Loosely associated statements

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A loosely associated statement is a type of simple non-inferential passage wherein statements about a general subject are juxtaposed but make no inferential claim.[1] As a rhetorical device, loosely associated statements may be intended by the speaker to infer a claim or conclusion, but because they lack a coherent logical structure any such interpretation is subjective as loosely associated statements prove nothing and attempt no obvious conclusion.[2] Loosely associated statements can be said to serve no obvious purpose, such as illustration or explanation.[3]

Included statements can be premises, conclusions or both, and both true or false, but missing from the passage is a claim that any one statement supports another.


In A concise introduction to logic, Hurley demonstrates the concept with a quote by Lao-Tzu:

Not to honor men of worth will keep the people from contention; not to value goods which are hard to come by will keep them from theft; not to display what is desirable will keep them from being unsettled of mind.

— Lao-Tzu

While each clause in the quote may seem related to the others, each provides no reason to believe another.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hurley, Patrick J. (2008). A Concise Introduction to Logic 10th ed. Thompson Wadsworth. p. 17. ISBN 0-495-50383-5. 
  2. ^ "The logic of arguments". Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  3. ^ "NONargument - Loosely associated statements". Retrieved April 28, 2012.