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Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment[edit]

Sciences humaines.svg This article was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment, between 23 August 2021 and 10 December 2021. Further details are available on the course page. Student editor(s): JalilDixon93.

Above undated message substituted from assignment by PrimeBOT (talk) 20:39, 16 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not logically valid[edit]

The 2nd example is not logically valid. Evercat 21:22, 9 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Fixed now. Evercat 21:24, 9 Mar 2004 (UTC)


The "Misuse" example doesn't seem to be logically valid, regardless of whether or not it is funny.

It doesn't seem to have anything to do with the nature of an enthymeme, either. It's just a non sequitur. Removing it on these grounds. 17:04, 24 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I think he meant to say: All men are mortal. Socrates is mortal. Therefore, all men are Socrates. Poromenos 17:28, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)


Uh, it had nothing to do with whether Quayle was a "great man" or not, only that he had implicitly compared himself to Kennedy. 15:30, 4 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Mark Twain example[edit]

The Mark Twain example is not valid, unless one considers that absence of proof for a hypothesis is equivalent to proof of its opposite. The premises there is no law against composing music when one has no ideas whatsoever and Wagner has no ideas do not lead to the conclusion the music of Wagner is perfectly legal, because there may be other factors which render it illegal (in Turkmenistan, for instance, it is illegal simply by virtue of being Opera). See Association fallacy and Reductio ad Hitlerum for further discussion and examples of this kind of logical fallacy. DES 13:29, 15 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Good page![edit]

I just wanted to leave a note to say that as a regular visitor to wikipedia - and minor contributor of spelling corrections - this page is 10/10. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 08:10, 7 February 2007 (UTC).Reply[reply]

Incorrect Example[edit]

The example with O.J. and Johnny Cochran, as it is fleshed out in the article, is not an enthymeme. It has 3 premises and therefore is not even a syllogism. It is a good example of an argument with implicit premises, but doesn't belong in an article on enthymemes. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Pleebloo (talkcontribs) 14:04, 21 February 2007 (UTC).Reply[reply]

popular usage[edit]

I'm not expert on Facebook, but the popular usage section appears to be completely irrelevant to the topic. The 'enthymeme' referenced appears to owe nothing but its name to the incomplete syllogism. Eris Discord | Talk 00:00, 1 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Agreed. This has nothing to do with enthymeme as an argument style. Request for deletion? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:45, 4 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Citation Not Needed[edit]

This section "Many enthymemes may fit into two broad categories.[citation needed] The implied premise is obvious The implied premise is dubious"

Does not need a citation. It is not exhaustive as it is not an exclusive statement. The two categories offered are clearly categories. The cognitive information is not conveyed here but below, this is merely good communication and therefore, in my opinion, needs no citation. Too Lazy to Log In. (talk) 20:31, 3 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Dead Link[edit]

The link pointed to by "Extensive bibliography of enthymeme in scholarly literature" at the bottom is a dead link. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:12, 8 December 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Free trade is good"[edit]

If enthymemes are arguments, how is this an enthymeme? It's just an assertion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:44, 10 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Precisely. The argument is implied within the statement. Free trade is not inherently and logically good. Instead a whole series of values and implied arguments are contained within the statement. This as a maxim would only work with an audience already assuming a certain set of values. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Etherfire (talkcontribs) 23:34, 23 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No. By this logic, any sentence that expresses a proposition would count as an enthymeme. In fact, "Free trade is good" is not an argument, and it doesn't imply any argument. It's a just a claim.

"Aristotle stresses that the sentence “There is no man among us who is free” taken for itself is a maxim, but becomes an enthymeme as soon as it is used together with a reason such as “for all are slaves of money or of chance (and no slave of money or chance is free).”

Further, enthymemes are intended to be deductive arguments, not based on statistics or "less than 100%." The whole section entitled "Maxim, or a less-than-100% argument" is spurious and should be deleted.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:38, 6 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply] 

The fact that this incorrect and misleading "Free trade is good" example has not yet been deleted--despite that it has been shown to be in direct contradiction of the professionally-researched Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Online--says a lot about how much the people in charge of this page care about its upkeep. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dicktar (talkcontribs) 21:53, 26 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The current version of the Enthymeme Wikipedia article does not argue that "Free trade is good". Rather, that is merely a quotation from a reliable source that illustrates and supports the second sense of what Enthymeme might mean. But more than that, it is not even an assertion that the scholars who wrote that paper are making. It is merely an example they used to illustrate an enthymemic statement that is a maxim, and not a syllogistic argument.
I am not sure if the previous commenters are objecting to the "free trade is good" idea itself, or to the idea of this second (but also Aristotelian) sense of what an enthymeme is being covered in the article, or something else entirely. Please clarify and we can continue the discussion from there.N2e (talk) 07:09, 27 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

ENTHYMEMES ARE ARGUMENTS. All of them. Everything that is an enthymeme is an argument. I don't know what an "enthymic statement" is, unless it is an enthymeme, and if it is, it's an argument.

An argument is a set of claims, some of which are meant to support the others. By itself, the sentence "Free trade is good" is not an argument, and therefore not an enthymeme. This example is false, and bound to mislead information-seekers about the actual meaning the word enthymeme. I realize that example appears in an article from something called "The Post-Autistic Economic Review." I presume those in charge of deleting spurious wikipedia pages realize that not every source is reliable.

