Friday, August 8, 2008

SUMMER PROJECT: The Art of Thinking Clearly

Logic is about clear, effective, and efficient thinking. It is a science and an art. It is not something that we either have or lack when we are born -- it is something that we must study and practice.

We all know intelligent people who do not always express themselves logically. The likelihood is that their ability to think logically has not been properly developed.

Logic (which in no way excludes emotional feelings, by the way) is certainly helpful in overcoming deception, both from without and within. Please read a well-written (and short!) introduction to the basics of logic, published by the "OWL at Purdue":

Logic in Argumentative Writing

Be sure to read carefully all 5 sections (access found at bottom of page).

Based on your reading, address the following:

According to this article, what is logic?

List seven important logical vocabulary words and their definitions.

List 12 types of logical fallacies, along with quick descriptions of each.

Write two premises that lead to a true conclusion, and two premises that lead to a false conclusion (for ideas see "Reaching Logical Conclusions" examples C , D, and F, and "Does Logic Always Work?").

Any other comments on the piece?

Have a wonderful and clear-thinking rest of the summer!

3 comments:

MaddyMAe0915 said...

According to OWL at Perdue...

Logic is a formal system of analysis that helps writers invent, demonstrate, and prove arguments. It works by testing propositions against one another to determine their accuracy.

Definitions:
Premise: Proposition used as evidence in an argument.
Conclusion: Logical result of the relationship between the premises. Conclusions serve as the thesis of the argument.
Argument: The assertion of a conclusion based on logical premises.
Syllogism: The simplest sequence of logical premises and conclusions, devised by Aristotle.
Enthymeme: A shortened syllogism which omits the first premise, allowing the audience to fill it in. For example, "Socrates is mortal because he is a human" is an enthymeme which leaves all the premise "All humans are mortal."
Induction: A process through which the premises provide some basis for the conclusion.
Deduction: A process through which the premises provide conclusive proof for the conclusion.

Logical Fallicies:
Slippery slope: This is a conclusion based on the premise that if A happens, then eventually through a series of small steps, through B, C,..., X, Y, Z will happen, too, basically equating A and Z. So, if we don't want Z to occur, A must not be allowed to occur either.

Hasty Generalization: This is a conclusion based on insufficient or biased evidence. In other words, you are rushing to a conclusion before you have all the relevant facts.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc: This is a conclusion that assumes that if 'A' occurred after 'B' then 'B' must have caused 'A.'

Genetic Fallacy: A conclusion is based on an argument that the origins of a person, idea, institute, or theory determine its character, nature, or worth.

Begging the Claim: The conclusion that the writer should prove is validated within the claim.

Circular Argument: This restates the argument rather than actually proving it.

Either/or: This is a conclusion that oversimplifies the argument by reducing it to only two sides or choices.

Ad hominem: This is an attack on the character of a person rather than their opinions or arguments.

Ad populum: This is an emotional appeal that speaks to positive (such as patriotism, religion, democracy) or negative (such as terrorism or fascism) concepts rather than the real issue at hand.

Red Herring: This is a diversionary tactic that avoids the key issues, often by avoiding opposing arguments rather than addressing them.

Straw Man: This move oversimplifies an opponent's viewpoint and then attacks that hollow argument.

Moral Equivalence: This fallacy compares minor misdeeds with major atrocities.

True:
Premise 1: Non-renewable resources do not exist in infinite supply.
Premise 2: Coal is a non-renewable resource.
Conclusion: Coal does not exist in infinite supply.

Premise 1: All monkeys are primates.
Premise 2: All primates are mammals.
Conclusions: Monkeys are mammals.

False:
Premise 1: Mice like cheese.
Premise 2: Brad likes cheese.
Conclusion: Brad is a mouse.

Premise 1: Lenny runs fast.
Premise 2: Cheetahs run fast.
Conclusion: Lenny is a cheetah.

katelyn said...

Logic is a formal system of analysis that helps writers invent, demonstrate, and prove arguments.

Definitions..
Premise: Proposition used as evidence in an argument.

Conclusion: Logical result of the relationship between the premises. Conclusions serve as the thesis of the argument.

Argument: The assertion of a conclusion based on logical premises.

Syllogism: The simplest sequence of logical premises and conclusions, devised by Aristotle.

Enthymeme: A shortened syllogism which omits the first premise, allowing the audience to fill it in. For example, "Socrates is mortal because he is a human" is an enthymeme which leaves all the premise "All humans are mortal."

Induction: A process through which the premises provide some basis for the conclusion.

Deduction: A process through which the premises provide conclusive proof for the conclusion.

12 types of Locical fallicies..

Slippery slope- This is a conclusion based on the premise that if A happens, then eventually through a series of small steps, through B, C,..., X, Y, Z will happen, too.

Hasty Generalization: This is a conclusion based on insufficient or biased evidence.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc: This is a conclusion that assumes that if 'A' occurred after 'B' then 'B' must have caused 'A.'

Genetic Fallacy: A conclusion is based on an argument that the origins of a person, idea, institute, or theory determine its character, nature, or worth.

Begging the Claim: The conclusion that the writer should prove is validated within the claim.

Circular Argument: This restates the argument rather than actually proving it.

Either/or: This is a conclusion that oversimplifies the argument by reducing it to only two sides or choices.

Ad hominem: This is an attack on the character of a person rather than their opinions or arguments.

Ad populum: This is an emotional appeal that speaks to positive (such as patriotism, religion, democracy) or negative (such as terrorism or fascism) concepts rather than the real issue at hand.

Red Herring: This is a diversionary tactic that avoids the key issues, often by avoiding opposing arguments rather than addressing them.

Straw Man: This move oversimplifies an opponent's viewpoint and then attacks that hollow argument.

Moral Equivalence: This fallacy compares minor misdeeds with major atrocities.

True:
The Jack Fund will pay for all neutering costs of male dogs over the age of 1 year old.
Sadie is a male dog 2 years old.
Therefore The Jack Fund will pay for all of Sadie’s neutering costs.


The loggers will cut down every tree in the forest.
There is a historical 200 year old tree in the forest.
Therefore, the loggers will cut down the historical 200 year old tree.

False:
All men have blue eyes.
Megan has blue eyes.
Therefore, Megan is a man.

All LG Rumors are camera phones.
Nextel has a camera.
Therefore, Nextel is a LG Rumor.


I liked this piece. I like how it made you think. My favorite part was making up my own premises.

Chy Fox said...

I remember doing this in class. Pretty confusing. But I liked it none the less. Its funny, how you can be smart yet still have "logic" to learn. But I guess we never stop learning...? Overcoming deception to think clearly has definitly been a goal for me. I wish I could think more logically about things that make me angry, maybe then I wouldn't get so upset. Interesting.