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The Syllogistic Argument Schema or Pattern of the Categorical Syllogism

Syllogism “P” major term
-standard expression of argument in Aristotelian logic “S” minor term
-basic form of argument wherein it is arranged orderly as “M” middle term
to show the structure or form of the argument and “u” universal term
important terms and propositions to facilitate logical “p” particular term
“+” affirmative proposition
-set of three propositions, first two being the premises
“-“ negative proposition
and the last as the conclusion


1. Dictum de Omni
-consists of various ideas/terms and -states that whatever is affirmed universally, in a
judgments/propositions of the argument or syllogism formal manner, of a logical whole or class, should
-what the argument is all about, the substance, content also be affirmed of its logical parts.
and meaning If “all X are Y”
-what the argument says And “some Z are X”
Then “some Z are Y”
Form 2. Dictum de Nullo
-consists of logical connection of the ideas/terms and -states that whatever is denied universally, in a
judgments/propositions by virtue of which the formal manner, of a logical whole or class, should
conclusion follows necessarily from the given premises also be denied of its logical parts.
If “all X are not Y”
-structure, patterns or flow of argument or syllogism
And “some Z are X”
Then “some Z are not Y”
Kinds of Syllogism 3. If each of two concepts agrees respectively with
1. Categorical Syllogism the same third concept, then they also agree
-composed of categorical propositions with each other.
-first two are the premises and third is the If A agrees with C
conclusion And B agrees with A
-contains three terms: minor, major, middle Then B and C agrees with each other.
2. Hypothetical Syllogism 4. If one concept agrees with a third term and the
-composed of hypothetical propositions other disagrees with the same third term, then
-terms are not identified as major, minor or they disagree with each other.
middle If A agrees with B
But C does not agree with A
THE CATEGORICAL SYLLOGISM Then B and C do not agree with each other.
-composed of 3 categorical propositions (major premise, 5. If each two terms disagrees respectively with
minor premise, conclusion) and 3 terms (major term, the same term then nothing can follow or can
minor term and middle term). be concluded.
If A is not B
And C is not A
Then nothing follows.

The 8 Laws of Categorical Syllogism terms agree with the same third term and
1. There must only be 3 terms in the syllogism. therefore should agree with each other.
These term are the major term, minor term and a. Fallacy of Negative Conclusion
middle term. + + = + valid
a. Fallacy of four-term construction + + = - invalid
-committed when there are four terms 6. No conclusion can be drawn from two negative
instead of three terms in the syllogism premises. If two terms do not agree with the
b. Fallacy of equivocation same third term, the argument cannot proceed
-happens when one term expresses two since there will be no common ground. Hence for
different meanings in the syllogism the syllogism to be valid, one premise must be
2. No term may have a greater extension in the affirmative.
conclusion than in the premises. This means a. Fallacy of two negative premises
that neither the major nor the minor term may -two negative propositions where no
be universal in the conclusion if they are only conclusion can be concluded
particular in the premises. --=?
a. Fallacy of Illicit Major Term 7. No valid conclusion can be derived from two
-committed when the major term has wider particular premises. A syllogism with two
or greater extension in the conclusion than particular premises will always violate one or
in the major premise or when the major more rules of inference, like undistributed
term is particular in the major premise and middle term or illicit process. Hence for the
universal in the conclusion syllogism to be valid, one premise must be
b. Fallacy of Illicit Minor Term universal.
-committed when the minor term has the a. Fallacy of double particular premises
wider or greater extension in the conclusion -committed when there are two particular
than in the minor premise or when the minor premises
term is particular in the minor premise and 8. The conclusion always follows the weaker side.
universal in the conclusion. If one premise is negative, conclusion must be
3. The middle term must not appear in the negative. If one premise is particular, conclusion
conclusion. The middle term is always in the must be particular.
premises. a. Fallacy of a stronger conclusion than the
a. Misplaced middle term premises
-committed when the middle term appears + - = - (valid)
in the conclusion + - = + (invalid)
4. The middle term must be taken as a universal in All some = some (valid)
the premises at least once. The middle term All some = all (invalid)
cannot appear in the premises twice as FIGURE OF THE SYLLOGISM
particular, but it could be universal twice. -pattern or arrangement of the syllogism based on the
a. Undistributed middle term position of the middle term in the premises
-happens when the middle term is taken twice as Middle term may occupy 4 different positions in the
a particular in both premises premises:
5. If both premises are affirmative, the conclusion
a. Subject of the Major premise
must be affirmative. Two affirmative
b. Predicate of the Major premise
propositions means that the major and minor
c. Subject of the Minor premise
d. Predicate of the Minor premise
-pattern of syllogism based on the type of the EAO fEsApO
propositions that composed the syllogism, these types EIO frEsIsOn
are the A E I O.
-64 possible but 19 valid REDUCTION TO THE FIRST FIGURE
Figure I
M P Reduction
S M -process of expressing in first figure the moods which are valid
S P in other figures

AAA bArbArA First Figure –perfect figure

Barbara mood –perfect mood
EAE cElArEnt
Keys to Reduction
-simple conversion
Figure II -converted simply
P M -interchanging the subject and predicate without changing the
S M quality and quantity of the proposition

EAE cEsArE -accidental conversion

-converted accidentally
AEE cAmEstrEs
-interchanging the subject and predicate and also changing the
quantity of the proposition so if it is a universal proposition it
A O O bArOcO becomes particular
Figure III -mutation
M P -two premises must be interchanged
M S *m and p accidental conversion first then interchanged
-Bocardo and Baroco only
-contradict the two O propositions and then interchange them
Pattern or Form (Schema) of the Categorical Proposition
EAO fElAptOn A Universal affirmative
EIO fErIsOn Su + Pp, Su + Pu (definition)
O A O bOcArdO E Universal negative
Figure IV Su – Pu
P M I Particular Affirmative
M S Sp + Pp

S P O Particular Negative
Sp – Pu
AAI brAmAntIp