What Is Logic



According to Johnson (2007), "Logic can be defined as the study of the concepts and principles of good reasoning" (p. 1). Similarly, Priest (2000) posited that "Logic is the study of what counts as good reason for what, and why" (p. 1). However, I'm not fond of the word "good" in either of these definitions - that feels like a value judgement to me. I prefer the definition provided by Gensler (2002) - "Logic can be defined as the analysis and appraisal of arguments" (p. 1). That removes the value judgement of "good" or "bad" and brings it more towards a "correct" or "incorrect" stance - one involving emotionless evaluation of the facts before the readers.

I belonged to Toastmasters - a debate group - in high school and enjoy having discussions in the groups I belong to now. We often have quite different points of view on an issue, and we enjoy presenting arguments and examining each others' statements. We pay attention to the validity of the arguments we present and that we listen to.

I find logic is about maintaining a consistent, cohesive, correct set of statements from start to finish, that results in a conclusion which is fully supported. Logic is beautiful to me. It is like a myriad of instruments coming together to create a finished symphony, where each part is balanced and supports the whole.

The books I enjoy reading are often based on logic. Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, they all rely on the reader being able to follow along the trail of logical clues to come to the correct conclusion. The joy in reading these books is the ability to understand the logical progression, to trace the steps in the argument and see how they come together for the end result. As an author myself, this is the high bar I strive to meet.

Logic in running my websites is absolutely necessary. I want to deal fairly with each editor and treat each editor equally with all others. Logic is key in that - the ability to show my editors that how things are managed are ethical, fair, and able to be understood.

It is great fun to learn more about logic and how it can be cleanly implemented in a variety of situations.

References

Gensler, Harry. (2002). Introduction to Logic. New York, NY: Routledge.
Johnson, Robert M. (2007). A Logic Book. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cenage Learning.
Priest, Graham. (2000). Logic: A Very Short Introduction. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

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