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an inference or argument representing a finite series, or chain, of syllogisms that satisfies certain specified conditions. The most important of these conditions is that the conclusions of preceding syllogisms in the series (prosyllogisms) serve as the premises of subsequent syllogisms (episyllogisms). A polysyllogism in which each episyllogism is preceded by just one prosyllogism is called a linear polysyllogism. A branching polysyllogism in which each episyllogism is preceded by two prosyllogisms is called a cascade polysyllogism.