Syllogism is a type of reasoning exercise in which conclusions are drawn based on two statements which are assumed to be true. These assumptions or premises are given in the question and your task will be to deduct the most plausible conclusion based upon your understanding of the aforementioned statements.

Deductive reasoning is extremely important for the legal profession. Cases are decided upon the deductions drawn from facts and circumstances.

For example: In criminal law, it isn’t a common practice to find the accused present at the crime scene and being caught red-handed by the authorities every single time. In most cases, the forensic experts have to be called in to recreate the scene of crime on the basis of circumstantial evidence. This is all a part of investigation, based on which, a charge sheet is filed.

Let us see another instance where deductive reasoning can be applied in order to narrow down the suspects:

A gunshot was heard in Part A of the mosque which resulted in the death of 2 persons.

Part A allowed entry to only the male devotees.

Part B allowed entry to the female devotees only.

From the above statements, it is safe to draw the conclusion that the suspect was male.

Syllogisms borrow the process of drawing diagrams from the concept of set theory.

Venn diagrams (refer to the chapter on set theory in the mathematics section), help in bringing clarity which leads to instant identification of the conclusion.

The three main types of questions that can be expected from syllogisms in your CLAT exam have been explained below with diagrams. However, these are not exhaustive. Therefore, a thorough practice of this concept is required for successful attempts in the exam!

ILLUSTRATION 1:

All men are mammals.

All dogs are mammals.

clat logical reasoning syllogisms

In the above diagram, the biggest circle represents “mammals” as both “men” and “dogs” are mammals. The circles representing “men” and “dogs” have been placed inside the set representing “mammals”. Note how the two smaller circles do not touch or intersect with each other.

The possible conclusions that can be drawn from the above statements and diagram are:

(i) No man is a dog.

(ii) No dog is a man.

(iii) Both men and dogs are mammals.

ILLUSTRATION 2: In a class full of girls, some girls are tall.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

clat logical reasoning syllogisms

In the above diagram, the larger set represents the complete class of girls. The pink circle represents only those girls who are tall. The plausible conclusions that can be drawn from the above representation are;

(i) Some girls are not tall.

(ii) All girls are not tall.

(iii) Some girls are tall and some girls are short.

ILLUSTRATION 3:  

Some shoes on sale are pink.

Some shoes on sale are blue.

clat logical reasoning syllogisms


In the diagram given above, the area represented by the pink stars shows the intersection between the sets of “all pink shoes” and the “shoes on sale”. Similarly, the area represented by the blue stars shows the intersection between the sets of “all blue shoes” and “shoes on sale”. Hence, the areas depicted by stars represent the quantity of shows of a particular colour that are on sale.                                                                                                                   

The possible deductions drawn from the above representation are:

(i) Some pink shoes are not on sale.

(ii) Some blue shoes are not on sale.

(iii) Some shoes on sale are neither pink nor blue.

The concepts of intersection, sub sets etc. have been borrowed from set theory of mathematics section your exam. If you have trouble understanding the diagrams then you are requested to brush up on your concepts of set theory before attempting these kinds of questions.

Sometimes you may find it easier to solve syllogisms without drawing Venn diagrams.

You are advised to use Venn diagrams in order to save time and obtain a clear result.

Another point to remember while solving questions based on assumptions is that, the statements given in the question are always assumed to be true irrespective of their viability in the real world.  

Now let us study certain questions that have been asked in Clat exams over the years:

EXAMPLE 1: [CLAT 2011]

Statement 1: All pingos are Byronic.

Statement 2: Shalisto is byronic.

Statement 3: Therefore_________. Fill in the blank.

(a) Shalisto is a pingo

(b) Shalisto is not a pingo

(c) Shalisto is not byronic

(d) None of the above

clat logical reasoning syllogisms

Answer D

 

EXAMPLE 2: [CLAT 2012]

Statement 1: All girls are students.

Statement 2: All doctors are students.

Conclusions:

  1. All girls are students.
  2. Some students are girls.
  3. Some students are doctors.
  4. All doctors are girls.
  1. Only I follows
  2. Only I and II follow
  3. Only II and IV follow
  4. Only I and II and III follows

clat logical reasoning syllogisms

Answer: (d)

EXAMPLE 3: [CLAT 2012]

Statement 1: All researchers are sociologists.

Statement 2: Some researchers are professors.

Conclusions:

  1. All researchers are professors.
  2. Some researchers are professors.
  3. Some professors are sociologists.
  4. Some sociologists are researchers.
  1. Only II and III follow.
  2. Only II and IV follow.
  3. Only III follows.
  4. None follow

clat logical reasoning syllogisms

This is a slightly tricky question in which two types of venn diagrams can be formed. In order to avoid confusion, we apply a method of exchanging the terms of the statements.

Statement 1: All researchers are sociologists.

Therefore, Some sociologists are researchers.

Statement 2: Some researchers are professors.

Deduction: Some professors are researchers.

Answer: (b)

Example 4: [CLAT 2012]

Statement 1: Some democracies are dictatorships.

Statement 2: No dictatorship is a monarchy.

Conclusions:

  1. No democracy is a monarchy.
  2. No dictatorship is a democracy
  3. Some democracies are monarchy.
  4. Some dictatorships are democracies.
  1. None follows
  2. Only IV follows
  3. II and III follow
  4. I and IV follow

clat logical reasoning syllogisms

Answer: (b)

EXAMPLE 5: [CLAT 2014]

(I) All contracts are agreements.

(II) All agreements are accepted offers.

Which of the following derivatives is correct?

  1. All accepted offers are contracts
  2. All agreements are contracts
  3. All contracts are accepted offers
  4. None of the above

clat logical reasoning syllogisms

Answer: (c)

EXAMPLE 6: [CLAT 2014]

(I) Some beautiful women are actresses.

(II) All actresses are good dancers.

Which of the following derivatives is correct?

  1. Some beautiful women are good dancers.
  2. All good dancers are actresses
  3. Both (a) and (b)
  4. None of the above

clat logical reasoning syllogisms

Answer: (a)

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