Friday Five: Deductive Solutions

Thank you for undertaking the Exam on Deductive Arguments. We hope you found it stimulating. Here are your solutions.

Which deductive chain works?

“Deductions are only given when receipts are provided, you have not provided receipts, therefore you are not entitled to a deduction.”
This chain works because it is logically tight. There are flaws – sometimes small ones – in the chains below, which I have highlighted.
Flawed chain 1:Deductions are only given when receipts are provided, you have receipts, therefore you are entitled to a deduction. (Just because you have receipts, does not mean you have provided them.)”
Flawed chain 2: Deductions are given to legal entities that provide genuine receipts, you have provided genuine receipts, therefore you are entitled to a deduction. (Just because you have provided genuine receipts does not mean that you are a legal entity.)

All of the above are true

What is wrong with this deductive argument?

Governing idea: Like all firefighters, Maude loves swimming

Statement: Maude loves swimming
Comment: Maude is a firefighter
Conclusion: Therefore, all firefighters swim

  1. The argument does not flow from the general to the particular
  2. The comment does not truly comment on the statement
  3. The two ideas above are correct
  4. The conclusion is not specific enough

Solution: The comment does not truly comment on the statement

The first two are correct, which means that the third option is the correct answer. The argument does not flow from the general to the particular: Maude loves swimming and Maude is a firefighter are two ideas that are the same kinds of things: they are descriptions of Maude. In light of that, it is also true that the comment does not comment on the statement: They are separate ideas and not connected to each other.
The conclusion is specific enough in the circumstances which means that point three is not true

What is wrong with this deductive argument?

Statement: OilyCo's profits are falling in line with the oil price
Comment: The legislative environment in the US is getting tougher for corporates
Conclusion: OilyCo should sell its PNG oil and gas interests

  1. The comment does not truly comment on the statement
  2. The argument does not flow from the general to the particular
  3. The conclusion does not flow from the comment or the statement
  4. All of the above

All of the above is the correct answer.

  • The comment does not comment on the statement: The idea that OilyCo's profits are falling in line with the oil price has nothing to do with a tough legislative environment in the US
  • The argument does not flow from the general to the particular: To start the argument with a point about OilyCo's profits and then lead to a comment about the legislative environment is working from the specific to the general, not the other way around
  • The conclusion is not related to either the statement or the comment