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Safangan, Glaiza F.

JD1-A

Venn Diagram Technique for Testing Syllogisms


Venn diagrams for categorical syllogism s is based on the fact that in a
valid syllogism, the conclusion asserts no more than what is already
contained, implicitly, in the premises. If the conclusion asserts more than
that it does not follow from the premises, and the syllogism is invalid. The
technique is to diagram the premises, and then see whether anything would
have to be added in order to diagram what the conclusion asserts. If so, the
syllogism is invalid; if not, it is valid.
In order to test a categorical syllogism using Venn diagrams, one must
first represent both of its premises in one diagram. That requires drawing
three overlapping circles, for the two premises of a standard-form syllogism
contain three different termsminor term(S subject of the conclusion),
major term (P predicate of the conclusion), and middle term (M-term that
appears in both premises but not in conclusion).

This
can
be
interpreted, for example, in terms of the various different classes determined
by the class of all Swedes (S), the class of all peasants (P), and the class of
all musicians (M). SPM is the product of these three classes, which is the
class of all Swedish peasant musicians. SPM is the product of the first two
and the complement of the third, which is the class of all Swedish peasants
who are not musicians. SPM is the product of the first and third and the
complement of the second: the class of all Swedish musicians who are not
peasants. SPM is the product of the first and the complements of the others:
the class of all Swedes who are neither peasants nor musicians. Next, SPM is
the product of the second and third classes with the complements of the
first: the class of all peasant musicians who are not Swedes. SPM is the

Categorical Syllogisms

Safangan, Glaiza F.
JD1-A

product of the second class with the complements of the other two: the class
of all peasants who are neither Swedes nor musicians. SPM is the product of
the third class and the complements of the first two: the class of all
musicians who are neither Swedes nor peasants. Finally, SPM is the product
of the complements of the three original classes: the class of all things that
are neither Swedes nor peasants nor musicians. However to better
understand the first diagram, we substitute SPM, SPM, SPM, SPM and so on to
1, 2,3
If we focus our attention on just the two circles labeled P and M, it is
clear that by shading out, or by inserting an x, we can diagram any standardform categorical proposition whose two terms are P and M, regardless of
which is the subject
term and which is the
predicate. Thus, to
diagram the proposition
All M is P, we
shade out all of M that is
not contained in (or
overlapped by) P which
includes both
portions labeled 4 and
7.

The advantage of
circles is that it
propositions
condition, of
different terms
diagramming
S is M:

using three overlapping


allows us to diagram two
togetheron the
course, that only three
occur in them. Thus
both All M is P and All

Categorical Syllogisms

Safangan, Glaiza F.
JD1-A

This is the diagram for both premises of the syllogism AAA-1:


All M is P.
All S is M.
Therefore, all S is P.
This syllogism is valid if and only if the two premises imply or entail the
conclusion that is, if together they say what is said by the conclusion.
Consequently, diagramming the premises of a valid argument should suffice
to diagram its
conclusion also,
with no further
marking of the
circles needed.
From this we can
conclude that AAA
1 is a valid
syllogism.
INVALID

SYLLOGISM:

AAA-2:
All dogs are
All cats are
Therefore all cats

mammals.
mammals.
are dogs

Diagramming both

premises:

Categorical Syllogisms

Safangan, Glaiza F.
JD1-A

In this diagram, where the class of all cats corresponds to S, the class of all
dogs corresponds to P, and the class of all mammals corresponds to M, the
portions corresponding to 1, 2 and 3, have been shaded out. But the
conclusion
has not been
diagrammed
because 4 has
been left
unshaded and
to diagram
the conclusion
both 1 and 4
must be shaded.
This proves
that he
conclusion
says something
more than
what is said by
the
premises.
VENN
TEST A
WITH ONE
PREMISE
PARTICULAR PREMISE:

DIAGRAM TO
SYLLOGISM
UNIVERSAL
AND ONE

AII-3:
All artists are egotists.
Some artists are paupers.
Therefore some paupers are egotists.
It is important to diagram the universal premise first, All artists are
egotists, before inserting an x to diagram the particular premise, Some
artists are paupers.

Had we tried to diagram the particular premise first, before the region 4 was
shaded out along with 7in diagramming the universal premise, we would not
have known whether to insert an x in 5 or in 4 or in both. Had we put it in 4
or on the line separating it from 5, the subsequent shading of 4 would have
Categorical Syllogisms

Safangan, Glaiza F.
JD1-A

obscured information the diagram was intended to exhibit. From the


diagram, it is show that the syllogism is valid since the conclusion has
already been diagrammed.
AII-2:
All great scientists are college graduates.
Some professional athletes are college graduates.
Therefore some professional athletes are great scientists.

The second premise Some professionals athletes are college graduates is


diagrammed by putting an x somewhere in the overlapping region of
professional athletes and college graduates. These regions consist of 4 and 5
region. If we make an arbitrary decision to place it in one rather than the
other, we would be inserting more information into the diagram than the
premises warrantwhich would spoil the diagrams use as a test for validity.
Placing xs in each of them would also go. x is always placed on the line of
the circle designating the class not mentioned in that premise beyond what
the
premises
assert
because for
example
in this
particular
premise, you
may not
be able to
determine
whether the S
the x
representing
that
some is a P
or not a P.
Thus, placing
an x on
the line that
divides
the
overlapping
region SM
into the two
parts 5 and 4, we can diagram exactly what the second premise asserts
without adding anything to it. Placing an x on the line between two regions

Categorical Syllogisms

Safangan, Glaiza F.
JD1-A

indicates that there is something that belongs in one of them, but does not
indicate which one.

How to diagram syllogisms:


1. LABEL
Label the three circle-Venn Diagram with the
syllogisms three terms.
2. DIAGRAM diagram both premises, diagramming the universal one
first if there is
one universal and one particular, and
being careful in diagramming
particular proposition,
to put an x on a line of the premises do not
determine
on which side the line it should go.
3. INSPECT inspect the diagram to see whether the diagram of the
premises contains
a diagram of the conclusion: If it dies, the
syllogism is valid; if it does not
the syllogism is invalid.

AEE-4
All successful people are people who are keenly interested in their work.
No people who are keenly interested in their work are people whose
attention is easily distracted when they are working.
Therefore no people whose attention is easily distracted when they are
working are successful people.

Categorical Syllogisms

Safangan, Glaiza F.
JD1-A

From the diagram, it can be seen that the conclusion has already been
diagrammed thus making the syllogism valid.

Categorical Syllogisms