Welcome to Logic 101
Everyone has an opinion, and in a democratic country everyone also has an equal right to state an opinion, but not everyone's opinion is of equal value. This page exists to spread this truth - some opinions are worth more than others*. And if you want your opinion to be the rational opinion, you must learn how to argue your points using the tenets of Logic.
- Douglas Adams called this “opinion inequality”
The course in Logic 101 now proceeds to the opening page on Logic. Students ought to begin by reviewing this page.
Here is how the course proceeds. Students may also take note that proceeding in this fashion will also allow them to have a basic grasp of the history of logic.
This section presents the axioms of Classical Logic. Common myths about these axioms are also explored. Students will come to learn that these axioms only apply to certain logics.
The two concepts are explained and differentiated.
It's one thing to know how to argue, its quite another to know when to argue, and when to remain silent.
This section defines the term argument
What is deduction? What is Induction? What are their limits?
In this section, the various ways to assess Deductive and Inductive arguments is explored.
This section briefly explores the two main ways in which an argument can go wrong - i.e. problems with the form of an argument, and problems with the premises in an argument.
This is both the longest section of the site, and most likely the most interesting. It presents a nearly exhaustive list of the most common informal fallacies.
In order to learn Classical Logic one must first learn about the premises used in Classical arguments: Categorical Propositions.
The traditional Square of Opposition is a diagram specifying logical relations among the four types of categorical propositions described in the preceding section.
It was eventually discovered that the Traditional Square of Opposition required a correction. This is it.
Categorical Syllogisms are explained. One a student makes it to this point, they can claim to grasp the basics of Classical Logic.
However, there are other types of syllogisms. These are explored in this section.
Students will come to learn about the limits of Classical Logic. Propositional Logic represents one attempt to overcome these obstacles. Propositional Logic deals with using symbols to represent logical arguments.
Truth tables provide a useful method of assessing the validity or invalidity of the form any argument. Once a student grasps Propositional Logic, they can begin to use Truth Tables.
Formal Fallacies A review of the valid and invalid forms of Propositional Logic.
Students will then come to see the limits of Propositional logic! Predicate logic helps overcome the shortcomings of both Propositional Logic and the problems found in the Traditional Square of Opposition.
There is more to logic than trading in tautologies. Inductive logic allows us to make statements about the real world. Included is a discussion of a possible basis of inductive logic: Bayesian Theory.
This section explores the nature of emotional appeals, and illustrates how they differ from logical arguments.
For future consideration:
Common argument forms