Fr.: syllogisme catégirique
A standard → syllogism that consists of three → categorical propositions in which there are three terms, and each term appears exactly twice. The three terms in a standard categorical syllogism are the → major term, → mino term, and → middle term.
A kind of → deductive reasoning
whereby from two initial → propositions
(two → premises) a third related
proposition (→ conclusion) is derived. The typical
form of a → categorical syllogism is "A is B;"
"C is A;" "Therefore, C is B." For example,
"All humans are mortal."
"John is human."
"Therefore, John is mortal."
"Mortal" (B) is called the
→ major term; it occurs in the first premise and
is the → predicate of the conclusion.
"John" (C), the subject of the conclusion, is called the
→ minor term. "Human," which is common to
both premises and is excluded from the conclusion, is called the
→ middle term.
See also → Aristotelian forms.
Syllogism is purely formal. It does not enrich knowledge, but gives a new presentation to what
is already known. It is also possible to have a logically valid syllogism based on
→ absurd premises. For example, "All cats are mammals."
"All cats are animals."
"Therefore, all animals are mammals."
Syllogism, representing the earliest branch of → formal logic,
was developed in its original form by Aristotle in his Organon (Prior Analytics) about
M.E. silogisme, from O.Fr. silogisme, from L. syllogismus, from Gk. syllogismos "a syllogism," originally "inference, conclusion; computation, calculation," from syllogizesthai "bring together before the mind, compute, conclude," from assimilated form of → syn- "together" + logizesthai "to reason, to count," from logos "a reckoning, reason," → logic.
Bâhamšomârik, literally "reckoning together," from bâham "together," from bâ "with," → hypo-, + ham, → syn-, + šomâr present stem of šomârdan "to reckon, calculate, enumerate, account for," → count, + suffix -i.