Since there is no survival value in an animal's having an organ that is able to function when all its other organs ha...

Abraham on July 18, 2018

Separating the conclusion from the premise

In reference to #2, you stated that the premise was: "It is probably within the reach of human technology to make the climate of Mars inhabitable." and the Conclusion: "Research efforts now are justified if there is even a chance of making another planet inhabitable." Is there any language that can help sort these out? the premise has "Probably" and the conclusion has "Now", do these words help deduce the importance of these two sentences?

1 Reply

Mehran on July 19, 2018

Hi @AbeD, thanks for your post.

Sometimes, structural indicators (key words) can help you identify premises and conclusions, but in this case the words you've flagged (probably, now) are not working as structural indicators. Put differently, those words might show up in a premise, or in a conclusion, just depending on the structure of the argument in front of you.

The entire passage is built around one final point: that research efforts aimed at making another planet inhabitable are justified *now.*

The premises are: (1) it is probably within the reach of human tech to make the climate of Mars inhabitable, (2) even if it might be several centuries before people could live there, (3) if there is even a chance of making another plant inhabitable.

The third point combined with the first point indicates that there *is* such a chance (because, we are told, "it is probably within the reach of human technology," which means it's possible). So, research efforts are justified *now.*

Hope this is helpful. Please let us know if you have any additional questions.