Historian: It is unlikely that someone would see history as the working out of moral themes unless he or she held cl...

Virginia on September 11, 2015

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I cannot get the diagramming of this right. Can you please help?

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Melody on September 15, 2015

"It is unlikely that someone would see history as the working out of moral themes, unless he or she held clear and unambiguous moral beliefs."

So: if it is likely that someone would see history as the working out of moral themes, then this person held clear and unambiguous moral beliefs.

P1: LSMT ==> HCUMB
not HCUMB ==> not LSMT

(there's no point in making the necessary condition two variables, e.g. CMB & not AMB, because we are really talking about one thing: moral beliefs that is being described by two adjectives.)

"one's inclination to morally judge human behavior decreases as one's knowledge of history increases."

So: if one's knowledge of history increases, then one's inclination to morally judge human behavior decreases.

P2: KHI ==> IMJD (this may be tricky, just remember IMJD = inclination to morally judge human behavior decreases)
not IMJD ==> not KHI (so, not IMJD = inclination to morally judge human behavior is not decreasing)

"the more history a person knows, the less likely that person is to view history as the working out of moral themes."

C: KHI ==> not LSMT
LSMT ==> not KHI

This is a strengthen with sufficient premise question. So, we must find an answer choice that strengthens and then if we find such an answer choice, it must also guarantee the conclusion of the argument.

What is the issue here? We have no way of connecting "KHI" to "not LSMT." Our correct answer will help bridge the gap.

That is exactly what answer choice (B) does:

"The less inclined one is to morally judge human behavior, the less it is that one holds clear and unambiguous moral beliefs."

(B): IMJD ==> not LSMT (remember, IMJD = inclination to morally judge human behavior is decreasing, which is the same as one is less inclined to morally judge human behavior)
LSMT ==> not IMJD

As you can see, we can use the contrapositive of (B) to connect to the contrapositive of P2 like so: LSMT ==> not IMJD ==> not KHI to conclude: LSMT ==> not KHI, which is the contrapositive of the conclusion. Therefore, answer choice (B) not only strengthens the argument, but it also guarantees the conclusion through the transitive property.

Hope that helps! Please let us know if you have any other questions.