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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Syllogistic Practice



Disappointingly, I didn’t learn about logic and reason until I was well into adulthood. Perhaps had the information been introduced, I wouldn’t have appreciated the lesson in my youth. Better late than never, I suppose.


Within my blog, I practice use of logic, predominately through use of syllogisms. Admittedly, this is an ongoing exercise of understanding and my human fallibility is on full display for the world to observe.


As I learn, I share information accordingly. Herein, I’ll use some of Aristotle’s syllogistic formulas—Barbara, Celarent, Darii, and Ferio:



These syllogistic forms follow the construct of a major premise, minor premise, and conclusion. For demonstrative purposes, I’ll use available internet resources to propose major premises.


Barbara:

Every B is A.

Every C is B.

Therefore, every C is A.


Every military embassy security guard is a Marine.

Therefore, every military embassy security guard is a rifleman.


Here, the logic is sound. The major and minor premises are accurate, and the resulting conclusion is thusly factual. Therefore, this is a reasonable outcome.


Celarent:

No B is A.

Every C is B.

Therefore, no C is A.


Every United States president is a politician.

Therefore, no United States president is honest.


Here, the logic is sound. However, the major premise is arguable. If one concludes that no person is honest, the premise would hold true.


Still, if based on little more than the claim that simply by bent of one’s profession the individual is automatically dishonest, there’s a flaw in the logic. Consequently, beginning a logical form based on a faulty premise renders a dubious outcome—even if one concurs with the conclusion.


Darii:

Every B is A.

Some C is B.

Therefore, some C is A.


Some pedophiles are teachers.

Therefore, some pedophiles are leaders.


Here, similar to the previous example, the major premise is debatable. It professes too much. Could it be true that every teacher is a leader? Surely, some are followers rather than leaders.


Adding an element of controversy to the minor premise—one that is inarguably accurate, the logic begins to break apart when the result of the two premises result in a suspicious claim. This isn’t to suggest that the conclusion isn’t true.


Various religious faiths, youth scouting organizations, and sports entities have historically maintained pedophile leaders within their ranks. All the same, an accurate conclusion doesn’t necessarily legitimize a doubtful major premise.


Ferio:

No B is A.

Some C is B.

Therefore, some C is not A.



Some bullies are celebrities.

Therefore, some bullies aren’t safe from tabloid body shaming.


Here, the logic is sound. Likewise, the major and minor premises are accurate. As such, the conclusion is valid and reasonable. I would cite specific celebrities to prove this point, though a simple internet search for “celebrities are bullies” will yield verifiable results.


In all, I consider use of logic and reason a crucial aspect of my Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) practice. As I continue practice with syllogisms, I’ll provide examples within my blog.


If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.


As a psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues ranging from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.


At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!



Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW


References:


Douglas, A. (2019, November 7). The name of syllogisms: A guide. Retrieved from https://medium.com/genus-specious/the-names-of-syllogisms-a-guide-fe62c7dfd388

Enriquez, A. (2021, October 25). Q. How does fair use work for book covers, album covers, and movie posters? Penn State. Retrieved from https://psu.libanswers.com/faq/336502

G., J. (2008, June 5). No celebrity is safe from tabloid body shaming. Jezebel. Retrieved from https://jezebel.com/no-celebrity-is-safe-from-tabloid-body-shaming-5013621

Herald, J. (2020). What is the most famous syllogism as developed by Aristotle? [Image]. Quora. Retrieved from https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-of-the-funniest-syllogisms-you-have-heard

Hollings, D. (2022, March 15). Disclaimer. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/disclaimer

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Hollings Therapy, LLC [Official website]. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/

Hollings, D. (2022, November 4). Human fallibility. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/human-fallibility

Hollings, D. (2023, January 8). Logic and reason. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/logic-and-reason

Hollings, D. (2022, March 25). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy-rebt

Lagerlund, H. (2022, April 2). Medieval theories of the syllogism. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/medieval-syllogism/

MarineParents. (n.d.). Every Marine is a rifleman. Retrieved from http://rp.marineparents.com/bootcamp/rifleman.asp

Morgan, M. (2021, December 5). Every teacher is a leader, every leader is a teacher. Southside Independent School District. Retrieved from https://southsideisd.org/freedom/2021/12/05/every-teacher-is-a-leader-every-leader-is-a-teacher/

Plummer, B. E. (2017, May 4). No politician is honest. The Gleaner. Retrieved from https://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/letters/20170505/no-politician-honest

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Aristotle. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristotle

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