Representing if… then...

I have worked my way through the Rationale tutorials and I'm now working on a set of argument maps to represent Thomas Aquinas' Five Ways. During the tutorial (and from the e-book), I built myself a little mind map of guidance on claim definition.

As I reviewed my first map with this guidance, I found I had entered several claims in the form:

if x, then y

Sometimes in the form of a question:

if God does not need a cause, why does the universe?

This clearly transgresses rules about reasoning in boxes and claims being capable of yes/no evaluation. So I have represented this as two claims: a parent claim, y, with supporting reason x.

What I'm a bit concerned about is that this representation hides, at least, partially the element of conditionality that implicit in the "if".

Does anyone have a comments on whether this is the best approach.

BTW, I am writing up my experience on my blog. Anyone interested can find the posts here:

https://oddrops.wordpress.com/?s=rationale

Regards,

Roger

PS Despite ticking the "notify me of replies" box, I am not getting any notifications. Anyone else finding this?


6 years ago

Hi Roger,

Will answer your post asap. I plan to answer your question in such a way that it gives information too on what is called the problem of so-called ‘cheap co-premises’.

Regards, Timo

by timo
6 years ago

Hi Roger,

A conditional premise is not an argument but a claim, more precise a simple one. There is no reasoning in a conditional statement. See the e-book Topic refining Claims no. 14. So an If.. then statement should not be represented as an argument with a contention and a premise.

Can you give a link to (part of) a map in which you are dealing with this example? (When you do, please use Map references).

BTW:

  • Some If..then statements are also called 'cheap co-premises'. See here for more information and some examples.

  • The last link opens a new site on which we will publish textbooks and exercises out of an online course - 'Improving Reasoning' - that uses Rationale and was made as part of an IARPA project by S. Boucher, A. Barnett and N. Thomason; so more to come there.

Regards, Timo

by timo
6 years ago

Timo,

Thanks for this response; I've only just seen it. I will check out the links you provide.

Regards,

Roger


5 years ago

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