Introduction to Logic

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Logic is the study of the principles and methods used to distinguish "good" reasoning from "bad" reasoning. As it is through good reasoning that we plan, explain, persuade, convince, solve, and prove things successfully through language, good reasoning matters. So too do arguments, for they are the main medium through which we reason. Through the study of informal logic, not only will you learn that a good argument is cogent and a bad argument is fallacious, you will learn how to tell whether any argument is cogent or fallacious. But just as English is not always the best language through which to do mathematics, English is not always the best language though which to do logic. For this reason, in addition to informal (nonsymbolic) logic, you will learn both classical symbolic logic and modern sentential symbolic logic. When our attention turns to classical logic, our focus will be on evaluating syllogisms composed of general statements. When our attention shifts to sentential logic, the emphasis will be on deducing claims from their evidence via natural deduction (proofs). The central question in this course is "Does this (a claim) follow from that (its evidence)?" By the end of this course, you will have learned a host of formal methods for settling that question and others that bear upon the construction and evaluation of arguments.

51 episodes available. A new episode about every 15 hours .