Standard form categorical propositions
1.Standard form categorical propositions
The Power of Logic by Frances Howard Snyder- Chpt. 5
1. Think of a categorical statement that you have heard recently. Put the statement into each of the four standards (A, E, I, O) for a categorical syllogism. Assume that the A statement is true. Using the traditional square of opposition and immediate inferences, what are the truth values of the other three statements (E, I, O)? Justify your assignment of the truth values. How does this change if your A statement is false?
2. In your responses, think of a current event or issue that has a variety of positions that one could take. How does what you have learned help you to analyze that topic or issue?
You are a reporter at a local paper, the Tunetown News. Your editor has assigned you the task of writing a series of articles about the recent shooting of a mentally disabled man by a police officer. The shooting has generated considerable controversy and has been the subject of numerous articles, newspaper editorials, letters, and talk show segments. However, to date there has not been a publicly accessible analysis of the issues raised by the incident. Your editor wants you to remedy this omission by writing an article that addresses all of the constitutional, philosophical, and procedural issues related to this incident. She wants you to explain these issues in a way that the average reader will understand.
Final Project Scenario: The Shooting of Hansel Hunterson
These are the facts agreed to by all parties in the various matters:
Hansel Hunterson is a 20-year-old resident of Witchtown who is developmentally delayed and functions on the level of a five-year-old. Hansel is a large man who often appears disheveled (his parents and educators encourage independence by having Hansel be responsible for his dress and grooming), and has a rambling walk. He speaks slowly and his speech is difficult to understand. Although his family lives in Witchtown, Hansel has spent most of his life in a residential boarding school and is not known to most of the town’s residents.
On the first day of a visit home last summer, Hansel asked his parents, Myrna and Jake, for permission to walk by himself to a nearby store to buy some ice cream. Hansel had done this on previous visits, and Myrna and Jake gave their approval. While walking to the store, Hansel became lost and ended up near the town playground. Seeing some children and their parents in the playground, Hansel walked over and asked for directions to the store. The children and parents were frightened by Hansel’s appearance and garbled speech, and moved away. Hansel followed them, however, and continued to talk to them. One of the parents, Lydia Shaw, called 911.
A couple of minutes later, Police Officer Big Bad (“B.B.”) Wolf approached the group and tried to speak with Hansel, who was becoming agitated. Frustrated, Officer Wolf shouted at Hansel, ordering him to “Answer the question.” Officer Wolf also moved closer to Hansel, standing almost nose to nose with him. Terrified, Hansel turned and ran from the scene. Officer Wolf gave chase.
Hansel ran into an alleyway between two houses and into a small backyard. Officer Wolf recalled that there had recently been a series of burglaries in the neighborhood. In each case, the intruder had entered the home through a ground-floor window facing the backyard. One of the victims of the burglaries had confronted the burglar, but fled after the burglar pulled a large knife from his jacket. The burglar, who was described by his victims only as a “large man,” was considered armed and dangerous by the Witchtown Police Department.
Immediately after entering the backyard off the alleyway, Hansel dashed up the back stairs of the home, which had a small window beside them. Hansel’s parents believe he did this in an attempt to find help. Hansel also reached into his jacket. Officer Wolf drew his gun and shot Hansel, who died the next day. A search found a small cell phone in a pocket in Hansel’s jacket lining.
Officer Wolf told the police department Internal Affairs officers investigating the incident that he fired because he believed Hansel was trying to enter the home. He feared that Hansel might attempt to take the homeowners hostage. He also said that he shot at Hansel because he believed that Hansel was reaching for a gun or knife when he reached into his jacket.
Myrna and Jake filed a lawsuit in state court against Officer Wolf and the Witchtown Police Department. The suit alleged that the defendants had deprived Hansel of his constitutional rights and were responsible for his death.
The local District Attorney, Lila Barnes, convened a secret grand jury to decide whether to file a charge of manslaughter against Officer Wolf. Officer Wolf was not notified of the grand jury’s existence and did not attend or have representation at any of the proceedings. The grand jury heard testimony from Hansel’s parents, the Witchtown Chief of Police, and the head of personnel at the Witchtown Police Department. The members of the grand jury also examined the notes of meetings Officer Wolf had with a Police Department psychologist both before and after the shooting. The grand jury indicted Officer Wolf, who was arrested and placed in solitary confinement until trial. To the chagrin of District Attorney Barnes, the judge assigned to the case was her arch-rival, Judge Ruby Slippers. Judge Slippers had a reputation for dismissing cases and excluding evidence for what Atty. Barnes believed were minor issues.
The grand jury indicted Officer Wolf for manslaughter and Judge Slippers did in fact dismiss the charge. Later that week, the Tunetown News published an editorial by District Attorney Barnes, which decried judges who know “nothing about the real world” and are “soft on crime.” Judge Slippers’ response, stating that some law enforcement officials would do anything to obtain a conviction, including violating suspects’ constitutional rights, was printed the next day.
Meanwhile, back at the park…
While Officer Wolf was chasing Hansel, another officer arrived and told the individuals present that the adults who witnessed the officer’s conversation with Hansel needed to go to the police station and make a statement. The entire group went to the police station as they were told. The policy of the Witchtown Police Department was that all persons entering the station were required to empty their pockets and purses for inspection. When Lydia Shaw emptied her purse, the officer in charge noticed a bottle of prescription pills. He picked up the bottle and saw that the prescription was not made out to Ms. Shaw, but to another person. Ms. Shaw and the friend who had given her the pills were subsequently arrested and charged with the illegal distribution of a controlled substance.
At trial, Ms. Shaw was found guilty and sentenced to six months’ probation. Shortly afterward, she appealed her conviction and sued the Witchtown Police Department, claiming that she should not have been convicted due to violations of her constitutional rights.