Law Of Detachment And Law Of Syllogism

Law Of Detachment And Law Of Syllogism

There is a long-standing adage that says, “show me your friend, and I will tell you who you are.” One can quickly tell or draw a conclusion of the kind of person you are by the type of friends you keep since your behavior will likely not be different from theirs. It is a logical conclusion by deductive reasoning, which is 90% correct at times.

Taking a look at the law of detachment and law of syllogism

Also, there is a saying that “birds of the same feather flock together.” These proven and verified age-long sayings are the perfect examples of the definition and explanation of the law of detachment and law of syllogism. For a better understanding and appreciation of the law of detachment and the law of syllogism, we must look at them separately and succinctly.

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The Law Of Detachment

Modus ponens is the Latin word for the law of detachment. It translates to mean the law of logic. The law refers to getting to a conclusion by logical reasoning, which is sometimes referred to as common sense in ordinary parlance.

One can say that the law of detachment means arriving at a particular logical conclusion drawn from two supposed true premises, which flows from a conditional statement. For example;

  1. Tall boys are always brilliant.
  2. Chris is a tall boy.

The logical conclusion of the above premises is that Chris is brilliant. He is brilliant because he has the quality of the premise (A). The law of detachment in the above example is (B) =(A).

The applications of the law of detachment:

The law of detachment is applicable in different spheres. Thus, let us take a look at the different areas the law of detachment is applicable. They are:

Geometry (mathematical reasoning):

In geometry, ‘p’ represents the statements, which is the antecedent, that is, the phrase following the conditional statement. ‘q,’ on the other hand, represents the conclusion. For example,

  1. If p, then q.
  2. The conclusion is q.

Real Life (live situations): 

You can see that one of the old sayings in the first paragraph says that “show me your friend, and I will tell you who you are.” One can liken it to the rule applicable in geometry, which, if followed accordingly, will lead to a logical conclusion, whether clearly stated, given, or not. For example,

  1. All members of the football team are drug addicts.
  2. Tony is a member of the football team.

Conclusion- Tony is a drug addict.

Tony’s involvement in the football team gives him the tag of an addict, which, if he were not a member, we would not be tagging him as one.

The Rules Of The Law Of Detachment

For the law of detachment to apply, you must have two statements. The first statement must be a conditional statement and the other, a non-conditional but supporting statement. The non-conditional statement must match the hypothesis of the first statement, which is conditional on arriving at a logical conclusion.

The Law Of Detachment With Other Topics

The law of detachment and love: 

In this context, the law of detachment concerning love simply deals with separating your emotions from logical reasoning while you are in a relationship with someone. You must know when to allow your emotions rule and when to enable logical reasoning to take precedence.

For example, you walk into your spouse in a compromising position and based on your emotions, and you would want to hurt them in return. However, the law of detachment will make you think it through and weigh your actions with its consequences. In other words, it helps you not to enslave yourself with your emotions.

The Law Of Syllogism

Syllogism originated from the Greek word ‘syllogismos,’ which means conclusion or inference. As a form of logical reasoning, syllogism is concluding by the addition or linking of two statements, that is, a general statement, and a specific statement.

The two statements, when you add them together, help you to conclude. Another name for the general statement is the major premise. It is so because it contains a broader category or group.

On the other hand, another name for the specific statement is the minor premise. The specific statement or minor premise streamlines itself to one particular object.

Below is an example of syllogism;

All men have testicles. (General statement)

Victor is a man. (Specific statement)

Therefore, Victor has testicles. (Conclusion)

Thus, the law of syllogism is that, for you to get to a logical conclusion, you must add the specific statement to the general statement. The law of syllogism is also the combination of two statements to form a conclusion.

Types Of Syllogism

Syllogism is of three major types. The first one is conditional syllogism, which is similar to law of detachment. If p, then q. The others are categorical syllogism, if ‘p’ is a part of ‘r,’ then ‘q’ is a part of ‘r,’ and disjunctive Syllogism ‘p’ and ‘q’ cannot both be right. If p is true, then q is false and vice versa.

Kinds Of Syllogism

There are two kinds of syllogism. There is precise syllogism. It is the kind of syllogism that you cannot fault easily. They are watertight, and you cannot easily doubt them. For example,

“All men have testicles. Richie is a man. Therefore Richie has testicles.”

Another kind of syllogism is fallacious syllogism. It occurs when a conclusion is such that you can fault it because its basis is on premises that are you cannot wholly fault and do not have an inherent flaw. For example,

“All fishes can swim. Rita can swim. Therefore, Rita is a fish.”

The Rules Of Syllogism

There are three basic rules or laws that govern syllogism. These rules sum up in the fact that there must be the presence of the three terms, which are the general statement, specific statement, and the conclusion.

The specific statement must be present at least partly in the general statement. Also, the conclusion must have elements of both the general statement and the specific statement. The conclusion needs to be negative, where one of the premises is also negative.

Importance Of Syllogism

The practice of syllogism helps to sharpen one’s reasoning ability, which aids in solving some complex mathematical problems and other human problems. When faced with certain situations in our lives, our knowledge of syllogism can help us make a sound judgment based on the conclusion we draw from the situation.

Syllogism is useful in our daily lives. It helps us make informed decisions. For example,

Smokers are liable to die young.

Jerry does not want to die young.

Therefore Jerry does not smoke.

The Similarities Between Law Of Detachment And The Law Of Syllogism

The law of detachment and the law of syllogism are similar in some ways. Some of the similarities that they share are that they both deal with logical reasoning. Also, they are both applicable to humans.

Both laws have premises from which they draw their conclusions. Sometimes, they both have precise and fallacious conclusions. They also use variables to substitute statements while giving illustrations or tables.

The Distinction Between The Law Of Detachment And Law Of Syllogism

Despite the similarities between the law of detachment and the law of syllogism, there are still some differences. The law of detachment deals with both mathematical theories and regular daily occurrence. The law of syllogism, on the other hand, deals solely with human activities.

Another distinction is that while the law of detachment originated from Latin, the law of syllogism originated from Greek. The law of detachment follows two lines pattern or rule to conclude, while the law of syllogism follows three lines pattern or practice to conclude.

The law of detachment deals with a conditional statement that one can break down into the antecedent, which leads to the conclusion. However, the law of syllogism deals with the addition or combination of two separate statements to get to a conclusion.


From the definition, analysis, and consideration of the law of detachment and law of syllogism, it is trite to say that they are laws that deal with logical reasoning to get to a particular conclusion. They deal mainly with facts and deductive reasoning. Therefore, it is not rocket science. In our everyday lives, we get to abide by the law of detachment and the law of syllogism consciously or unconsciously.

When we engage in an argument, it is the laws that guide our sense of reasoning so that we make sense to our listeners or readers. When we engage in a discussion, these laws govern how we make people come to accept our point of view by presenting them with facts that are valid and true.

These laws also help us in judging and analyzing a situation to prevent us from making presumptions or wrong conclusions. All humans adhere to the law of detachment and the law of syllogism. Even when we do not know the meaning or that to which the concept refers.

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