Argument from equality

Dutch royals should pay taxes, because every other citizen pays taxes

Schermafdruk 2018-02-06 22.17.41

The arguer states that Dutch royals should pay taxes and supports this claim by stating that every other citizen is doing the same. Since the argument fits the form a is X, because is X, it can be identified as a first-order subject argument. In this specific case, a is instantiated by ‘Dutch royals’, X by ‘(should) pay(s) taxes’, and b by ‘every other citizen’.

Dutch royals (a) should pay taxes (X), because every other citizen (b) pays taxes (X)

First-order subject arguments are further differentiated by identifying the types of statement in the conclusion and the premise. In this case, the former is a statement of policy and the latter a statement of fact, which means that we are dealing with a first-order subject argument supporting a policy with a fact (1 sub PF).

The trivial name of first-order subject arguments is derived from the characterization of the relationship between the subjects a and b. In this example, the argument draws on the idea that when it comes to paying taxes, Dutch royals should be treated equally to every other citizen. We can therefore call such an argument an ‘argument from equality’.


The example is taken from a news item stating that according to a poll carried out by Dutch television program Een Vandaag, 62 percent of Dutch people think that King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, his wife Queen Máxima, and his mother Princess Beatrix should pay taxes just like every other citizen.

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