distribution of terms

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In the classical theory of the syllogism, a term in a categorical prop-osition is distributed if the proposition entails any proposition obtained from it by substituting a term which denotes only a subset of the items denoted by the original. For example, in ‘all dogs bark’ the term ‘dogs’ is distributed, since it entails ‘all terriers bark’, which is obtained from it by such a substitution. In ‘Not all dogs bark’ the same term is not distributed, since it may be true while ‘not all terriers bark’ is false.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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