Some strategies for logical assessment

Once we have an argument represented in standard form, we have to pronounce whether or not the argument is valid, and if not, whether or not it is inductively forceful. To do this, the basic technique is simple: ask yourself, can I imagine or conceive of a situation in which the premises are true, but the conclusion false? If under no conceivable situation could that be, then the argument is valid.

If you can think of ways in which the premises would be true but the conclusion false, then you must determine to what degree, if any, the argument is inductively forceful. What you do here is to imagine various situations in which all the premises are true. In these situations, is the conclusion more likely to be true than it is to be false? If the situations in which the conclusion is true would be more likely than those in which it is false, then the argument is inductively forceful; if not, not. If it is forceful, it remains only to specify the degree to which it is so.

Here is an illustrative example:

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