4. As good almost kill a man as kill a good book (PREMISE): who kills a man kills a
reasonable creature, God’s image, but he who destroys a good book kills reason itself.
(CONCLUSION) -John Milton, Areopagitica
This (4) is an argument. It presents a conclusion, that a being who destroys a "good book"
destroys knowledge, or "reason" itself. The premise leading up to this conclusion is that
"As good almost kill a man as kill a good book", contrasting the two plausible "murders".
5. To safeguard one’s happiness is a duty (CONCLUSION), at least indirectly; for
discontent with one’s condition amidst the press of worries and unsatisfied wants may
easily become a great temptation to the transgression of duties.(PREMISE) -Immanuel
Kant, The Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Ethics
This (5) is an argument. The conclusion is that, it is one's duty to safeguard their own
happiness. The premise for this conclusion is that not safeguarding one's happiness could
result is such a level of discontentment with one's life, that the person in question would
not be able to carry out their daily duties, or work hard towards certain goals because
they will simply lack the motivation to do so, as a result of a kind of sadness.
6. I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills. The Equator runs across these
highlands, a hundred miles to the North, and the farm lay at an altitude of over six
thousand feet. -Isak Dinesen, Out of Africa
This (6) is an explanation, as it does not carry any premises, nor does it carry with it any
conclusion that is attempting to convince the reader of any particular "fact", or notion.
this sentence is simply relaying a story.
7. Good sense is of all things in the world the most equally distributed,(CONCLUSION)
for everybody thinks himself so abundantly provided with it, that even those most
difficult to please in all other matters do not commonly desire more of it than they
already possess(PREMISES). -Rene Descartes, A Discourse on Method
This (7) is an argument. The conclusion is that common sense in the world is equally
distributed, while the premise is that every human believes that they have been born with
the best of everything, thus they do not ask or desire for any more than that.
8. No man will take counsel, but every man will take money:(PREMISES) therefore
money is better than counsel. (CONCLUSION)-Jonathan Swift
This (8) is an argument. The conclusion is that money is better than counsel, while the
premises argue that this notion is true because "no man will take cousel, but every man
will take money". 9. The fence around a cemetery is foolish (CONCLUSION), for those inside can’t get out
and those outside don’t want to get in.(PREMISES) -Arthur Brisbane, The Book of
This (9) is an argument. The premises argue that those who are outside a cemetery do not
want to get inside of it, while those who are dead, and thereby dwell inside of it can not
get out. This leads to the conclusion that building fences around cemeteries is foolish.
10. During the school period the student has been mentally bending over his desk; at the
University he should stand up and look around. (PREMISES) For this reason it is fatal if
the first year at the University be frittered away in going over the old work in the old
spirit. (CONCLUSION) -A.N. Whitehead, The Aims of Education
This (10) is an argument. The premises that the student has been leaning over their work,
straining their neck, similar to a hermit. this leads to the conclusion that the first year of
University should not be spent living like a Hermit, but rather gaining both knowledge
11. If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then
eternal life belongs to those who live in the present. -Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus
This (11) is just a statement, as it does not make a significant attempt to convince the
reader of any notion, but it also does not attempt to explain anything in particular.
12. Since happiness consists in peace of mind (PREMISE), and since durable peace of
mind depends on the confidence we have in the future, and since that confidence is based
on the science we should have of the nature of God and the soul, it follows that science is
necessary for true happiness. (CONCLUSION) -Gottfried Leibniz, Preface to the General
This(12) is an argument. the conclusion is that science is necessary for true happiness. the
premises argue that peace of mind comes from confidence in the future, with comes from
an almost faith-like science, thus deeming science necessary for true happiness.
13. He that accepts protection, stipulates obedience. We have always protected the
Americans(PREMISES); we may therefore subject them to
government(CONCLUSION). -Samuel Johnson, Address to the Electors of Great Britain
This (13) is an argument. The premises argue that a being must be obedient and indebted
to their protector. The conclusion states that due to the protection provided for the entity
in question, the provider now has sovereignty over that entity.
14. Spriggs, . . . having fallen into a fire when drunk, had one eye burnt out, one cheek
burnt through, and one arm nearly burnt off, and, therefore, in regard to personal
appearance was not the most prepossessing of men. -Anthony Trollope, The Warden This (14) is an explanation, it is explaining what happened as a direct result of an event.
15. A tiger has a natural right to eat a man, but if he may eat one man he may eat another,
(PREMISES) so that a tiger has a right of property in all men, as potential tiger-meat.
(CONCLUSION) -Thomas Henry Huxley, Natural Rights and Political Rights
This (15) is an argument. The premises argue that Tigers have the natural right to
consume Human beings, that if they consume one they may consumer multiple human
beings. The sentence concludes that as a result, Tigers own all human beings as possible
16. Poetry is finer and more philosophical than history,(CONCLUSION) for poetry
expresses the universal and history only the particular.(PREMISES) -Aristotle, Poetics
This (16) is an argument. The premise argues that poetry expresses a broad range of
topics, while history is more specific. this leads to the conclusion that Poetry is finer that
17. The Roman Empire crumbled to dust because it lacked the spirit of liberalism and
free enterprise. -Ludwig von Mises, Human Action, A Treatise on Economics
This (17) is an explanation, as to why a certain factual event took place.
18. . . . since there are more people on the earth than there are hairs on any one person’s
head,(PREMISES) I know that there must be at least two people with the same number of
hairs (CONCLUSION) . . . . -F.P. Ramsey, The Foundations of Mathematics
This (18) is an argument. the premises arguing that there are more people than hairs,
thereby there must be a minimum of two people with the same amount of hair.
19. Venus and Mercury must revolve around the sun, (CONCLUSION) because of their
never moving far away from it, and because of their being seen now beyond it and now
on this side of it (PREMISES). . . . -Galileo Galilei, “Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief
This (19) is an argument. the premises argue that Venus and Mercury never move far
from the sun, and must, therefore, revolve around it.
20. All censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current conceptions and
existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and
executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress
is the removal of censorships. There is the whole case against censorships in a nutshell.
This (20) is an explanation, telling that there is a whole case against censorship. Exercise 1.2
2. Going to the store at this hour is pointless. Since it is now well past 9 o’clock, the store
will be closed. The store always closes at 9 o’clock.
1. Going to the store at this hour is pointless
2. it is now well past 9 o’clock
3/4. the store will be closed
5. The store always closes at 9 o’clock
3. There’s no way we can get to Montreal on time, if we stop in Kingston. When we stop
in Kingston, we always end up staying overnight with your friends. If we don’t get to
Montreal on time, we’ll miss the wedding. So if we stop in Kingston, then we’ll miss the
1. There’s no way we can get to Montreal on time
2. if we stop in Kingston
3. When we stop in Kingston, we always end up staying overnight with your friends
4. . If we don’t get to Montreal on time, we’ll miss the wedding
5. if we stop in Kingston, then we’ll miss the wedding.
4. The house is worth the price you’re asking only if it’s in excellent repair. But it doesn’t
look to be in such good condition. The plumbing needs work, and so does the wiring. So
the house isn’t worth your price.
1. The house is worth the price you’re asking only if it’s in excellent repair
2. But it doesn’t look to be in such good condition
3. The plumbing needs work
4. so does the wiring
5. the house isn’t worth your price
5. Alice is well qualified to work for you as a supervisor. The position requires
knowledge of management s