Conditional claims are also called hypothetical
claims. The conditional claim is a very versitile and
useful logical tool. It is the Swiss Army knife of logic.
- The basic form of the conditional claim is, "IF________,
instance, "If the sun is shining, then it will be warm."
conditional claim contains two independent clauses.
- One independent
clause follows the "if." The other independent clause
follows the "then."
The conditional claim can be put into symbolic form;
- This symbolic
form is read, "If P, then Q." The P and the Q represent
It is called hypothetical because we don't know from looking at
the claim itself whether or not the sun is currently shining, or
whether or not it is warm. We only know one thing: that whenever
that the sun is shining, that it will be warm.
A COMMON ERROR is to think of the conditional claim as an entire
argument. An argument requires a minimum of two sentences. The
conditional claim is only one. So it can't be an entire argument.
The part of the sentence that comes after the "if" and
before the "then" is called the antecedent. For instance, "the
sun is shining"
The part of the sentence that comes after the "then" is
called the consequent. For instance, "it will be warm."