4
$\begingroup$

I know if you negate a qualifier like “Every person likes logic” it will become “Some people do not like logic”. Does negating a qualifier apply to negating a time period set as well?

Also, why do we even negate a qualifier? What is wrong with "Every person likes logic" vs "Every person do not like logic" <- is the latter not a negation?

$\endgroup$
7
$\begingroup$

In general, when you negate a statement $p$ to get a statement $\neg p$, two things should be true:

  • Both $p$ and $\neg p$ cannot be true at the same time.
  • At least one of $p$ or $\neg p$ will always be true: they cannot both be false at the same time.

These are the two characteristics of a negation.

Sometimes we can use these as a quick check of whether we took the negation correctly (even though this is not always easy). For example:

  • "Every person likes logic" and "Some people do not like logic" can't both be true at the same time. If every person likes logic, there aren't any people who don't like logic.
  • Maybe it's hard to see if "Every person likes logic" and "Some people do not like logic" can both be false at the same time, but they can't.
  • However, I can give an example in which both "every person likes logic" and "every person does not like logic" are false, and so this is the wrong negation. Suppose there are two people; one of them likes logic, and the other doesn't.

If we look at "tomorrow will rain" and "all days other than tomorrow will not rain", then

  • These can be true at the same time: imagine that tomorrow is the only day in history it rains, and it will never rain again before or after.
  • These can also be false at the same time: imagine that it rains today, but not tomorrow.

So "all days other than tomorrow will not rain" definitely isn't the negation.

On the other hand, looking at "tomorrow will rain" and "tomorrow will not rain", it's clear that one of these must happen, but both can't happen at the same time: this is the correct negation.

| cite | improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you so much for your answer. Your answer is really really good and helpful $\endgroup$ – Yi Xiang Chong Sep 18 at 6:22
  • $\begingroup$ If I change your sentence slightly "However, I can give an example in which both "every person likes logic" and ** "some people do not like logic" ** are false, and so this is the wrong negation. Suppose there are two people; one of them likes logic, and the other doesn't". So does this make the correct negation wrong then? $\endgroup$ – Yi Xiang Chong Sep 21 at 2:02
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ If one person likes logic and the other doesn't, then it's true that "some people do not like logic" - the second person doesn't like logic! $\endgroup$ – Misha Lavrov Sep 21 at 2:16

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.