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> Nancy Gish wrote:
> 
> This is not an issue.  For a standard syllogism to work, it needs two
> things: correct form and true premises. 

Ah, this, as they say, is a horse of a different color. Back in August
of 2001 on an impulse I grabbed off the shelf of the local Barnes &
Noble a 600+ page book entitled Aristotle's First Principles, which I
proceeded to chip away at now & then. By August 2005 I notice I had
reached page 150, the end of the first section. The next section is
headed "Solution to the Problem," and while Inever got to that I suspect
it would prove highly controversial. The search for "true premises" is a
long and incomplete one, unless you are  Pat Roberson or write for the
editorial page of the WSJ. In the German Ideology M&E say their premises
are actyually existing historical individuals, but they they do not
proceed sylogistically. Jacques, if I recall correctly, insists that we
grant him one blade of grass, from which he proceeds to the God of
Aquinas & Atustine in the next few pages (of _Degrees of Knowledge_).
And of course, famously or infamously, Diana's bete noire begins with
the cogito. I think you have to consider the syllogism, like any formal
logic, independently of the validity of its premise, for to deduce the
premise involves an infinte regress. (Maritain argues that his procedue
does not.) Euclid's geometry had a premise prior to its explicit
postulates: that geometry was the study of visualizable space,
Descartes, by reducing geometry to algebra, made 'inevitable" such
'things' as 25-dimensionla sphers. You can't visualize or imagine them,
but the algebra is the same as for a thre-dimentsional sphere.
Syllogisms are valid or invalid rather than true or false.

Carrol