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UNIT 1 REASON AND ARGUMENT 1.1 WHAT IS MODERN SYMBOLIC LOGIC? Logic Unit 1: Introduction ©2011 Niko Scharer Logic. The Study & Evaluation of Reasoning & Argument An argument probably seems logical if it look likes the conclusion must be true, based on what you are told is the case and what you already know to be true. This is because logical deductive arguments are truth-preserving : if the premises are true, then the conclusions must be true. Studying logic can help you recognize which arguments are good ones, and thus improve your ability to distinguish truths or probable claims from ones that are poorly supported by the evidence. Symbolic. Use Tidy Symbols instead of Messy Words! Using symbols instead of words lets you to focus on the logical form of the argument, so you can evaluate the reasoning of the argument without being distracted by other considerations, e.g. whether you agree with it, whether it’s interesting or has true premises, etc. Symbolization also can clear up ambiguities in meaning. Sometimes sentences, phrases and words can be interpreted different ways. Symbolization can force you to be more precise and consider exactly what is meant. Modern. After such people as . .. Aristotle (384-322 BC). Aristotelian or syllogistic logic is the earliest system intended to classify and evaluate a wide range of arguments. Chrysippus (c.280-c.205 BC) developed a system of propositional logic that anticipates modern logic. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716), perhaps the father of symbolic logic, developed some of the first logical calculi. Gottlob Frege (1848-1925) laid foundations for mathematical logic, further developed by Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947) and Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) in their Principia Mathematica .
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1.2 WHAT IS AN ARGUMENT? In philosophy, logic, essays and many other contexts, arguments are bits of reasoning which present justifications for certain statements – a conclusion (a statement, opinion, thesis, etc.) supported by a justification or evidence. An argument is a discourse in which some statements (the premises) are presented in support of another statement (the conclusion). In a valid deductive argument, the logical structure of that discourse is such that if the premises are true, then the conclusion must also be true. It is truth-preserving ! * Two parts of an Argument Premises or assumptions: reasons or justification for the conclusion. Conclusion: the statement, thesis or opinion being argued for. Premises and conclusions are sentences, statements or propositions that can be true or false – they have truth-value . Arguments are generally composed of statements and usually don’t include questions, commands and other sentences without truth-value. ‘Premise’ and ‘conclusion’ are relative terms.
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2012 for the course PHL PHL245 taught by Professor Scharer during the Winter '11 term at University of Toronto.

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