Logic – Who needs it?

Today I started the course Introduction to Logic, at the Tom Wood’s Liberty Classroom. 

Here I’m sharing the notes I took, and what I learned:

  • Aristotle hit upon the idea that the goodness or badness of arguments is independent of their content.
  • There is a small number of types of arguments that are good.
  • When arguments are simple and their subjects uncontroversial, most people get it right.  When they become complex (by introducing semantic complexity, or negations) and/or when the subject matter of the argument is controversial, our native intuitions are prone to error.
  • The heart of logic is inference.
  • Logic is first and foremost, the study of formal argumentation.
  • It’s called formal argumentation because it focuses on the form or structure of the argument, rather than on its content (Aristotelian logic).
  • Formal logic is very powerful, but it’s only part of a wider context for argumentation.

To answer the question of who needs logic. Gerard Casey puts it in one simple sentence: Anyone who wants to think straight and argue well.