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Deduction, Proofs,

and Inference Rules

Lets Review What we Know

Take a look at your handout and see if you


have any questions
You should know how to translate all of
these fairly simple sentences into their
logical components (be able to go from
English to logic symbolization)

Formal Proof of Validity:


Translate the Following

If Anderson was nominated, the she went to


Boston.
If she went to Boston, then she campaigned
there.
If she campaigned there, she met Douglas.
Anderson did not meet Douglas.
Either Anderson was nominated or someone
more eligible was selected.
Therefore someone more eligible was selected.

1. Translate

A B
B C
C D
~D
AvE
Therefore E

2. Establish Validity

It might seem obvious this argument is valid, but


we want to prove it
We could use truth tables, but this would require
us to make a table with 32 rows since there are 5
different simple statements involved
So now what?

Prove validity by deducing its conclusion from its premises


using already-known, elementary valid arguments

2. Establish Validity (still)

Well use three of these basic rules of inference


(there are a total of 9) in this example:

1. Hypothetical Syllogism (H.S.)

2. modus tollens (M.T.)

If p then q
And if q then r
Therefore: if p then r
If p then q
~q
Therefore ~p

3. Disjunctive Syllogism (D.S.)

pvq
~p
Therefore q

Validity Established

Looking at the argument we want to prove


valid, we see that the conclusion can be
deduced from the five premises of the
original argument by four elementary valid
arguments (2 H.S. + 1 M.T. + 1 D.S.)
This proves that our original argument is
valid

3. Write the Proof

1. Write the premises and the statements


that we deduce from them in a single
column to the right of this column, for
each statement, its justification is written
(basically the reason why we include that
statement in the proof)
2. List all the premises first, then the logic
(e.g. inference rules) used to get at the
conclusion (which will be listed last)

3. What it Looks Like


2.
3.
4.
5.
7.
8.
9.

6.

A B
B C
C D
~D
AvE
A C
A D
~A
E

1.

1,2 H.S.
6,3 H.S.
7,4 M.T.
5,8 D.S.

The justification for each


statement (the right most
column) consists of the
numbers of the preceding
statements from which that
line is inferred, together with
the abbreviation for the rule of
inference used to get it

Definitions

A formal proof that shows an argument is valid is a sequence


of statements, each of which is either a premise of that
argument or follows from preceding statements of the
sequence by an elementary valid argument (i.e. our inference
rules), such that the last statement in the sequence is the
conclusion of the argument whose validity is being proved
An elementary valid argument is any argument that is a
substitution instance of an elementary valid argument form
(e.g. our inference rules)

We dont have time to prove the validity of each one of these


statements, so take our word for it that they are valid

More Complex Substitutions

(A B) [C (D v E)]
AB
Therefore C (D v E)

This sequence above is an elementary valid argument because it is a


substitution instance of the elementary valid argument form modus
ponens (M.P.), another one of our inference rules. See if you can see
it:

modus ponens (M.P.):

If p then q
And p
Therefore q

The Nine Rules of Inference (Pt. 1)


Modus Ponens (M.P.)

1.

If p then q
p
Therefore q

Modus Tollens (M.T.)

2.

If p then q
~q
Therefore ~p

The Nine Rules of Inference (Pt. 2)


3. Hypothetical Syllogism (H.S.)
If p then q
And if q then r
Therefore: if p then r
4. Disjunctive Syllogism (D.S.)
pvq
~p
Therefore q

The Nine Rules of Inference (Pt. 3)

5. Constructive Dilemma (C.D.)


(p q) (r s)
pvr
Therefore: (q v s)

6. Absorption (Abs.)
p q
Therefore: p (p q)

The Nine Rules of Inference (Pt. 4)


7. Simplification (Simp.)
pq
Therefore: p
8. Conjunction (Conj.)
p
q
Therefore: (p q)

The Nine Rules of Inference (Pt. 5)


9. Addition (Add.)
p
Therefore: (p v q)

These nine rules of inference correspond to


elementary argument forms whose validity is
easily established by truth tables. With their air,
formal proofs of validity can be constructed for a
wide range of more complicated arguments.

Example:
Prove the following given the premises
(using inference rules)

W X
2. (W Y) (Z v X)
3. (W X) Y
4. ~Z
Therefore X
1.

Solution:

(Strategy Hint: see what you can create from the premises using the
inference rules we know.
Keep in mind what youre looking for: this will keep you on track)

3.

8.

1 Abs.
5,3 H.S.
2,6 M.P.
7,4 D.S.

Therefore: W

7.

W (W X)
(W X) Y

6.

5.

Line 6: A little harder: look


at line 5 then 3: it follows
the H.S. pattern:

4.

Line 5: look at line 1. Use


our absorption rule

2.

W X
(W Y) (Z v X)
(W X) Y
~Z
W (W X)
W Y
ZvX
X

1.

Line 7: a fairly simple


M.P. form from lines 2
and 6
Line 8: use D.S. from

Example 2

I J
2. J K
3. L M
4. I v L
Therefore: K v M
1.

Solution

3.
4.

7.

6.

5.

2.

I J
J K
L M
IvL
I K
(I K) (L
KvM

1.

M)

1,2 H.S.
5,3 Conj.
6,4 C.D.