<*philosophical terminolgy*> a complex variety of arguments
consisting entirely of categorical syllogisms linked together
by the use of the same propositions as the conclusions of some
and the premises of others.
Example: "Some pets are cardinals, but all cardinals are
finches, while every finch is a bird, and only warm-blooded
animals are birds. Hence, some pets are birds." Applied to vague
predicates, such chains of reasoning may result in paradox: if
one grain of sand does not make a heap, and the addition of a
second grain of sand does not make a heap, and the addition of a
third grain of sand does not make a heap, etc., etc., then it
would seem to follow (contrary to fact) that a collection of
ten billion grains of sand must not be a heap.
Recommended Reading: Lewis Carroll, Symbolic Logic & Game of
Logic (Dover, 1958) and Linda Claire Burns, Vagueness: An
Investigation into Natural Languages and the Sorites Paradox
(Kluwer, 1991).

[A Dictionary of Pjilosophical terms and Names]

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