Worlds of David Darling
Encyclopedia of Science
Home > Encyclopedia of Science


An argument composed of three parts – a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion. For example: All men are mortal (major premise). Socrates is a man (minor premise). Therefore, Socrates is mortal (conclusion). The syllogism forms the basis of Aristotle's system of logic, which went unchallenged for over two thousand years. Aristotle believed that by setting out any argument in syllogistic form, it should be possible to avoid fallacies. However, Bertrand Russell discovered several formal errors in the doctrine of syllogism.

Related category

   • LOGIC