A Primer of Formal Logic

A Primer of Formal Logic

A Primer of Formal Logic

A Primer of Formal Logic

Excerpt

As its title suggests, this book is intended for classroom use rather than for general reading. I assume that a course in formal logic should include a certain amount of practice in carrying out deductions, and that recently developed symbolic methods provide the simplest and most powerful deductive tool. My experience has been that these methods are rather difficult to teach if the student has to rely entirely on lectures and blackboard demonstrations, but comparatively simple to teach if all the details are written out and easily accessible for reference. The Primer is intended to supply the detailed explanations, leaving the lecturer free to discuss the general background of the subject and to comment on particular problems. In this way I believe it is possible to cover a great deal of interesting material which is not ordinarily included in an elementary course.

The word "logic" is used both in a narrow and in a very broad sense. In the narrow sense it refers to the theory of formal deduction. In the wider sense it covers any systematic discussion of how conclusions are reached from various kinds of evidence, and how explanatory systems are constructed in the natural sciences. In contrast to mathematics, formal logic is not particularly important as a calculating tool but it is, I think, very useful as a preliminary to the study of logic in the wider sense of the . . .

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