Definitions

minor premise

Illicit minor

Illicit minor is a logical fallacy committed in a categorical syllogism that is invalid because its minor term is undistributed in the minor premise but distributed in the conclusion.

This fallacy has the following argument form:

All A are B.
All A are C.
Therefore, all C are B.

Example:

All cats are felines.
All cats are mammals.
Therefore, all mammals are felines.

The minor term here is mammal, which is not distributed in the minor premise "All cats are mammals," because this premise is only defining a property of possibly some mammals (i.e., that they're cats.) However, in the conclusion "All mammals are felines," mammal is distributed (it is talking about all mammals being felines). It is shown to be false by any mammal that is not a feline; for example, a dog.

See also

Search another word or see minor premiseon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;