Sunday, March 8, 2009


There might have been some confusion over the difference between a syllogism and an enthymeme. A syllogism is a formally structured logical appeal (using deductive reasoning) with a major premise, minor premise and a conclusion.
All snakes are reptiles (major premise)
Sally is a snake (minor premise)
Therefore, Sally is a reptile (conclusion)

The enthymeme is a sort of informal syllogism, a "rhetorical syllogism" in which the structure is technically incomplete (could I venture to say through "ellipsis"? Is this right?), but is nonetheless understood based on information we already know about the subject of the major premise.

Example: Some snakes are aggressive, therefore Sally could be aggressive.

We already know Sally is a snake from the previous example, so re-stating it in a minor premise would be redundant within the context of an enthymeme.

1 comment:

lee woo said...

If a man can bridge the gap between life and death, if he can live on after he's dead, then maybe he was a great man. See the link below for more info.