Punch,  39 (1860), 117.

Logic for Ladies. By One of Them



Essay, Drollery


Reason, Gender, Domestic Economy, Education, Reasoning

    Insisting that 'Ladies ought to be fine logicians' since they have 'a perfect mastery over the premises', the female author explains that 'Logic teaches us to train our mental faculties', thus enabling us to 'draw from safe premises a safe conclusion'. Divides 'mental operations' into 'simple apprehension, judgment, and discourse or reasoning', each of which the author illustrates with the example of a gentleman's hat becoming entrapped in a lady's hoop. Stresses that all arguments are reducible to a syllogism, which she illustrates with the example of a conflict between a husband and wife over the former's habit of smoking cigars. Other dubious examples include, 'All men are heartless. / A Parrot is not a Man. / A Parrot, therefore, is not heartless'. Goes on to give domestic and equally questionable illustrations of 'Reasoning in a circle', 'suppressio veri', and 'suggestio falsi'.

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