Stage Two - Premises and Conclusions

primary and linking premises

  • Arguments are sets of sentences where some of those sentences, the premises, purport to establish the truth of another, the conclusion.

  • Primary premise: a premise that makes a statement about some state of affairs. It applies a new predicate to the same subject as the conclusion.

  • Linking premise: a premise that tells you why the primary assertion supports the conclusion. It links the predicate used in the primary premise to that of the conclusion,


  • Enthyememes are arguments missing a premise.

  • The missing premise is often the linking premise.

  • Identifying the missing premise will not only help you to understand argument structure, but also to identify potentially problematic assumptions in arguments.


  • Example #1 (0:00) - identifying the primary and linking premises in an argument.

  • Example #2 (1:58) - identifying the missing premise in an enthymeme.

  • Example #3 (3:19) - a more complex enthymeme.