Part 1: Modus Ponens and Modus Tollens
For the following three (3) questions you will begin with a conditional (If… then.) statement. First add what you need to create a deductively valid modus ponens argument. Then, add what you need to create a deductively valid modus tollens argument.
1.If rehabilitation programs are successful then there is a reduction in recidivism rates.
2.If Bennie has a fa
vorable Offender Risk Assessment then Bennie can receive a conditional release on his sentence.
3.If the public wants safer streets then the public will ask the city to spend more tax dollars on policing.
Part 2: Arguments with Missing Parts.
For the following four (4) questions you will be presented with an argument that is missing parts. Add the missing premise(s) or conclusion to make the following passages deductively valid arguments.
1.Meg is a highly-motivated RCMP cadet, so she is sure to graduate from the Cadet Training Program.
2.Either the defendant will enter a plea of guilty or not-guilty. And we know for a fact that the defendant will not enter a guilty plea.
3.If foot patrols are increased then residents will feel less afraid of crime. So, if foot patrols are increased then the police-citizen relationship will be improved.
4.If we reduce foot patrols then people will be less mindful of the law. If people are less mindful of the law then people will be tempted to do more crimes of opportunity such as purse snatchings and smash-and-grabs. We are reducing foot patrols. The conclusion is obvious.
Part 3: Invalid Arguments.
The following arguments are invalid. Indicate in a paragraph or two why the argument is invalid. You could discuss the structure of the argument or explain how the conclusion does not necessarily follow from the premises.
1.If the defendant did the crime then he would have got the victim’s blood on his clothes. Evidence clearly shows that the defendant did get the victim’s blood all over his clothes. We can conclude that the defendant did the crime.
2.If the defendant had the victim’s blood on his clothes then there is no doubt the defendant attempted to murder the victim. It is a fact that the defendant did not have any of the victim’s blood on his clothes. Consequently, the defendant did not attempt to murder the victim.
3.All offenders on probation are offenders who are not a danger to society. Meg is an offender who is not a danger to society. So we can conclude that Meg is an offender on probation.
Part 4: Essay Analysis Value
Consider the following essay containing several deductive arguments. Identify the deductive arguments. Having done so, re-write each argument in standard form and indicate the name of the form that the argument has.
I read a fairly recent report by a journalist who asked people across the country how they felt about policing and corrections in Canada. I was surprised by some of the responses I read.
Some people said that police are ineffective. They said that either the police are there to make the community safe or the police are just sitting around collecting a pay check. Since the community is not totally safe, then it is clear that the police are just sitting around doing nothing but collecting a pay check.
I was surprised to hear such views but it did come up a few times. I spoke with a number of people who said that the problem with the view that the police are ineffective is that people don’t “see” Police Officers enough. If people could see and engage with Police Officers more often, then the community could see the valuable work that Police Officers are doing. And if people could see the valuable work that Police Officers are doing, then people would feel safer and be more supportive of Police Officers. It follows that if only people could see and engage with Police Officers more, then people would feel safer and be more supportive of Police Officers.
Many of the complaints I read about were regarding the role of incarceration in Canada. Quite a few people felt that either correctional institutions are helpful by containing harmful individuals and offering them opportunities to reform or correctional institutions are harmful by offering a place for criminals to meet and form gangs and waste taxpayer money. These people felt that Canadian correctional institutions are not helping society or inmates so it is clear that correctional institutions are harmful by offering a place for criminals to meet and form gangs.
Such a view is too simplistic; the reality cannot simply be reduced in this case to “either helpful or harmful.” In fact I think that the opposite view is more correct. The last couple of decades have seen a lot of positive change in the corrections system. For example, there is an increase in the use of conditional sentencing and similar reforms. Many in the field reason that if there is an increase in conditional sentencing and similar reforms then there will be a reduction in incarceration rates. Further, if there is a reduction in incarceration rates then many wrongdoers will spend less time around prison gangs. So we can conclude that many wrongdoers are actually spending less time around prison gangs, not more time.