1-22-07, Lecture 02

1-22-07, Lecture 02 - PHIL V3411 PHIL G4415 Introduction to...

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PHIL V3411 / PHIL G4415 • Introduction to Symbolic Logic Lecture 2 Sentential Logic: Preliminaries; the Negation Connective
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Two more preliminary remarks Logic is useful for the purpose of assessing the goodness of certain arguments (put forward by us or by other people). It is also useful for the purpose of clarifying or formulating theories in a rigorous way (cp. Euclid and the axiomatic method). Arguments don’t always come in a perspicuous format, as in: 1. All humans are animals. 2. All animals are mortal. 3. Therefore , all humans are mortal. Sometimes it takes a lot of work to identify the premises and conclusion of an argument and to reconstruct its form. Example If our children watch more than three hours of television per day, then either their power of imagination is improved or they become conditioned to expect constant excitement. But surely a child’s power of imagination is not improved by watching television, unless he or she also spends some time reading. Thus, there is no doubt that our children will become conditioned to expect constant excitement, since they spend about five hours every day in front of TV and never read.
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The argument reconstructed [(A) If our children watch more than three hours of television per day, then either their power of imagination is improved or they become conditioned to expect constant excitement. ] But surely [(B) a child’s power of imagination is not improved by watching television, unless he or she also spends some time reading. ] Thus, there is no doubt that [(C) our children will become conditioned to expect constant excitement ] , since [(D) they spend about five hours every day in front of TV and never read. ] Schematically: A
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