Essay by marieanna September 2014

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HYPOTHETICAL SYLLOGISM is an argument whose major premise is made up of a hypothetical proposition and whose minor premise and conclusion are categorical propositions. Hypothetical syllogisms are either CONDITIONAL, DISJUNCTIVE, or CONJUNCTIVE ARGUMENTS.


The major premise of a conditional syllogism is a conditional proposition consisting of an antecedent and a consequent. The antecedent is what serves as the cause, while the consequent is what follows as an effect.

Example: If it rains, then the ground will be wet.

(antecedent) (consequent)

In this example, there is a causal relation between the rain and the wet ground. The minor premise affirms or denies either the antecedent or the consequent of the major premise. The conclusion merely expresses whatever follows from the affirmation or denial by the minor premise of either the antecedent or consequent of the major premise.

Symbolically, the conditional syllogism can be stated as follows:

If A is B, then X is Y. If you pass the board exams, then you will be a CPA.

A is B.You passed the board exams.

.: X is Y..: You are CPA.


If A is B, then X is Y. If you are brave, then you will stand up and speak.

X is not Y. You do not stand up and speak.

.: A is not B. .: You are not brave.


There are two kinds of conditional syllogism: the CONSTRUCTIVE CONDITIONAL and the DESTRUCTIVE CONDITIONAL.

The CONSTRUCTIVE CONDITIONAL SYLLOGISM is an argument whose major premise is a conditional proposition, whose minor premise affirms the antecedent and whose conclusion affirms the consequent.

Symbolically, the syllogism may be stated, thus:

If A is B, then X is Y. If you are honest, then people will admire you.

A is...