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TYPES OF SYLLOGISMS

There are two types of syllogisms: categorical and hypothetical. To distinguish, the former is
composed of categorical statements, while the latter is composed of both categorical and
hypothetical statements. A categorical statement is one which directly asserts a fact without any
conditions. A hypothetical statement is a compound statement which contains a proposed pr
tentative explanation. A compound statement consists of at least two clauses connected by
conjunctions, adverbs, etc., which express the relationship between the classes as well as our
assent to it. It is important to note that the clauses are simple statements that contain one subject
and one predicate.

Consider the following example of a categorical syllogism:

City councilors are elected public officials

Jeremy is not an elected public official.

Therefore, Jeremy is not a city councilor.

It can be seen that in the above syllogism, each statement is a categorical statement. That is, its
subject is affirmed or denied by the predicate.

Another example would be the following:

All men are mortal.

Socrates is a man.

Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

In contrast, the following is an example of a hypothetical syllogism:

If a false statement is not intended to deceive or mislead anyone,

the statement is not fraudulent.

Mrs. Lim had no intention of deceiving her supervisor.

Therefore, Mrs. Lims statement, though false, was not fraudulent.

In the above syllogism, it can be seen that the first statement is a hypothetical statement.
Hypothetical syllogisms contain a hypothetical statement usually located in the first premise.

CATEGORICAL SYLLOGISM
To repeat, a categorical syllogism is one composed of categorical statements. A categorical
syllogism is a deductive argument consisting of three categorical propositions that contain
exactly three terms, each of which occurs in exactly two of the propositions. 1 Each categorical
statement has quality and quantity as its properties.

QUALITY
The quality of the statement may be affirmative or negative. A negative statement has the
terms no, not, none and never. Absent these terms, the quality of a statement is
affirmative.

Examples of affirmative statements:

Some crimes are punishable by imprisonment.


The accused denied the charges against him.
All men are mortal.

Examples of negative statements:

No one is above the law.


The accused is not guilty of the crime.

QUANTITY
The quantity of a statement is either universal or particular. The statement is universal
when what is being affirmed or denied of the subject term is its whole extension. The
statement is particular when what is being affirmed or denied of the subject is just a part
of its extension. The quantity of the statement pertain to its applicability and coverage,
whether the statement applies to the subject and the entirety of its extension, or otherwise.

The following are quantifiers that help determine the quantity of the statement:

For universal statements, all, every, each, no, none. For particular statements we have,
some, most, several, few, almost all, not all, many.

The following are examples of universal statements:

All men are mortal.


All law students are holders of a bachelors degree.

The following are examples of particular statements:

1
Irving M. Copi, et. al., Introduction to Logic 211 (14th ed. 2014).
Some criminal offenses are heinous crimes.
Some acts of vigilantism are justified.

The quantity and quality of the categorical statement is important to identify the validity of the
argument and the logic behind it. Certain rules for its validity should be kept in mind to avoid
fallacies. In deductive reasoning, it is important to be mindful of the propositions, its kinds, its
parts, to be able to correctly assess its validity. The form of syllogisms and the types of deductive
arguments enable us to determine whether the argument is valid or invalid, i.e., whether the
conclusion necessary follows from the premises presented.

References:

Aquino, David Robert, and Francis Julius Evangilista, Legal Logic. Central Book Supply, Inc,
2002.

Copi, Irving M., Carl Cohen, and Kenneth McMahon. Introduction to Logic. 14th ed. Harlow,
Essex: Pearson, 2014.