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Strong critical thinkers demonstrate the following characteristics:

inquisitiveness with regard to a wide range of issues


concern to become and remain well-informed
alertness to opportunities to use critical thinking
self-confidence in ones own abilities to reason
open-mindedness regarding divergent world views
flexibility in considering alternatives and opinions
understanding of the opinions of other people
fair-mindedness in appraising reasoning
honesty in facing ones own biases, prejudices, stereotypes, or
egocentric tendencies
prudence in suspending, making or altering judgments
willingness to reconsider and revise views where honest reflection
suggests that change is warranted

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SUPPOSITION OF TERMS
Supposition is the property by which a term stands for a definite one of the various things it can
stand for (Bachhuber, 1957, p.230). A term can stand as a material image, as a subject or
predicate of a sentence, as something pertaining a reality, or as pertaining to something or
someone in reality.
Consider these examples:
Chair has five letters.
Chair is an absolute concept.
Chair is a furniture.
A chair is used to block the pathway.
In Example 1, chair stands as a material image, the word itself. In Example 2, chair
stands for an essence or whatness that exists only in the mind; that is because the whatness of
chair in this example cannot be absolute concept except only in the mind. In Example 3,
chair stands for it real essence or whatness because it tells us what the chair really is. It must
be noted that in this example the supposition of chair does not actually imply an actual
existence of a chair.[1] In Example 4, however, chair stands for an actually existing chair. Yet
in all four examples, chair has exactly the same meaning, signification, and definition; that is,
the examples do not indicate equivocal meanings of the term chair.
Shift in suppositions of terms in reasoning will lead us into error. Thus, to avoid this
kind of error, it is important to be able to identify the supposition of a particular term in a
particular statement.
Consider this invalid argument:

Philosophy means love of wisdom. Existentialism is a philosophy. Hence, existentialism means


love of wisdom.
One who does not know anything about supposition will readily claim that this
argument is valid. However, deeper analysis will show that this argument is invalid. We will
explain why this is so after we discussed the kinds of supposition.
KINDS OF SUPPOSITION
A.
Material Supposition
It is the use of a term for the spoken or written sign itself, but not for what it signifies
(Bachhuber, 1957, p.231). In the following examples, the supposition of chair is material:
Chair rhymes with hair, and Chair has R as its last letter. In all these usages, chair is really
a furniture, but the fact that chairs being a furniture has nothing to do with the fact chair rhymes
with hair, or that its last letter is R. Hence, in these examples we only consider the material make
up of the word chair.
B.

Formal Supposition
Formal supposition is the use of a term not for the sign itself, but for what it signifies. In the
example Chair is a furniture, chair has a formal supposition because it is not the word chair
that is a furniture but what the chair signifies that is a furniture.

Types of Formal Supposition


1.
Logical Supposition
It is the use of a term for what it signifies not as it exists in the real order but as it exists only in
the mind. For example, chair can signify as concept, as a subject of a sentence, as inferior to
the term furniture, etc., but in all of these significations, chair does not refer to the chair in
the real order but to the chair that is a product of mental construct.
Other examples:
Man is an absolute concept.
Elephant is the subject of the sentence No elephants are pink.
Monkey is inferior to the term mammal.
2.

Real Supposition
It is the use of a term for what it signifies in the real order. The supposition of chair is real in the
sentence, The chair is used to block the pathway because it refers to something in the real
order.
Other examples:
Man is a rational animal.
Elephant is a mammal with long proboscis.
This monkey is a primate.
Real supposition is on one hand, either absolute or personal, and on the other hand, either
essential or accidental.
Types of Real Supposition
a.
Absolute and Personal
A real supposition is absolute if it is used to refer to the whatness or essence as such and not to
something or someone that bears this whatness or essence. For example, in the sentence Man is
rational, man refers not to anyone but to the essence of man as such.
Other examples:
Elephant is a mammal with long proboscis.
Chair is a furniture designed as a single seat.
Kindness is the highest virtue.

A real supposition is personal if it is used to refer not to the whatness or essence as such but to
something or someone that bears this whatness or essence. In the sentence The man is rational,
man refers to someone who has the essence of man; hence, it is personal.
Other examples:
The elephant I saw yesterday has a very long proboscis.
A chair is used to block the pathway.
These persons are innocent.
It is very important to note that statements using terms with absolute supposition do not assert
the actual existence of the terms signified objects. For example, the sentence Superman is a
superhero does not imply the existence of Superman in reality. This is not true, however, in
statements using terms with personal supposition. For example, the statement Superman saved
Mary Jane implies the existence of Superman in the actual order.
b.
Essential and Accidental
A real supposition is essential if the term is predicated of essential attributes, i.e., attributes that
make a thing or a substance what it is. In the sentence Man is rational, man has an essential
supposition because rational is an essential attribute that makes man as man.
Other examples:
The elephant is a mammal with long proboscis.
Chair is a furniture.
All men are mortals.
A real supposition is accidental if the term is predicated of accidental attributes, i.e., attributes
that do not make a thing or substance what it is. In the sentence, A man took his seat, man has
an accidental supposition because taking a seat is not what makes man as man.
Other examples:
Elephants can be used in circuses.
The man has a dirty face.
Birds migrate from one continent to another.

