Why do people use syllogisms

To explain why people use syllogisms, the first thing that needs to be explained is the term syllogism itself. A syllogism is a system in which a logical argument is concluded. A proposition or a conclusion is derived in a syllogism based on two categorical propositions. The two categorical propositions consist of the major premise and the minor premise, while the final proposition derived from the major and the minor premise is known as the conclusion. In order to explain the system, the following example would be helpful.

All dogs have teeth. (Major Premise)

All German Shepherds are dogs. (Minor Premise)

All German Shepherds have teeth. (Conclusion)

Note that the major term “teeth” and the minor term “German Shepherd” have made its way into the conclusion, while the middle term “dogs” have not been included in the conclusion. Although there is more to be explained and understood if you wish to understand how syllogisms work, but this will suffice to give you a general idea about how the system works and it would now be possible to explain why they are used.

Syllogisms were and still are used in philosophical deductions. Before “The Age of Enlightenment” dawned in the 17th century and Sir Francis Bacon refused to consider syllogisms as infallible, it had been the most trusted philosophical idea in the Western world. The use of syllogisms is basically done to facilitate an argument through logical reasoning. Syllogisms are used as means to test one’s power of reasoning in many of the public examinations because they are a good way to determine one’s ability to form logical propositions within a short time. Although the shortcomings of the syllogistic methods are exposed now, it cannot be denied that it still holds good if the boundaries of the particular argument can be established convincingly enough. The conclusion that comes out of two syllogistic categorical propositions that are established beyond doubt is usually true. The four main types of syllogisms that are used include Universal Affirmatives, Universal Negatives, Particular Affirmatives and Particular Negatives; these four are represented by the small letters a, e, i and o respectively.