On the other hand,the section cited on this talk page from the SEPO (which actually is a reliable source) explains the difference between maxims (claims taken to be true) and enthymemes (arguments with unstated premises), and makes it clear that claims alone do not qualify as enthymemes. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dicktar (talkcontribs) 20:48, 27 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Is "enthumiem" a proper pronunciation? I was thinking it was "en-thuh-meem" or something. --Ajkochanowicz (talk) 23:38, 8 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is this really an enthymeme?[edit]

This article needs something about the fact that the precise definition of enthymeme is under question. For example, in Jeffery Walker's "The Body of Persuasion: A Theory of the Enthymeme" he suggests that the definition of the enthymeme as a syllogism lacking a premise is incorrect--at least as far as Aristotle's definition would suggest. Instead, he suggests that an enthymeme is an argument that is socially embedded and deals with uncertainties. There is a little of this here but I think it needs to be elaborated on. Etherfire (talk) 23:39, 23 November 2010 (UTC)etherfireReply[reply]

Wikipedia is "there" for anyone to edit. If you have a reliable source, and can provide a citation for whatever it is you want to say, you should just go ahead and write it. Add your sense of the word enthymeme, and how or who uses it that way, to the article and see what happens in the grand emergent process that is Wikipedia. N2e (talk) 07:18, 27 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
On the substance of your assertion however, I might phrase it differently. It isn't so much that a "precise definition of enthymeme" even exists; rather it is what one, or what several, senses of enthymeme are used in various literatures, and can be supported by verifiable, reliable secondary source citations of that usage in that particular literature. Hope this helps. Cheers. N2e (talk) 07:18, 27 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Semantic tableaux?!?[edit]

Even if (and that's a big IF) Beth actually has an argument from modal logic showing that even arguments with "incorrect logical inferences" count as enthymemes, that detail is about four orders of magnitude more arcane than the average Wikipedia reader needs to be able to define the word "enthymeme."

For some reason, the Wiki page for this very simple concept continues to be fly-paper for amateur obscurantists. How would a layperson read this page and come away with an accurate or even coherent idea of what the word means? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:21, 13 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

New editor, feedback?[edit]

Hi, I'm a university student majoring in communications rhetoric. For my rhetorical process class we had to choose a rhetor or rhetorical term and contribute to the wikipedia page. I just added information to this page. If I could get any feedback on both the content and the formatting (it's my first time editing a wikipedia page) that would be very helpful! Mlevin48 (talk) 03:48, 5 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Substantial Revision[edit]

I've revised the article to make it more readable and to reflect more accurately the state of scholarship on the enthymeme. Even if subsequent editors change my revision, I suggest you follow the structure I have established, where I discuss different types of enthymeme. The article's previous state reflected an abortive attempt at following this structure, I hope I have suitably refined it. Here are the specific changes I have made and my justifications for them. Major changes

  • I have edited the introduction to provide a more succinct description of the enthymeme. I have also incorporated primary sources and attributed the enthymeme to its theorist Aristotle.
  • I have cut entirely the paragraph beginning with "In some philosophy classes." The humor is apparently local, I could find no sources suggesting this is a common joke made about the enthymeme. It is also inappropriate to an introduction.
  • I have eliminated the examples from James Geary and George Bernard Shaw because they required excessive explanation and did not add anything useful to the section they were in.
  • I have eliminated the section "Maxim or less than 100% argument" which was inappropriate for the following reasons. 1) It did not delimit properly the nature of the relationship between the enthymeme and the maxim. 2) It cited a source that was only tangentially concerned with the enthymeme (and a scholar that was an economist and ipso facto not an expert on enthymemes - a proper expert might be a philosopher or a rhetorician). I have also entirely discarded the block quote from Klamer et al (which added nothing to the article of value). In any case, I have replaced it with more pertinent sources.
  • I have also recycled the section "arguments" and its sources into my existing sections.
  • I have also added the section on the "visual enthymeme" and added an image. I welcome alternative image suggestions.

Minor changes

  • I have changed the heading "informal syllogism" because it could describe all enthymemes except the visual one. I have subdivided some of the material from this section into three distinct types of enthymemes. Thus, there was a need for a new outline header.
  • I have added scholarly sources. The article was previously reliant almost exclusively on publicly available sources (most of which I have retained).
  • I have added links at the end and throughout to appropriate persons and concepts (Richard Whately and the Paradeigma)

I hope you find these changes suitable. I welcome any subsequent edits to refine what I have written. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rhaetor (talkcontribs) 06:49, 2 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have reverted the good faith major change referenced above, per WP:BRD, and suggest we discuss it on the Talk page first and gain consensus. One of the challenges is that although many aspects of the changes will likley gain consensus rather straightforwardly, and all changes were meant well, they were made in a single mongo-eidt that makes it quite difficult to parse the individual piece/parts of the major edit.
Which changes were, in your mind, the most essential, and most uncontroversial. I suspect we could start by discussing, and gaining consensus on, those first, and then continue from there. N2e (talk) 13:00, 8 April 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think it's very strange that Wikipedia editors are putting politics (e.g. whose version gets published) before the value of the content of the article. What changes do you object to N2e? Rhaetor (talk) 17:58, 26 August 2015 (UTC)rhaetorReply[reply]

Re: Substantial Revision[edit]

Given no response to my previous reply N2e, I've reverted to my revision, which as you admit is likely worth making. We cannot gain consensus if no one speaks and in the meantime misinformation is being propagated by the article. Additionally, WP:BRD is a suggestion, not a rule, as I'm sure you know. Please do not continue to troll this page for your own ego's sake. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rhaetor (talkcontribs) 23:24, 31 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]