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    Rules of Inference (Part III: Modus Tollens)

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    Many first-year logic students have heard of the "rules of inference"; in fact, many students may have even heard of a few. A typically standard way to continue covering those rules after mentioning Modus Ponens is by discussing Modus Tollens. However, what does this latter phrase mean? What rule does it denote? Here is a concise overview of probably the second-most well-known inference rule.

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    Solution Preview

    Our second rule of inference to cover is Modus Tollens. The phrase "modus tollens" means "denying mode." In this translation, you might already be able to tell how the rule operates: namely, it relies on a denial.

    However, to make this assertion, the form Modus Tollens (or, "MT") first must establish the opportunity to use that denial effectively. Much like Modus Ponens, it establishes this opportunity by first stating a conditional phrase.

    Remember from our prior post that a conditional ...

    Solution Summary

    Our second rule of inference to cover is Modus Tollens. The phrase "modus tollens" means "denying mode." In this translation, you might already be able to tell how the rule operates: namely, it relies on a denial.

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