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The main form of Eduction

Obversion (Latin, ob, before, toward, and vertere, to turn) is a process of

eduction involving two changes. These changes occur in the quality of the
proposition and in the status of the predicate term.

The change in the quality of the proposition is carried out by making an

affirmative proposition into negative, and a negative proposition into
affirmative. From this feature, the following two rules on obversion are

1. Retain the subject and the quantity of the proposition The universal
sentence remains a universal sentence and a particular sentence
remains a particular sentence.
2. Change the quality of the proposition. The affirmative sentence will
be changed into a negative statement, and a negative sentence into
an affirmative sentence.

The change in the status of the predicate term is carried out by

substituting the predicate term of the given with its contradictory term. Thus,
the third rule on obversion says:

3. Substitute the predicate with its complementary or contradictory.

A complementary or contradictory term substitutes the predicate term.

A complementary term uses the appropriate prefix “non”. The complementary
for the term “black” for example, is “non-black.” One must take note that there
are terms which may appear to negate but do not negate at all. For instance,
“large” is not the negation of “small”. With the use of the prefix “non”, the
proper negation of the term “rich” is not “poor”, but “non-rich.”

Substitution of the predicate by obversion is not only with a

complementary term but also with its contradictory. There are some words in
English language which have a corresponding contradictory
In obversion, the original proposition is called overtend and the equivalent
position is called obverse. The four categorical proposition are all legitimate for
obversion. The A, E, I, O propositions (obvertend) can possibly be obverted to E,
A, O, I respectively (obverse). Both should have the same truth-value. If the
obvertend is false, obverse is also false.

A proposition

We shall apply the three rules of obversion in an A- proposition. The

obverse of an A-proposition is always an E-proposition as an example:

“All senators are elected officials.”

[Senators] + [Are-Universal]

When we apply the precepts of the second rule, we shall add the word “no”
signifying the change of quality of the proposition, to the words “senators + are”
making it:

[No-Negative] + [Senators] + [Are-Universal]

And to complete the whole set of words into the equivalent proporition,
the last rule has to be applied by changing the original predicate term into its
complementary term ‘non-elected officials.”

A new elicited obverse of “All senators are elected officials,” is:

“No senators are non-elected officials.”


The obverse of an E proposition is always an A proposition. Take E

proposition, “No catholics are non-believers,” as the obvertend. The obverse of
which is “All catholics are believers.” Both the fomer and the latter propositions
are true.

The obverse of “Some Filipino women are hardworking individuals.” Is

“Some Filipino women are not non-hardworking individuals.” If the given
proposition is true so is the obverse, and if the given proposition is false so is
the obverse.

Notice that the word “not” and the prefix “non” perform different
roles logically. The “not” is part of the copula or the qualifier and it determines
the quality of the proposition whereas the “non” is part of the predicate term
and it helps identify the predicate class. The obverse of an I proposition is
always an O proposition.


The obverse of “Some cars are not Honda-Civics.” Is “Some cars are
non-honda-civics.” Again, consider its truth-value and don’t be confused with
the word “not” and “non.” The obverse of an O proposition is always an I

To sum up, there are four possible schemes under obversion, namely, A,
to E, E to A, I to O, and O to I. A to A, E to E, I to I, and O to O are not possible
under obversion for they would suggest retention of the same propositional
quality and thus will violate the prescribed rules of obversion specifically to that
of the second rule.



A All trees are plants. No trees are non-plants.
E No trees are plants. All trees are non-plants.
I Some trees are plants. Some trees are not non-
O Some trees are not Some trees are non-
plants. plants.