Thursday, September 24, 2015
Just Musing About Categorical Syllogisms: Nothing Overly Serious
While discussing categorical syllogisms today in medieval class, I made the statement that the major premise "All humans are mortal" technically contains an adjective in the predicate slot (i.e., "mortal") although this adjective is capable of functioning as a noun. But it doesn't seem to be functioning as a noun (substantivally) in this example, and indeed, the dictionaries confirm that when mortal is used this way in the predicate slot, then it's functioning adjectivally. Yet categorical syllogisms or categorical statements are supposed to name categories or classes, not qualities. So why does the world's most famous major premise have an adjective in the predicate position rather than a noun?