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2.8 Holding Hands

The second principle is the Holding Hands Rule, which says that if something appears in a premise but not in the contention, it must appear in another premise. That is, premises need to hold hands with each other!

This classic, simple argument conforms to Holding Hands (as well as Rabbit).


Where the Rabbit Rule helps ensure that the contention is appropriately tied to the premises, the Holding Hands rule helps ensure that the premises are appropriately tied to each other.

Corresponding to the Holding Hands Rule there is the Holding Hands Test.  This is a simple test to determine whether you have a properly structured argument.  To apply the Holding Hands test, just examine the premises to see if there are any significant terms or concepts which appear there but not in the contention or any other premise.  If there are any, the argument fails the Test.

Applying the Holding Hands Test will give you clues as to what is going to have to go in any additional co-premises required to make the argument properly structured.

Note that the Holding Hands rule applies within a single reason or objection.  That is, any significant term or concept which appears in one premise must appear in another premise (or the contention) in the same reason or objection. 

New Concepts

The Holding Hands Rule: every significant word, phrase or concept appearing in a premise of a simple argument but not in the contention must also appear in some other premise of that simple argument.

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