Conclusions

Deductive arguments are those in which the truth of the conclusion is thought to be completely guaranteed and not just made probable by the truth of the premises. So if the argument is valid, the truth of the conclusion is contained within the truth of the premises. But, the conclusion must follow logically from and not go beyond or make assumptions about the premises.

Here is an example of a conclusion that follows the premises:

Banks make money by charging interest.

My bank charges me interest.

My bank makes money.

Note that the conclusion follows logically from both premises. It includes no additional information, and does not make assumptions or inferences about the premises. It is a valid conclusion.

Here is an example of a conclusion that goes beyond the truth of the premises:

Ernest Hemingway wrote some great books.

Ernest Hemingway wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls.

For Whom the Bell Tolls is a great book.

Why is this conclusion invalid? Because the major premise states that some of Hemingway's books are great. The conclusion assumes that For Whom the Bell Tolls falls into that group, when there is no evidence in the premises that this is true.

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