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Syllogisms and Enthymemes

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John Salyers

on 7 March 2013

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Transcript of Syllogisms and Enthymemes

What is the assumed major premise ? Problems? What is the assumed major premise ? Problems? Attempt to write a syllogism or an enthymeme which gives us some sort of insight into a character in a piece of literature
Remember to follow the major premise, minor premise, conclusion format.
Label your example as syllogism or enthymeme.
Be prepared to share, justify, and repeat! Practice Major premise: A foil character contrasts with another character in a novel to highlight various features of that character.
Minor premise: Stradlater’s popularity with peers and girls highlights Holden’s isolation.
Conclusion: Stradlater is a foil to Holden. Catcher in the Rye:
Syllogism or Enthymeme? Major premise: All grieving individuals undergo seven stages to work through their emotions and accept a loss.
Minor premise: Holden displays anger by breaking all the garage windows after Allie’s death.
Conclusion: Holden has not yet accepted Allie’s death. Catcher in the Rye:
Syllogism or Enthymeme? Major premise: All creatures of the Earth play a natural role in maintaining the ecological stability of an area.
Minor premise: Animals contribute to the ecological stability of an area near rural property by feeding on vegetation and smaller animals.
Conclusion: Animals deserve a stable ecological habitat in which to live, just as humans do. Enthymeme Example #3 Translation: begging of the question
Problem of enthymemes
When major premise is questioned (whether stated or unstated)
Writer must attempt to change reader’s mind
Major premise needs to become the conclusion for a new enthymeme Petitio Prinicipi Possible major premises:
Animals deserve a stable ecological habitat in which to live, just as humans do.

One could argue that human rights supercede animal rights. Answer Major premise: Unstated
Minor premise: The construction of large housing developments that adjoin forest preserves upsets the ecosystem and drives animals such as deer, raccoons, and skunks out of their natural habitats.
Conclusion: Therefore, city, county, and state governments should limit the number and size of houses built in such developments. Enthymeme Example #2 Possible major premises:
Teachers give good advice.
Teachers are wise.

Teachers may only be wise in certain subject areas and may not be qualified to give advice in all areas.
General wisdom may not be the only factor to consider when giving advice. Answer Major premise: Unstated

Minor premise: Mr. Salyers is a teacher.

Conclusion: Of course, he gave me good advice. Enthymeme Example #1 Major premise: Students need to maintain a B- average to meet the course requisite for AP Language and Composition.

Minor premise: Iluv Weebly received a D+ for the semester.

Conclusion: Iluv did not meet the course requisite for AP. Syllogism Example #2 Major premise: All humans are mortal.
(Inarguable fact…unless you have discovered the fountain of youth)

Minor premise: Mr. Salyers is human.
(Jedi background has yet to be verified)

Conclusion: Therefore, Mr. Salyers is mortal. Syllogism Example #1 Syllogisms consist of the following:
A major premise: an irrefutable generalization about the world.
A minor premise: some particular statement that falls under the general category.
The conclusion: the statement that follows from the major premise and the minor premise. Parts of a Syllogism Term coined by Aristotle

Used to describe logical reasoning from beliefs and statements Syllogism Arguments are created through:

premises, or logical relationships among ideas

an audience acceding to the beliefs underlying those premises Forming Arguments
Salyers Syllogisms and Enthymemes Differences
Enthymemes do not begin with irrefutable truth, but with an assumption, statement, or proposition that the writer PRESUMES the audience accepts
Major premise is often unstated as a result Similarities
Movement of logic
Major and minor premises, conclusion Enthymemes and Syllogisms
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