Logic is the “formal systematic study of principal of valid inference and correct reasoning.” It is mainly concerned with general laws of truth carried out through a systematic study in the form of a valid inference. Logic entails the methods that we use to analyze information and make valid conclusions. When applying logic, one is expected to put their thought in order. When studying logic, one seeks to understand the right reason and make a valid inference without committing fallacies. Using logic, helps us make the correct conclusions by understanding the implications and mistake that people make in the course of thinking. This paper will explore the concept of logic by analyzing what makes it be considered as formal, systematic, study of valid inference, and study of correct reasoning
Logic as a Formal Concept
It has been considered that the philosophy of logic is either shaped explicitly or implicitly on the notion that it is distinctively formal and abstract from material content. The three aspects of logic that makes it be considered as formal include; it offers constitutive norms for thought, it is indifferent to the specific identities of objects, and that it abstracts mainly from the semantic content of the thought (MacFarlane, 2000). The three notions are considered together in the context of Kant’s transcendental philosophy.
The notion of logic being formal implies that it is considered as topic-neutral. This means that logic concentrates on form rather than matter or content. As a formal study, logic is expected to be simple, modest in its assumptions, and flexible in its aim of offering a conceptual apparatus needed for the project of systematization (MacFarlane, 2000).
Logic as a Systematic Study
Systematic study makes it possible to accurately predict behavior. It follows the assumption that there exists a pattern to a certain behavior and that it does not occurs just as a random act. Systematic study holds the belief that patterns can be identified and cultivate to enhance individual performance. Systematic study is a process in pursuit of knowledge that is methodological and carried out following predetermined procedures. The manner in which logic is accomplished, makes it to be considered a systematic study.
As a systematic study, logic follows predetermined procedures and adheres to set laws. The step-in logic represents the basic things that logic deals which include establishing propositions, arguments, premises, and conclusions. These are ascertained using the basic laws of logic which are the law of non-contradiction, the Law of identity, the law of excluded middle, and the law of rational inference. This is an indication that there is a set of standards that needs to be followed during the study of logic.
Logic is said to be comprised of three building blocks namely propositions, argument, and conclusion. Proposition refers to something that may be asserted or denied which is stated as a true or false statement indicating something about a reality. An argument is a group of propositions said to follow each other and offering support to each as a foundation for truth. Conclusion of an argument is the statement that can be derived from the supporting propositions. These are also referred to as premises.
Logic as the study of valid inference
Inference refers to the act of acquiring one truth from others. This implies that a new proposition is accepted as true based on the proposition that have already been accepted as truth. For example, A. Beth is a girl who loves all boys. B, every boy is loved by girl. In this example, statement B will be accepted as truth based on the fact presented in statement A that is already held as a truth. “Valid” refers to the self-consistency common in a logical form of an argument as opposed to its material contents. This implies that validity is applicable in the perspective of establishing the relation between premises and conclusion.
When an inference is considered as valid, this implies that it is not just a mere truth-preserving act, but rather it is truth-preserving in all cases. Therefore, a valid inference is a the drawing of conclusion by adhering to the logical necessity of any two premises (Dogramaci, 2015).
Logic as a Study of Correct Reasoning
As a study of correct reasoning, logic aims to clarify the thinking process and thereby evaluate the process of reasoning based on a system of beliefs. Correct reasoning helps in gaining an understanding on the meanings of our beliefs, how to express them clearly, and how to support them. Correct reasoning is concerned with the kind of thinking expressed in an attempt to solve a problem, makes a decision or reach a conclusion on what is true. One issue that logic deals with in establishing the correct thinking is fallacies. A fallacy is regarded as the error in thinking which may inhibit attaining the truth in the premises provided. Fallacy may with either be formal or informal. Formal fallacies are related with the logical structure of an argument. Informal fallacies provide error in thinking due to appeal to other issues such as emotions, personal character or use of ambiguous language (Hundley, 2010).
Dogramaci, S. (2015). Why is a Valid Inference a Good Inference? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
Hundley, C. (2010). The Authority of Fallacies Approach to Argument Evaluation . Informal Logic.MacFarlane, J. G. (2000). What Does it Mean to Say That Logic is Formal? University of Pittsurgh.
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