from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Logic A syllogism in which one of the premises or the conclusion is not stated explicitly.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A by and large statement, a maxim, a less-than-100% argument.
- n. A syllogism with a required but unstated assumption.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. An argument consisting of only two propositions, an antecedent and consequent deduced from it; a syllogism with one premise omitted; as, We are dependent; therefore we should be humble. Here the major proposition is suppressed. The complete syllogism would be, Dependent creatures should be humble; we are dependent creatures; therefore we should be humble.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In Aristotle's logic, an inference from likelihoods and signs, which with Aristotle is the same as a rhetorical syllogism.
- n. A syllogism one of the premises of which is unexpressed.
I call the enthymeme a rhetorical syllogism, and the example a rhetorical induction.
An enthymeme is an argument that’s built on major premise, minor premise, and conclusion, but the speaker/writer leaves out one of the premises because it’s assumed that everyone understands and agrees with that premise.
The enthymeme is a sort of syllogism, and the consideration of syllogisms of all kinds, without distinction, is the business of dialectic, either of dialectic as a whole or of one of its branches.
The example is an induction, the enthymeme is a syllogism, and the apparent enthymeme is an apparent syllogism.
Every kind of syllogism is composed of propositions, and the enthymeme is a particular kind of syllogism composed of the aforesaid propositions.
Aristotle calls the enthymeme the “body of persuasion,” implying that everything else is only an addition or accident to the core of the persuasive process.
Depreciation are one kind of enthymeme, viz. the kind used to show that a thing is great or small; just as there are other kinds used to show that a thing is good or bad, just or unjust, and anything else of the sort.
The enthymeme here might do well to exclude the conclusion and let the audience infer it if the goal of the argument were to convince the audience that Susan speaks eloquently.
Statements may be strategically excluded in an enthymeme because they are too obvious or because revealing them might damage the force of the argument.
The syllogism above would be rendered an enthymeme simply by maintaining that "Michael is mortal because he's human" (leaving out the major premise).