About Syllogisms

“I consider the invention of the form of syllogisms one of the most beautiful, and also one of the most important, made by the human mind.”

– Gottfried Leibniz

“Fallacious and misleading arguments are most easily detected if set out in correct syllogistic form.”

– Immanuel Kant


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Syllogisms are also part of the Ontario Police PATI test and the basis of questions for the LSAT test. Chances are that you are here because you must prepare for one of these tests.

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7 thoughts on “About Syllogisms

  1. grace22

    is this syllogism is valid??

    ”practice makes perfect
    but nobody is perfect
    so why practice…

    why do you say so??
    i need the answer as soon as possible..tnx

    1. Sylvester Chapotera

      Response to Grace22
      The definition of perfection in the two premises is assumed to be one. However they are different in meaning although both participate in one idea.

      Perfection in practice makes perfect connotes a kind of metaphysical perfection of being as being. That is, being as one ought to. For example, a driver of a car needs practice to perfect the art of driving which by all virtue of that definition can be attained.

      Perfection in the the second premise is more religious as it refers to being “faultless” “blameless” more especially in the moral sense. Thus comes the saying “to error is humane”.

      Therefore, the syllogism is not valid as it contains a term that has different meanings.

  2. dari

    in response to the practice makes perfect question. i would say that its not a valid syllogism bc the conclusion”why practice” does not fit because the 1st line says practice makes perfect, but not practice ONLY makes perfect- i.e. the statement does not disclude other benefits of practice, such as “practice makes improvement. practice makes skill.” thus presenting the benefit of practice to be “perfection,” which is faulty, and then saying that perfection is unattainable, therefore practice is useless is incorrect logic because the first statement does not limit practice’s use it simply provides one supposed result of practice.

  3. John

    The closest you could have is:

    If one practices then one achieves perfection.

    One never achieves perfection.

    Therefore one never practices.

  4. aniket drolia

    ”practice makes a man perfect” is what first premises depicts but it don’t add anything regarding the exact magnitude of practice to attain perfection.
    similarly the second premises dont say dt how much a person who r nt perfect practice and there is every possibility that the person must nt be practising enough,for they are not perfect.
    so there is no reason that practice should be stopped. Rather it should be continued till the perfection is achieved. Its obvious that the syllog is not true as it proves to be vague and inconsequential.
    hope i have made my point.


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