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Teaching Philosophy

Volume 40, Issue 2, June 2017

Jeremiah Joven Joaquin, Robert James M. Boyles
Pages 161-180

Teaching Syllogistic Logic via a Retooled Venn Diagrammatical Technique

In elementary logic textbooks, Venn diagrams are used to analyze and evaluate the validity of syllogistic arguments. Although the method of Venn diagrams is shown to be a powerful analytical tool in these textbooks, it still has limitations. On the one hand, such method fails to represent singular statements of the form, “a is F.” On the other hand, it also fails to represent identity statements of the form, “a is b.” Because of this, it also fails to give an account of the validity of some obviously valid arguments that contain these types of statements as constituents. In this paper, owing to the developments in the literature on Venn diagrams, we offer a way of supplementing the rules of the Venn diagram found in textbooks, and show how this retooled Venn diagram technique could account for the problem cases.

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