Hard Words "E"
Hard Words II "E"
Hard Word "He"
Hard Words II "He"
Hard Words "He" III
Should Know I
Should Know II
Should Know III
Classical Words II
Pure Fun I
Pure Fun III
Nesselrode et al.
New Free Rice I
New Free Rice II
New Free Rice III
New Free Rice IV
New Free Rice V
New Free Rice VI
New Free Rice VII
Weapon Words I
Weapon Words II
New Free Rice VIII
New Free Rice IX
New Free Rice X
New Free Rice XI
New Free Rice XII
New Free Rice XIV
New Free Rice XV
Some Stray Words
Big Cat Words I
Big Cat Words II
Grith, Waif, etc.
Portland Sp. Bee I
Portland Bee II
"Dirty" Words I
"Dirty" Words II
Kiss-Ass Words I
Kiss-Ass Words II
Steinbeck and Bacon
At the Re-bar I
At the Re-bar II
At the Re-bar III
At the Re-bar IV
At the Re-bar V
At the Re-bar VI
At the Re-bar VII
At the Re-bar VIII
At the Re-bar IX
Portland Bee I
Portland Bee II
20 Weird Words I
20 Weird Words II
20 Weird Words III
Celebrating Nonsense in Logic III
Bill Long 12/22/07
Moods and the Nonsense Mnemonic
A "mood" in logic differs from "mood" in grammar. Just a word on the word. Though Aristotle had no technical term for "mood," the Stoics of the 1st Cent. usd the word tropos to express the idea. Tropos came into Latin as "modus," from which we get our word "mood." A "mood" in syllogistic argument is any of the valid forms into which the respective figures can be placed. Moods are divided into the quality of statements (affirmative or negative) and quantity of statements (universal or particular). William of Sherwood mentions that the quantity of categorical statements can be divided into "universal, particular, indefinite and singular," Ch. 1, par. 14 of his Introduction to Logic, trs. by Norman Kretzmann, 1966). There were two competing systems in the 13th century that listed the moods, and I will get to them below.
Let me introduce the four statements which relate to the "moods."
A universal affirmative statement. "All humans are mortal." This was associated with the letter "A" (it will be clear below, when I introduce the mnemonic how this works).
2. A universal negative statement. "No human is immortal." This is associated with "E."
3. A particular affirmative statement. "Some birds live on honey." Associate this with the letter "I."
4. A particular negative statement. "Some mythical creatures are not human." Associate this with "O."
Now we are ready to marry figures and moods. According to the system of Peter and William, the first figure, which is in the form of argument M-P; S-M; S-P has five "moods" in which it can be expressed. They are:
I. "A-A-A" argument;
This would be our classic case, where there are three universal affirmatives, one in each premiss and the conclusion. Example:
1. All animals are mortal (An "A" premiss);
2. All humans are animals (An "A" premiss)
3. All humans are mortal (An "A" conclusion).
Because it was an "A-A-A" argument, it has been known historically as "barbara."
II. "E-A-E" argument:
This is also in the first figure, which means that the middle term "M" will begin the first ("major") premise and end the second ("minor") premiss. An example:
1. No reptiles have fir (An "E" premiss)
2. All snakes are reptiles (An "A" premiss)
3. No snakes have fir (An "E" conclusion).
Because it was an "E-A-E" argument, it was known as "celarent."
III. "A-I-I" argument:
This third mood of the first figure will thus have a universal affirmative and two particular affirmative statements. Continue to notice the structure of the first figure argument: M-P; S-M; S-P.
1. All kittens are playful (An "A" premiss)
2. Some pets are kittens (An "I" premiss)
3. Some pets are playful (An "I" conclusion).
Because this was an "A-I-I" argument, it was known as "darii."
IV. An "E-I-O" argument.
In one logical system this is the fourth, and last, mood of the first figure, but in William's and Peter's systems, it is the fourth of five moods. Here we have the argument:
1. No homework is fun (An "E" premiss)
2. Some reading is homework (An "I" premiss)
3. Some reading is not fun (An "O" conclusion)
Because this was an "E-I-O" argument, it was known as a "ferio."
