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I'm trying to reconstruct an argument. The argument is not about what should or shouldn't be done. As you can see the antecedent is never being picked up in the next premise. So it's just a sequence of if-then statements. The problem is that I still have no idea how put this argument in a logical form. The first premise is really tricky to me; how to put something like "reflects" in a logical form? Is it something like "A is B"? And is this argument then valid? I would be happy for any suggestions! Here is the beast:

  1. The jurisprudence reflects the preferences of its citizens with regards to the desired ratio of severity of the sentence and the severity of the crime.

  2. If the preferences of the citizens with regards to the severity of the sentence and the severity of the crime are neglected, vigilantism by the citizens is the consequence.

  3. Vigilantism by the citizens threats law and order of a state

  4. If law and order of the state are threatened, this leads to anarchy and injustice

Conclusion: If the jurisprudence of a state neglects the citizens' preferences with regards to the desired ratio of severity of the sentence and the severity of the crime, this leads to anarchy and injustice. (1-4)

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This is actually quite a simple argument.

A - The preferences of the citizens with regards to the severity of the sentence and the severity of the crime are neglected.

B - Vigilantism by the citizens occurs.

C - The law and order of the state are threatened.

D - Anarchy and injustice ensues.

Premise 1 isn't actually necessary in your argument. Let's see:

Argument

  1. Whatever
  2. A → B
  3. B → C
  4. C → D

Therefore: A → D

Formulated like this, the argument is valid.


Note that it doesn't matter what or who neglects the citizens' preferences (with regards to ...), the the conclusion still follows, specifically because of premise 2.

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