

Darth Vader exists in nature in a certain way.


Do you agree with ken that:

"compounds can only exist in nature" equates to "all things that exist in nature are compounds"?

Maybe I'm reading it incorrectly. Tires can only be on cars, would mean to me that that is the only place tires can be, on cars. It wouldn't mean to me that tires are the only things that can be on cars. Should it?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 27 Oct, 2009 11:58 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;100121 wrote:
How does it say that only compounds exist in nature and nothing but? It says compounds can only exist in nature. 'Tires can only be on cars' is just saying that that is the only place tires can be, on cars. But it doesn't exclude other possibilites of things which can be on cars, such as mufflers.

I don't see how "compounds can only exist in nature" equates to "all things that exist in nature are compounds". Just because compounds can only exist in nature, why does it follow that all things that are in nature are compounds? Trees can only exist in nature, so does it follow then that all things that exist in nature are trees? I exist in nature, too, and I'm not a tree. Am I?


I now see (from what you wrote) that the sentence is ambiguous, and can be understood in both ways. The question now arises, how shall we interpret it? On one interpretation, the argument is valid. On the other, the argument is invalid. There is, in the philosophy of logic, something called, "the principle of charity". It says that one should always the benefit of doubt to the arguer, on the assumption that he is as logical as you are. Of course, that need not be true (and the sentence in questions is badly formulated). But on the principle of charity, perhaps we should so interpret that premise so as to make the argument valid. After all, it seems to be unsound anyway because the second premise is seems to be false. But you may feel that the sentence in question is not ambiguous. Actually, it seems to me that the OP meant to assert a premise which made the argument valid. That is to say, he meant (to put it clearly) to say that Only compounds exist in nature, which clearly means, All things that exist in nature are compounds. (Only X is Y always means, all Y is X).

---------- Post added 10-27-2009 at 02:03 PM ----------

Aedes;100126 wrote:
Is there anything that doesn't exist in nature?

Darth Vader exists in nature in a certain way.


"Nature" has two meanings. 1. A broader meaning which includes everything that exists. 2. A narrower meaning that exclude what is man-made.

In the first meaning, eye-glasses are natural. In the second meaning, eye-glasses are not natural, or they are artificial.

Don't confuse "natural" with "normal". Darth Vader is natural, but not normal.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Tue 27 Oct, 2009 12:14 pm
@diamantis,
So your interpretation was based on the principle of charity? That is, you thought that he just forgot to add a premise which would make the argument valid? Very interesting. You're a lot more charitable than I.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 27 Oct, 2009 12:19 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;100141 wrote:
So your interpretation was based on the principle of charity? That is, you thought that he just forgot to add a premise which would make the argument valid? Very interesting. You're a lot more charitable than I.


Well, I am hoping that charity begins at home. I really do think that is what he meant, and he confused it. But you were right to see a different interpretation.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Tue 27 Oct, 2009 12:23 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;100128 wrote:
Do you agree with ken that:

"compounds can only exist in nature" equates to "all things that exist in nature are compounds"?
Those two sentences communicate completely different things. If the latter is what the OP meant, then he didn't say what he meant.

---------- Post added 10-27-2009 at 02:25 PM ----------

kennethamy;100133 wrote:
"Nature" has two meanings. 1. A broader meaning which includes everything that exists. 2. A narrower meaning that exclude what is man-made.

In the first meaning, eye-glasses are natural. In the second meaning, eye-glasses are not natural, or they are artificial.
And Darth Vader exists in nature in the first sense. The being or person depicted by Darth Vader doesn't exist independently of his depiction. But the depiction, all it entails, and all the imagination it has spawned exist in nature. The way that unicorns exist, or that the tooth fairy exists, or even the way that metaphysics exists.
 
Pangloss
 
Reply Tue 27 Oct, 2009 12:30 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;100142 wrote:
Well, I am hoping that charity begins at home. I really do think that is what he meant, and he confused it. But you were right to see a different interpretation.


Interpretation has nothing to do with it. The argument, as written, is invalid, as it does not logically follow. If the second premise were changed to, "only compounds can exist in nature", then it would be a valid syllogism. But the argument would probably not be a sound one, because the premises would be questionable, and the usage of the terms "compound" and "particular" would need clarification.

Zetherin;100059 wrote:
Most importantly, I want to know what "individuation" is, and how we're using "particular", "compound", and "nature" here.


I'd like to know this too, but as long as the argument these terms are being used in is invalid in form, it really makes no difference what these terms are supposed to define.
 
YumClock
 
Reply Sun 1 Nov, 2009 08:17 pm
@diamantis,
How about we simply assume the argument is how kennethamy interpreted it, because ken's revised argument invites thought while the original is flawed?
 
 

 
  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » Logic
  3. » A syllogism against individuation.
Copyright © 2020 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.02 seconds on 11/28/2020 at 07:35:28