Tag Archives: enthymemes

Gospel Enthymemes

Arguments in which one statement is left assumed are called enthymemes. Most logical arguments encountered in daily life are enthymemes. We can use the tools of logic to determine the assumption being made in an enthymeme.

Let’s examine three enthymemes in the Bible, all on the topic of Gospel salvation. Continue reading Gospel Enthymemes

Shakespeare’s Use of the Liberal Arts: Logic

81Few4FQ9cL[1]The classical Christian school movement is seeking to revive a form of education that helped shape some the greatest minds of western civilization. But how do we know that our father’s were trained according to the Trivium? One delightful demonstration of this is William Shakespeare’s frequent and detailed use of the liberal arts of grammar, logic and rhetoric in his plays and poems,  a use thoroughly identified by Sister Miriam Joseph in her book Shakespeare’s Use of the Arts of Language. In this well-researched book, she argues that Shakespeare’s application of formal logic is evidenced in his use of definition, genus and species, syllogistic vocabulary, applied syllogisms, enthymemes, and more. Let me give some of her clearer examples. Continue reading Shakespeare’s Use of the Liberal Arts: Logic

An Enthymeme of P. J. O’Rourke

Mr. Nance,

I have a question about enthymemes. When the conclusion is assumed, how do we know which is the major premise and which is the minor premise? I fear there is a simple explanation that I may have missed but when I compare your example in Introductory Logic on page 221 with Exercise 31 #5, I can’t correlate how you knew which was the major premise and which was the minor premise, and therefore, how to write the assumed conclusion in proper form. Continue reading An Enthymeme of P. J. O’Rourke

A real-life enthymeme

Mr. Nance,

An article included said of the following argument, “That’s a syllogism without a minor premise”:

“[P]olitical decisions in the modern world often concern how to deploy science and technology, so people well-trained in science and technology will be better prepared to make those decisions.”

I would like to give this to my students to work on, but I can’t seem to translate Jacob’s rendering into terms that work formally. Do you have time to take a look?

All the Best. Continue reading A real-life enthymeme

Logic in Scripture

Many syllogisms in the Bible leave a premise unstated. Arguments like this are called enthymemes. Using the rules of validity, we can determine what the assumed premise must be. We locate enthymemes by recognizing premise identifiers (for, because, since) or conclusion identifiers (therefore, thus, so, consequently).

For example, in Hosea 10:3, the people complain, “We have no king, because we did not fear the Lord.” Put these statements in categorical form, leaving the assumed premise blank:

No we are God fearers
∴ No we are king havers.

Continue reading Logic in Scripture