Friday, February 17, 2006

i'm reworking my argument for melissus, and i just wanted to check that it is valid. i'd really appreciate any feedback.


1. If something exists now, then it must have come from something that existed already.
2. Something exists now.
3. Therefore, that something came from something else that existed already.

4. If something came from something else that existed already, then something cannot come from nothing.
5. Something came from something else that existed already.
6. Therefore, something cannot come from nothing.

7. If something cannot come from nothing, then there is no coming into existence.
8. Something cannot come from nothing.
9. Therefore, there is no coming into existence.

10. If there is no coming into existence, then something always was and always will be.
11. There is no coming into existence.
12. Something always was and always will be.

13. If something always was and always will be, then it is the same case for everything: everything that ever did exist always existed and always will exist.
14. Something always was and always will be.
15. Everything that ever did exist always existed and always will exist.


is it necessary to repeat the conclusions of each set as the second premise of the next set in order for the conclusion to be valid?

3 Comments:

Blogger leahlouu13 said...

To me, it looks like it's valid by a very long hypothetical syllogism. I don't think there is any need to repeat the intermediate/sub-conclusions in the argument because you have already stated them once. If they are already stated once as an intermediate conclusion, it's already been proven, so it will just take up more space and it may be more confusing. But to me, it looks like a pretty good argument. Good luck!

Leah

2:33 PM  
Blogger Chris Tillman said...

What does 'come from' in premises (1-5) mean? On at least one normal interpretation, it means 'is created from'. But Melissus presumably could not use this sort of consideration in an argument for the conclusion that nothing is created or destroyed.

Would anything be lost if you began the argument with premise (6)? That would avoid the aforementioned worry.

Also, you do not need to repeat premises in order for the argument to be valid (as Leah mentioned). But it is sometimes useful to repeat the premises in a paper to make it clear to the reader how you're inferring what from what.

Finally, the argument is not quite valid. The easiest way I can see to make it valid is to delete 'it is the same case for everything:' from (13). The resulting argument would be valid by a string of Modus Ponenses.

9:10 AM  
Blogger acceber said...

thanks a lot!

9:38 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home