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1-17-07, Lecture 01

1-17-07, Lecture 01 - PHIL V3411 PHIL G4415 Introduction to...

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PHIL V3411 / PHIL G4415 • Introduction to Symbolic Logic Lecture 1 Introduction and Overview
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Introduction Logic is the study of arguments. An argument is a sequence of statements of which one is intended as a conclusion and the others, the premises , are intended to prove or at least provide good evidence for the conclusion. There are bad arguments as well as good ones. Examples: All humans are animals. ? premises All animals are mortal. Therefore , all humans are mortal. conclusion All humans are animals. ? premises Some animals are insects. Therefore , some humans are insects. conclusion Basic idea: an argument is good (or valid) if it is not possible for its conclusion to be false when the premises are all true. (Intuitively: whoever accepts the premises of a valid argument must also accept the conclusion.) The purpose of logic is precisely to develop methods and techniques to tell good (i.e., valid) arguments from bad ones.
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More examples of arguments All humans are mortal. Socrates is human. Therefore , Socrates is mortal. All animals are mortal. Socrates is human. Therefore , Socrates is mortal. If John went home, then Mary went to the movie. Mary didn’t go to the movie. Therefore , John did not go home. It’s either Tuesday or Wednesday. It is not Tuesday. Therefore , it is Wednesday. The premises and conclusion of an argument are declarative statements, i.e., assertions that are either true or false.
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