Term of Art: Syllogism

“Syllogism: (Greek “reckoning together”) Deduction, from two propositions containing three terms of which one appears in both, of a conclusion that is true if they are true. A stock example is: All men are mortal; Greeks are mortal; so all Greeks are mortal. ‘Men’ is the middle term. ‘Mortal,’ the second term in the conclusion, is the major term and the premise in which it occurs is the major premise. ‘Greeks’ is the minor term and its premise the minor premise.”

Excerpted from: Cuddon, J.A. The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. New York: Penguin, 1992.

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