So*ri"tes (?), n. [L., from Gr. swrei`ths (sc. syllogismo`s), properly, heaped up (hence, a heap of syllogisms), fr. swro`s a heap.] Logic

An abridged form of stating of syllogisms in a series of propositions so arranged that the predicate of each one that precedes forms the subject of each one that follows, and the conclusion unites the subject of the first proposition with the predicate of the last proposition

, as in following example; --

The soul is a thinking agent; A thinking agent can not be severed into parts; That which can not be severed can not be destroyed; Therefore the soul can not be destroyed.

⇒ When the series is arranged in the reverse order, it is called the Goclenian sorites, from Goclenius, a philosopher of the sixteenth century.

Destructive sorities. See under Destructive.

<-- Sorites paradox, (philos.) The paradox that arises from the assertion that if one item is removed from a heap (sorites) of objects, what remains is still a heap. Continued application of that rule for any finite heap ultimately causes a contradiction, when the "heap" has no objects left. Similar definitional problems prompted the invention of "fuzzy logic" -->


© Webster 1913.