Judgment and Proposition


Ideas are not enough to give us a comprehensive knowledge of things because the
human intellect cannot grasp in one apprehensive act all the perfections of a thing.
The human mind has to proceed step by step, interrelating the ideas apprehended
into judgment.
The logical union of different ideas in a judgment reflects the real unity of things.
Judgment
Is a mental operation that pronounces the agreement or disagreement between two
ideas.
Proposition
As ideas are expressed in the concrete through the use of terms, judgment is
expressed in the concrete through the use of proposition.
A proposition is a linguistic expression or the sensible sign of the judgment.
Constituents of a Proposition:

1. Subject is the one spoken of, the one about whom or of which something is
affirmed or denied.
2. Predicate is what is affirmed or denied of the subject.
3. Copula links the subject with the predicate.
4. The subject and predicate are called the matter because they are the materials or
ingredients out of which the proposition is made.
5. The copula is the form for it is the unifying principle that gives the structure of a
proposition.
Categorical Propositions
Is that which gives a direct assertion of agreement or disagreement between the
subject term and the predicate term.
The Standard-Form Categorical Proposition
A standard-form categorical proposition contains four elements:
1. The quantifier
2. The subject term
3. The predicate term
4. The copula
All squatters are homeless.
Quantifier: All
Subject : Squatters
Copula: Are
Predicate: Homeless
The quantifier indicates the degree of universality (quantity) of the subject. A
universal proposition is that which takes the subject in the entirety of its extension; a
particular proposition limits this extension; and a singular proposition restricts it an
individual subject.
The Universal Quantifier. A universal quantification makes use of all, every, any, and
other words of similar import for affirmative propositions; and words such as no, none,
and other words parallel to these for negative propositions.
All books are reading materials.
The Particular Quantifier. A particular quantification makes use of words such as
some, at least one, most, almost all, the majority, and other words of similar import for
particular propositions. These particular quantifiers claim that at least one member of
the class denominated by the subject term is a member (or non-member) of the class
denominated by the predicate term.

Some students are scholars.


It means that at least one student is a scholar.
The Copula. Is the linking verb is (am, are, was, were) and is not (am not, are not,
was not, were not) indicating the agreement or disagreement between the subject term
and the predicate term. The degree of agreement or disagreement is determined by the
quantifier of the proposition.

Quality of the Categorical Proposition


The quality of a proposition is the relation established between two terms of the
proposition. If there is an agreement between the two terms, then the proposition is
affirmative; if there is disagreement, then the proposition is negative.
From the combination of quality and quantity, we derive four standard forms of
categorical propositions. The vowels A, E, I, and O are used to represent each
proposition. A and I are taken from the two vowels of AffIrmo (affirm) and E and O from
the two vowels of nEgO (negate or deny).
A-stands for universal or singular and affirmative statements
E-stands for universal or singular and negative statements
I-stands for particular and affirmative statements
O-stands for particular and negative statements
A-stands for universal or singular and affirmative statements
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All roses are flowers.


Every cloud has its silver lining.
Whoever wins will be awarded a trip to Hongkong.
All of us in this room are Filipinos.
His lecture on philosophy and art is a brilliant piece of work.

E-stands for universal or singular and negative statements


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No bird has four legs.


Love of country is not a commodity for sale.
Love means not having to say you are sorry.
In never said he was a crook.
A squash is not an eggplant.

I-stands for particular and affirmative statements


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Some philosophers are essentialists.


Several philosophers are essentialists.
Most cultures are deeply religious.
Some Filipinos are music lovers.
Quite a few tourists are knowledgeable of our scenic spots.

O-stands for particular and negative statements


1. Some dogs are not black.

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Not all women are fickle-minded.


Many Americans are not rich.
Some things on earth are not edible.
Some that shines are not gold.

The Logical Form


A Propositions:
1. Mario sells newspapers.
Mario is a newsboy.
2. Shakespeare wrote the drama Macbeth.
Shakespeare is the dramatist of Macbeth.
Shakespeare is the playwright of Macbeth.
3. Whoever is hungry will be fed.
All persons who are hungry will be fed.
All who are hungry will be fed.
4. Only family members will be admitted.
All those who will be admitted are family members.
E Propositions:
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No crocodiles fly.
None of the guests came.
No plants are animals.
There are no men with tails.
No men are human beings with tails.

I Propositions:
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Some broken hearts can be healed.


Most women are fickle-minded.
Most teachers are female.
A few students go to concert.
Some students are concert-goers.

O Propositions:
1. Some women are not fickle-minded.
2. Some students are not party-goers.
3. Most of the men are not teachers.
Pointers to remember when reducing to logical form:
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Keep the original subject.


Do not use the progressive tense for your predicate.
Avoid the use of one for your predicate. Think of a more appropriate word.
Avoid redundancies.
Be simple and direct in your answers.

Source: google.com