Is this set of propositions in the form of enthymeme or syllogism? Those who study rhetoric speak eloquently.-- Major premise Susam studies rhetoric.-- Minor premise Susam speaks eloquently.-- Conclusion

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

To understand the answer to this, you must first understand the difference between enthymeme and syllogism. One is the full form of a categorical proposition argument while the other is a shortened form. Which is which?

  • A syllogism requires two premises and one conclusion. An enthymeme requires one premise and one conclusion.
  • In an enthymeme, the premise will be stated as a reason whereas in a syllogism no premise will be stated as a reason.
  • In an enthymeme, the conclusion will share either the subject or the predicate with the premise.
  • In a syllogism, the conclusion will share the subject with the minor premise and it will share the predicate with the major premise.

These are the most significant differences between an enthymeme and a syllogism. Perhaps you can tell from this side-by-side description that an enthymeme is a shortened or truncated syllogism.

The parts of a syllogism are major premise, minor premise, conclusion and major term, minor term and middle term.

The parts of an enthymeme are a conclusion followed by and coupled with a premise. This will be either the major or minor premise with one or the other premises implied and thus omitted.

*  *  *  *  *  * 

Your set of propositions has two premises stated: the major and the minor premises are both stated. Since in an enthymeme one or the other premise is implied thus omitted, your set of propositions may not be an enthymeme. It must be a syllogism. Let's test this assertion.

The major premise predicate and major term, "speak eloquently," forms the conclusion's predicate. The minor premise subject and minor term, "Susam," forms the conclusion's subject. Conclusion: "Susam speaks eloquently." Further, the middle term, "rhetoric," does not appear in the conclusion but does appear in both the major and the minor premises. Therefore your set of propositions is a syllogism.

  • Those who study rhetoric speak eloquently.
  • Susam studies rhetoric.
  • Susam speaks eloquently.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team