I guess Mario Apuzzo, Esq. read my “A Pazzo” article. Today in his blog comments we find:
Blah. Blah. Blah. Well, once again Mario Apuzzo MISSES THE WHOLE DARN POINT of my article!!! I clearly said that I was saving a substantive refutation for later. The point of the Apuzzo/A Pazzo post was to show how Apuzzo’s use of syllogistic forms was misplaced and darn near useless when it is the major premises themselves which are at issue.
Apuzzo says the same thing but just doesn’t understand the impact of his own words. This is from his original article:
All CABs are NBCs.
All persons like Ted Cruz are CABs.
All persons like Ted Cruz are NBCs.
This argument is valid because if the major and minor premises are true, the conclusion must be true. But while the argument is valid as to its logical form, it is not sound, meaning that the major or minor premise or both are false. This adjusted Maskell argument is not sound because its major premise is false.
Notice how Apuzzo admits that in this proper logical form, Maskell’s argument is LOGICALLY valid. In Mario’s mind, what is it that renders the conclusion UNSOUND? Is it LOGIC??? Is it Aristotle speaking from beyond the grave??? Naw. It’s just that Mario disagrees with the Major Premise. That’s it! Maskell thinks one thing, and Mario thinks something else.
BUT, that is NOT the stuff of which logical fallacies are made. It’s just a disagreement. It happens all the time. I don’t think Mario Apuzzo is wrong because he violates forms of logic. I think he is wrong because he misinterprets applicable law, bases conclusions on inappropriate legal authorities, and flatly doesn’t know what he is talking about.
I guess you could put some of that into syllogistic form, to wit:
Major Premise: People who think earlier Supreme Court cases (Minor Happersett 1875) trump subsequent cases (Wong Kim Ark 1898) are wrong;
Minor Premise: Apuzzo thinks earlier Supreme Court cases (Minor Happersett 1875) trump subsequent cases (Wong Kim Ark 1898);
Conclusion: Apuzzo is wrong.
But why go through all that??? It isn’t necessary. It is simple enough to say, “Apuzzo commits error by focusing on earlier cases to the exclusion of subsequent cases. DUH! If I did utilize syllogisms in that fashion, it would not be for illumination, but obfuscation. That was my whole point with the earlier article.
Sooo, let me close with an Artsy Fartsy Irish Poem:
Losing To Wit
Apazzo ignores the courts’ rulings,
To busy himself with his droolings.
To Wit: he’ll keep losing,
‘Cause he keeps refusing
To listen to Squeeky Fromm’s schoolings!
Artsy Fartsy Girl Reporter
Note 1. Undistributed Middle/Distributed Muddle. For ESL’s, this is a word play on logical fallacies (Undistributed Middle), and confused messes (Distributed Muddle).
1. A disordered condition; a mess or jumble.
2. Mental confusion.
v. mud·dled, mud·dling, mud·dles
1. To make turbid or muddy.
2. To mix confusedly; jumble.
3. To confuse or befuddle (the mind), as with alcohol. See Synonyms at confuse.
4. To mismanage or bungle.
5. To stir or mix (a drink) gently.
To think, act, or proceed in a confused or aimless manner: muddled along through my high-school years.
Note 2. The Image Caption. The Bench also means:
World English Dictionary
bench (bɛntʃ) [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]
1. a long seat for more than one person, usually lacking a back or arms
2. a plain stout worktable
3. ( sometimes capital ) the bench
a. a judge or magistrate sitting in court in a judicial capacity
b. judges or magistrates collectively
4. sport the seat on which reserve players and officials sit during a game
5. geology a flat narrow platform of land, esp one marking a former shoreline
6. a ledge in a mine or quarry from which work is carried out
7. (in a gymnasium) a low table, which may be inclined, used for various exercises
8. a platform on which dogs or other domestic animals are exhibited at shows
9. ( NZ ) a hollow on a hillside formed by sheep
Note 3. The Image Easter Egg: Malt does more than logic will, to justify Apuzzo’s swill.
This is a word play based on two lines from A.E. Housman, in A Shropshire Lad, XLII (#62) the one which begins, “Terence, this is stupid stuff”. Here is an excerpt:
Oh many a peer of England brews
Livelier liquor than the Muse,
And malt does more than Milton can
To justify God’s ways to man.
Ale, man, ale’s the stuff to drink
For fellows whom it hurts to think:
Look into the pewter pot
To see the world as the world’s not.
Note 4. To Wit. The Irish Poem is based on a punning use of the legalistic phrase “To Wit” (Namely) with the general meaning “To Wit” (To Humor) being the clear winner in many arguments.
The phrase to wit, meaning namely or that is to say, is primarily used in legal texts and speech, though it sometimes spills over into other types of writing. In general, unless you’re going for a formal tone, to wit bears replacement with one of the many alternatives, such as namely, specifically, in other words, more precisely, or to clarify.
Here’s an example of to wit used in a legal context:
The indictment charged that Broadnax “did knowingly possess, in and affecting interstate commerce, a firearm, to wit: a RG Industries, Model RG 31, .38 caliber revolver, serial number 019420.”