Coming to Baralipton
Baralipton functioned in two ways in the ancient/medieval system of logic. I will list one here and one a little below. It was the fifth mood of the first figure, according to Peter and William. So, it would be an:
V. An "A-A-I" argument.
1. Every evil ought to be feared.
2. Every violent passion is an evil.
3. Therefore, something that ought to be feared is a violent passion.
Hm. It doesn't quite seem like this argument "works," for shouldn't the conclusion be, "Therefore, some violent passions ought to be feared?"
I didn't undertake all of this to try to figure out ancient logic in its entirety; I did it only to look at words--and nonsense words at that. So, if we put these five words from the first figure together, we have the following mnemonic:
"barbara, celarent, darii, ferio, baralipton..."
If a student memorized these words, then, he would also have in his mind the structure of arguments which would fit under the first figure. Time and my interest at this point doesn't allow for detailed consideration of the second, third and fourth figures. Suffice it to say that it provided additional mnemonics. Let me put it all together for you, at least from the perspective of Peter the Spaniard and William of Sherwood.
The complete mnemonic, in its earliest form, is:
"barbara, celarent, darii, ferio, baralipton;
celantes, dabitis, fapesmo, frisesomorum;
cesare, camestres, festino, baroco, darapti;
datisi, bocardo, ferison."
There was, however, an alternative pnemonic circulating in the Middle Ages, which was not hugely different from the preceding, but ought to be mentioned because the OED refers to both in its definitions without telling you which it is referring to. The other, later, one was:
"barbara, celarent, darii, ferio;
cesare, camestres, festino, baroco;
darapti, disamis, datisi, felapton, bocardo and ferison;
bramantip, camenes, dimaris, fesapo, fresison."
Some of each of the terms could be varied in different systems. Let me try to clarify now one aspect of the OED definition of baralipton and then the quotation of Pascal which got us started in our first essay. Recall that baralipton is defined as "the first indirect mood of the first figure of syllogisms..." What does that mean?
We read that Aristotle only developed the first three figures. Before the fourth was developed or recognized as such:
"its moods were recognized in another form, namely, as indirect moods of the first figure; and the above mnemonics--baralipton, celantes, dabitis, fapesmo, frisesomorum--represent these moods so regarded," JN Keynes, Studies and Exercises in Formal Logic (1894), p. 290.
So, the OED is pointing to this phenomenon, where baralipton is recognized as an "indirect" mood, even though it doesn't tell us what an indirect mood is. That solves the mystery of the definition. But recall, also, that we had, in the first essay, a quotation from Pascal which put together barbara and baralipton together. How does that work? Let's read on. Keynes goes on to say:
"The moods of figure 1 may then be distinguished as direct or indirect according as the position of the terms in the conclusion is the same as their position in the premisses or the reverse. Thus, with the premisses M-P, S-M [i.e., which we recognize are the two "1st figure" premises], we have a direct conclusion S-P [the conclusion given above], and an indirect conclusion P-S. These are respectively Barbara and Baralipton," Ibid., 291.
So, we see that baralipton is both the last mood in the first figure under the system of Peter and William, the first indirect mood of the first figure and a conclusion when the indirect mood is used. Now we can understand Pascal's typical mocking tone. He chides so-called intelligent or brilliant humans, who have developed minute and careful systems of theology or ethics, while ignoring the weightier issues of life, such as judgment, love and care. This is Pascal's "Jesus-like anti-Pharisee" way of doing things.
So, now at least we know where some of the terminology has come from in the nonsense mnemonic and how baralipton is called both an indirect mood as well as the indirect conclusion. I don't fully know what it all means, or whether you had to "be there" in order for it to make sense, but at least we have anchored the terms in a historical setting and document. I need one more essay, however, to walk through these words in the OED.
Copyright © 2004-2008 William R. Long