Illogical Ice-cream


I studied a bit of philosophy as part of my (interminably useless) bachelor’s degree.  Within the broad field of philosophy I took a course in logic.  I remember this course because I had to work relatively hard to understand what the hell it was all about.  I also remember it because, unlike other modules I took, I had to actually attend the lectures and tutorials.  This forced attendance was achieved by a) not making the course notes available on the intranet and b) allocating some wildly inappropriate percentage of the final mark to participation in tutorials.  I think it was 10%.  So my hands were tied.  I wouldn’t have minded if I’d been studying something vocational and hands on, like nursing.  Or pottery.  But philosophy? 

Well, I signed myself up for this course because I quite liked the idea of it.  I like debating.  I like arguing too, as long as it doesn’t lead to bloodshed.  I liked the idea of learning about the theoretical side of logic: when is an argument “valid” as opposed to mere hot air?

While attending these tutorials words and phrases were bandied about that I’ve never since had recourse to use.  Stuff like “That argument is valid because…” “That’s a tautology”  “I think you’ll find you’re begging the question there, sonny jim”.  I had a glossary in the back of my textbook that I would frequently dip into because words could no longer be used in their everyday sense; they had to be used in the ‘correct’ sense for Logic. 

I was going to look up the whole valid argument thing, but I’ve realised I can’t be arsed.  I’ve googled it but there are too many possibly erroneous definitions and I want to talk about ice-cream.  Let’s just say that an argument (in a philosophical sense, not down the pub with your mates) can be valid or invalid.  It is also made up of premises and a conclusion.  The nitty-gritty comes in when you have to decide if the  conclusion follows logically from the premises.  An example of an argument then:

Premise 1: I have a mouse.

Premise 2: My mouse is brown.

Conclusion: All mice are brown.

Britannica reckons that validity is determined when

the truth of the premises logically guarantees the truth of the conclusion.

In the above mouse argument, then, let’s assume that I’m telling the truth.  I have a mouse and my mouse is brown.  But the conclusion is not necessarily true based on those premises, so the argument is not valid.  This would be a valid form:

Premise 1: I have a mouse.

Premise 2: My mouse is brown.

Conclusion: At least one mouse is brown.

If the premises were true then the conclusion would, logically, have to be true also.  A valid argument.  I’ve just realised why I had a nervous breakdown after my degree.  Anyway…stepping away from the rodents…

ICE-CREAM.  I have been buying ice-cream from my local supermarket.  I really really want some chocolate fudge Ben and Jerry’s, but the ice cabinet at my store only has FROZEN YOGURT B&J chocolate fudge.  Why???  In God’s name, WHY?!?

I’ve been buying B&J Phish Food instead because, when I go to the supermarket to buy ice-cream, I am committing myself to gazillions of calories and furred up arteries.  If I want the healthy choice you’ll find me in the fruit and veg section.  I don’t get it.  There’s a few tubs of Haagen Dazs (all properly calorific), some flavours of Ben and Jerry’s, like Phish Food (properly calorific), and then…and then…there’s this FAKE ICE-CREAM.  I wouldn’t mind if there was the heart-attack-in-every-pack version there too.  But there isn’t.  No chocolate fudge full-fat.  Just this cleaned up yogurt concoction masquerading as the real thing. 

I have to tie this into the post title now so bear with me.  I think I have a good case when I state that frozen yogurt ice-cream is illogical ice-cream.  It shouldn’t exist.  It doesn’t exist in my eyes.  There’s no fucking cream in it!

Let me see if I can do the formal logic thing with this irksome problem:

Premise 1: Ice-cream has cream in it.

Premise 2: Yogurt is for sissys.

Conclusion: Chocolate fudge frozen yogurt is not an acceptable alternative to chocolate fudge ice-cream.

I may have messed up the argument a little, but you see where I stand on this issue.  The product gets away with its deception by not using the words “ice-cream” on the packaging.  But when it’s in a tub identical to its ice-cream neighbours, in the cabinet marked “ice-cream”, well, you see the problem.  Imagine if I’d hastily grabbed the tub without noticing the difference?  It doesn’t bear thinking about.  Here’s a picture of the offending item for your edification:


10 thoughts on “Illogical Ice-cream

  1. I can’t taste the difference between the two, my mum only lets the frozen yogurt version in, generally here they only have the full version!

  2. 1. A mouse got in the freezer.

    2. Mice cannot survive being frozen.

    3. What was that crunchy thing in the ice cream?

  3. Hey Louise,

    I totally agree, if your going to be indulgent you can’t do half measures.

    Same goes for light beers, light cigarettes and skimmed milk.

    Dom x

    • Heya,

      glad you agree, I’ve always thought you have impeccable instincts, especially when you agree with me 😉
      Light beers and cigarettes aren’t really my territory (I don’t smoke/drink beer) but I did think Weight Watchers rose wine tasted awful.
      Louise x

      • I have never tried Weight Watchers Wine (lovely alliteration), but they do a really good chocolate fudge brownie dessert thing, which sounds rubbish because it is trying to be low fat chocolate, but is actually really yummy.

        • They also used to do these really yummy toffee things, my nan used to have them haha.

          Anyways, what are you doing eating chocolate fudge brownie? It’s all about half baked! nom nom nom 😉

          • the s/s/diaries,

            half baked, you say? I’m not sure I could get my head around anything that sounds uncooked. I was never the kid who liked to lick the sponge mix bowl while cake making. My sister, on the other hand, would happily eat a bowl full of cake mix, leaving none for my mum to make a cake out of!

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