Philosophy 201

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Study Guide: Lesson 4
A Little Logic

Lesson Overview

Logic is the primary tool or methodology in studying philosophy. Philosophy is about analyzing and constructing arguments and a good understanding of the basics of logical reasoning is essential in performing that task. The next 3 lessons will focus on logic and analyzing arguments. In this lesson, you will first be introduced to the laws of logic. These are the first principles for all reasoning. We will then discuss the specialized terminology we use in logic. Finally, we will examine 2 major kinds of logical reasoning: deductive and inductive. We will consider different forms of arguments under each and discuss how to evaluate these arguments. Take note that a large part of this lesson is about learning the terminology for logic.


Read and take notes from chapter 5 of Philosophy: Critically Thinking about Foundational Beliefs, “A Little Logic.” As you read, make sure you understand the following points and questions:

* Why are the laws of logic foundational? At the foundation for all reasoning are the laws of logic, often referred to as the first principles of logic. * List and explain the 3 laws of logic. * Know the symbolic expression of the law of non-contradiction and how it clears up confusions. * Explain the common confusion concerning God and contradictions. * Know the symbolic expression of the Law of Excluded Middle. Why is it called the Law of Excluded Middle? * Know the why the laws of logic are self-evident. * Know the three parts of an argument. * Distinguish the language of evaluating arguments (deductive and inductive) from how we evaluate propositions. * Explain the relationship between truth value of the propositions with the validity/strength of the argument. * Know the point about agreeing with the conclusion of an argument and it…...

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