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 tbrou34
  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: Jun 23, 2021
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#91457
I understand that “the only” introduces the sufficient condition. But, how would you diagram a sentence using “the only” with two necessary conditions. For instance how would the following sentence be diagramed?

“Apples and oranges are the only available fruits.”

It seems to make more sense diagramming it this way: available fruit—> apple or orange
But, I know this can’t be right. Helps please :dbl:
 Adam Tyson
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 4190
  • Joined: Apr 14, 2011
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#91482
That's exactly right, tbrou34! If a fruit is available, it must be an apple or an orange; if a fruit is not an apple or an orange, it is not available.

I see two approaches to "the only" being used successfully, and you have described one of them, which is to treat it as a sufficient condition indicator. With that method, the phrase "the only" is next to and introduces the sufficient condition.

But I prefer the alternative method, which is to treat that phrase as an indication of the necessary condition. Even though it is not next to it, the phrase does tell you what's necessary if you just think about answering this question: What is the only thing? (or Who is the only one, or Where is the only place, etc.) In this case, what are the only ones? Apples and oranges. So apples and oranges are the necessary condition.

You got it! It might not always feel like it makes sense when you diagram it, as long as you follow the right steps you can be sure that your diagram is representing the logical relationship between the terms. Good job!

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