Teaching Syllogistics Using Conceptual Graphs

  • Peter ØhrstrømEmail author
  • Ulrik Sandborg-Petersen
  • Steinar Thorvaldsen
  • Thomas Ploug
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8577)


It has for centuries been commonly believed that syllogistic reasoning is an essential part of human rationality. For this reason, Aristotelian syllogistics has since the rise of the European university been a standard component of logic teaching. During the medieval period syllogistic validity was presented in terms of a number of artificial words designed to summarize the deductive structure of this basic system. The present paper is a continuation of earlier studies involving practical experiments with informatics students using a student-facing Java-Applet running in the student’s browser, implemented using the Prolog programming language as embodied in a Java implementation called Prolog+CG. The aim of the present paper is to study some interesting conceptual aspects of syllogistic reasoning and to investigate whether CG formalism can be helpful in order to obtain a better understanding of syllogistic reasoning in general and the system of Aristotelian syllogisms conceived as a deductive (axiomatic) structure in particular. Some prototypes of tools for basic logic teaching have been developed using Prolog+CG, and various preliminary tests of the tools have been carried out.


Syllogistics argumentation conceptual graphs deduction logic teaching 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Aristotle: Prior Analytics, Jenkinson A.J. (transl.). The Internet Classics Archive (1994-2000),
  2. 2.
    Kabbaj, A., Janta-Polczynski, M.: From PROLOG++ to PROLOG+CG: A CG object-oriented logic programming language. In: Ganter, B., Mineau, G.W. (eds.) ICCS 2000. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 1867, pp. 540–554. Springer, Heidelberg (2000)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kabbaj, A., Moulin, B., Gancet, J., Nadeau, D., Rouleau, O.: Uses, improvements, and extensions of Prolog+CG: Case studies. In: Delugach, H.S., Stumme, G. (eds.) ICCS 2001. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 2120, pp. 346–359. Springer, Heidelberg (2001)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Parry, W.T., Hacker, E.A.: Aristotelian Logic. State University of New York Press (1991)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Petersen, U., Schärfe, H., Øhrstrøm, P.: Online Course in Knowledge Representation using Conceptual Graphs, Aalborg University (2005),
  6. 6.
    Petersen, U.: Prolog+CG: A Maintainer’s Perspective. In: de Moor, A., Polovina, S., Delugach, H. (eds.) Proceedings of the First Conceptual Structures Interoperability Workshop (CS-TIW 2006). Aalborg University Press (2006)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Sowa, J.F.: Conceptual Graph Summary, (accessed February 2014)
  8. 8.
    Øhrstrøm, P., Sandborg-Petersen, U., Ploug, T.: Syllog - A Tool for Logic Teaching. In: Proceedings of Artificial Intelligence Workshops 2010 (AIW 2010), Mimos Berhad, pp. 42–55 (2010)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Øhrstrøm, P., Sandborg-Petersen, U., Thorvaldsen, S., Ploug, T.: Classical Syllogisms in Logic Teaching. In: Pfeiffer, H.D., Ignatov, D.I., Poelmans, J., Gadiraju, N. (eds.) ICCS 2013. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 7735, pp. 31–43. Springer, Heidelberg (2013)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Øhrstrøm, P., Sandborg-Petersen, U., Thorvaldsen, S., Ploug, T.: Teaching Logic through Web-Based and Gamified Quizzing of Formal Arguments. In: Hernández-Leo, D., Ley, T., Klamma, R., Harrer, A. (eds.) EC-TEL 2013. LNCS, vol. 8095, pp. 410–423. Springer, Heidelberg (2013)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Øhrstrøm
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ulrik Sandborg-Petersen
    • 1
  • Steinar Thorvaldsen
    • 2
  • Thomas Ploug
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Communication and PsychologyAalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark
  2. 2.Department of EducationUniversity of TromsøTromsøNorway

Personalised recommendations