**One classic example of a syllogism is "All men are mortal. Socrates is a man. Socrates is mortal."** A syllogism is a logical argument that forms a set of three conclusions with the first two conclusions justifying the third.

Because syllogism relies on three different components to prove a supposed truth, the third conclusion can be true or false. For example, a syllogism can prove something that is true: "All dogs are mammals. A beagle is a dog. A beagle is a mammal." But a syllogism can also show faulty logic. For example: "Sharks kill people. A whale shark is a shark. Whale sharks kill people." This is, of course, not true. Whale sharks are peaceful toward humans; they don't even have teeth. But, this shows the logical thought process that can go into justifying a false belief.

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what does syllogism mean

syl·lo·gism

[sil-uh-jiz-uhm]

NOUN

1.

Logic. an argument the conclusion of which is supported by two premises, of which one (major premise) contains the term (major term) that is the predicate of the conclusion, and the other (minor premise) contains the term (minor term) that is the subject of the conclusion; common to both premises is a term (middle term) that is excluded from the conclusion. A typical form is “All A is C; all B is A; therefore all B is C.”

2.

deductive reasoning.

3.

an extremely subtle, sophisticated, or deceptive argument.

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