## So, have you taken your vitamins yet? Are you convinced that some taking of supplements is a habit that improves one’s health?

Last time we set out our conclusion by identifying 2 of the 3 necessary terms. And we narrowed down our quantifier to SOME vitamin taking, not ALL.

Today we need to finish fleshing out the syllogism by adding a 3^{rd} term.

You will most likely think that our syllogism doesn’t communicate a strong and complete case in support of the conclusion. You will be right! This syllogism is just a 1^{st} step. The 2 premises that we write will simply show your thinking process, how you are arriving at that first conclusion. An entire argument involves a series of syllogisms. By focusing on just this ONE LITTLE step, we are staying ‘ honest’ in our reasoning.

Think about Math Teachers whose litany rings in our memories, **“You must show ALL your work to get full credit!”****
**

Here is our conclusion from last time, properly labeled:

I statement – Therefore, **some taking of supplements** (Su) is **a** **habit that improves one’s health** (Pu)

By the end of our session, we had established the following information about our syllogism:

**S term of the syllogism (aka Minor Term) = taking of supplements****P term of the syllogism (aka Major Term) = a habit that improves one’s health**

Today we have to come up with our 3^{rd} term (Rule 1), which will be the M or middle term. This term will LINK the other two terms (major & minor terms), enabling a conclusion.

After playing around with some terms to determine the IDEAL one, I think I found the one that can link the other ideas. What we are talking about are those daily activities that make a difference in one’s health. Thus I chose the following for a Middle Term:

**Doctor-endorsed daily practices
**

Next I had to choose the affirmative quantifier. Did I intend the term to be UNIVERSAL as in ALL or particular as in SOME?

For argument’ s sake, let’s suppose that I happen to think that ALL doctor-endorsed daily practices are habits that improve health (we’ll talk about TRUTH later)

Here is what our syllogism looks like:

*All doctor-endorsed daily practices (Md) are habits that improve one’ s health (Pu) *

*Some taking of supplements(Su) is a doctor-endorsed daily practice(Mu) *

*Tf, **some taking of supplements (Su) is a habit that improves one’s health (Pu) *

* *

Let’s go through our checklist to see if the syllogism is at least valid. Remember that we haven’t even addressed the truthfulness of each premise.

1. 3 and only 3 terms? | YES |

2. Does the Middle term illicitly show up in the conclusion? | NO |

3. If a term is distributed in the conclusion, is it Distributed at least one other place | NA (both terms in the conclusion are Undistributed) |

4. Middle term Distributed at least once? | YES (in Premise # 1) |

5. Are Premises 1 & 2 negative? | NO |

6. If Premises 1 & 2 are affirmative, is our conclusion also affirmative? | YES |

7. If either of the 2 premises negative, is the conclusion also negative? | N/A |

Therefore, we have written a VALID syllogism! Yay!

Once you have a valid syllogism, THEN you can look at the truth/falsity of each premise. But that’s another discussion!

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