The Black Cat
TITLE: The Black Cat
First Appeal to induction
1. I started hourly from dreams of unutterable fear to find the hot breath of the thing upon my face.
2. Its vast weight of an- incarnate nightmare that I had no power to shake off- in cumber eternally upon my heart.
3. The cat followed me down the stairs and nearly throwing me headlong.
4. I aimed a blow at the animal which of course would have proved instantly fatal had it descended as I wished. But this blow was arrested by the hand of my wife.
5. Upon its head, with red extended mouth and solitary eye of fire sat the hideous beast whose craft had seduced into murder and whose informing voice had consigned me to the hangman.
Conclusion: Therefore, it seems most likely that Pluto has returned from the dead to take his revenge against me by burning down m house and trying to kill me.
Second Appeal to Induction
1. My attention was suddenly drawn to some black object, reposing upon the head of one of the immense hogsheads of gin or of rum, which constitute the chief furniture of the apartment.
2. It was a black cat- a very large one- fully as large as Pluto.
3. When it reached the house it domesticated itself at once and became immediately a great favorite with my wife.
4. Upon my touching him, he immediately arose, purred loudly, rubbed against my hand and appeared delighted with my notice.
5. What added, no doubt, to my hatred of the beast was the discovery on the morning after I brought it home that like Pluto it had been deprived one of its eyes.
Conclusion: Therefore, it seems most likely my second pet cat is identical with Pluto, and they are in fact the same creature who has returned from the dead to seek his revenge against me.
Unlike deductive arguments where the conclusion is true if the premises are all true the inductive arguments give probable or else partial support to a conclusion. This means that it does not matter whether the whole premise is true, in case a single statement is likely to be true then the whole premise is probably true. Therefore it gives room for both true and false judgement which is made from the premises.
In the scenario above we cannot have a probability of one that the new Pet was actually Pluto but the similarities which the writer has brought out show some similarities of the two pets and therefore there is a certain probability that it is Pluto. On the other side it could still not be Pluto but another pet which has similar characters and features like those of Pluto.
Again we cannot fully conclude that it had bad intentions against its new owner and whether revenge was its main objective. It could have just been its playful mood just like any other pet but unfortunately it tripped of its master making him so angry.
Poe has therefore made good use of the induction logic to as compared to Aristotle who mainly argues in Deduction logic.
Edgar Allan Poe. The Black Cat. Jose Menendez.1843.
Ava Caridad. The Black Cat and other Plays. The Edgar Allan Poe Review. Penn State University Press.2016.
Meyers, Jeffrey. Edgar Allan Poe: his life and legacy. New York City.1992.
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