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Mood and Figure, Download UGC NET Reasoning Study Notes PDF

Logic is the foundation of rational thinking and sound argumentation. Within the realm of logic, syllogistic reasoning holds a prominent position. Syllogisms are structured arguments consisting of premises and a conclusion. Two crucial components in assessing the validity of syllogisms are mood and figure. We will delve into the concepts of mood and figure, explore their significance, and provide examples to enhance understanding.

UGC NET Study Notes for Paper 1


Mood: Decoding the Arrangement of Categorical Propositions

A. Defining Mood and Its Representation:

The mood of a syllogism refers to the arrangement of the categorical propositions (statements) used in the syllogism. Each categorical proposition in a syllogism is represented by a letter code, where each letter corresponds to a specific type of proposition. 

Categorical propositions are represented by letters: A, E, I, and O.

Proposition Quantity Quality Letter
All S are P. Universal affirmative A
No S are P. Universal negative E
Some S are P. particular affirmative I
Some S are not P. particular negative O

Analyzing Mood Examples:

  • Example 1: “All cats are mammals. Some mammals are carnivores. Therefore, some cats are carnivores.”

Mood: AII

  • Example 2: “No insects are mammals. Some animals are insects. Therefore, some animals are not mammals.”

Mood: EIO


Figure: Understanding the Placement of the Middle Term

Defining Figure and Its Four Variations:

The figure of a syllogism refers to the placement of the middle term (the term that appears in both premises but not in the conclusion) in the two premises.

Four figures: I, II, III, IV, each with distinct arrangements.

First figure Second figure Third figure Fourth figure

Exploring the Four Figures with Examples:

Figure I:

  • Middle term: Subject of the major premise, the predicate of the minor premise.
  • Example: “All philosophers are thinkers. Some thinkers are writers. Therefore, some philosophers are writers.”

Figure II:

  • Middle term: Predicate of both premises.
  • Example: “All mammals are animals. Some animals are carnivores. Therefore, some mammals are carnivores.”

Figure III:

  • Middle term: Subject of both premises.
  • Example: “Some humans are artists. Some artists are painters. Therefore, some humans are painters.”

Figure IV:

  • Middle term: Predicate of the major premise, subject of the minor premise.
  • Example: “No politicians are honest. Some honest people are activists. Therefore, some activists are not politicians.”

The Crucial Interaction: Mood-Figure Combinations

Validity Determination:

  1. By combining mood and figure, we can classify syllogisms and determine their validity. Each mood-figure combination has specific rules that determine whether the syllogism is valid or invalid.
  2. Correct distribution of terms is essential for valid syllogisms.

Examples of Valid and Invalid Syllogisms:

  • Valid Syllogism: AAA in Figure I will be valid as long as the terms are distributed correctly on the premises.
    • Example: “All insects are arthropods. All arthropods have exoskeletons. Therefore, all insects have exoskeletons.”
Unconditional Valid arguments
First figure AAA, EAE, AII, EIO
Second figure EAE, AEE, EIO, AOO
Third figure IAI, AII, OAO, EIO
Fourth figure AEE, IAI, EIO
  • Invalid Syllogism: AAA in Figure III
    • Example: “All mammals are animals. All animals are living beings. Therefore, all mammals are living beings.”

The Significance of Mood and Figure in Syllogistic Reasoning

Ensuring Coherence:

  1. Mood and figure provide a systematic approach to organizing syllogisms.
  2. They help establish the logical coherence of the arguments presented.

Facilitating Critical Thinking:

  1. Analyzing moods and figure enhances critical thinking skills.
  2. It allows for the identification of logical fallacies and strengthens reasoning abilities.


Mood and figure are integral components of syllogistic reasoning, enabling us to evaluate the validity of arguments. Mood represents the arrangement of categorical propositions, while figure denotes the placement of the middle term. By understanding these concepts and their interplay, we can assess the logical structure of syllogisms accurately. Aspiring to be effective critical thinkers, let us embrace the study of mood and figure, ensuring sound and compelling reasoning in our everyday lives.

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Consider the following arguments: MAJOR PREMISES: No eggs are hens MINOR PREMISES: All hens are dogs CONCLUSION: Some dogs are not eggs what is the mood of the above proposition?


Consider the following arguments: MAJOR PREMISES: All hens are dogs MINOR PREMISES: No eggs are hens  CONCLUSION: Some dogs are not eggs what is the mood of the above proposition?


What is Type A proposition?

Type A proposition is Universal Affirmative proposition where All of the subject will be distributed in the class defined by the predicate.

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