Logic [part ed: Benjamin Martin]
This thread will be for discussions related to the Logic part of Introduction to Philosophy. See the full project summary.
This part provides an overview of logic as the study of arguments, introducing important logical terms, tools, and distinctions. Since philosophy is primarily concerned with providing arguments for claims, and evaluating those arguments, it is tantamount that we understand what arguments are, how to recognise them, and how to go about evaluating them. The five chapters of this part aim to provide some of this fundamental information. The five chapters are: i) What is Logic? ii) Evaluating Arguments; iii) Necessary and Sufficient Conditions; iv) Informal Fallacies; v) Formal Logic in Philosophy.
How to participate:
We’re currently looking for authors for the five chapters in this part. Each chapter will be roughly 3000 words.
If you’d like to claim a chapter, check out the outline below, add your name, and comment to let us know which chapter you are interested in taking on.
Part Outline – This doc gives an overview of the part and details each of the chapters to be written
Chapter Assignments – Want to claim a chapter? Add your name to this doc.
Author Guide – Read this guide to find out more about what committing to author a chapter involves.
@apurva Although I don’t consider myself qualified enough as a chapter author on logic I be happy to do some proofreading and/or reviewing for this particular section.
@jan.arreman Great! We’re still in the early stages with this part, but I will reach out to you when we get to reviewing/proofreading. Watch this space!
The first chapter or two of forallx might be useful starting points, if they can’t be used directly for sections 1, 2, and 5. It’s BY-SA but I asked the author and he’d agree to let it be used & distributed under CC BY. It’s in LaTeX so would have to be converted, which I can probably do if there is interest. There’s a list of all the open logic texts I know about.
Re: section 3, necessary and sufficient conditions, I recommend anyone who’s going to write this to consult this paper.
@rzach Thanks for sharing these resources, Richard! The forall x book seems like a great staring point, and I appreciate your offering to convert it from LaTeX (if need be). It’s certainly helpful to have a list of other free or open logic textbooks. I’m sure @benjamin-martin will be able to chip in on how the text might fit in the sections you mentioned.
@apurva Add to that list of open logic books my own, which I just finished polishing up a couple of weeks ago:
It’s CC-BY, so ready to be harvested as needed. Also, it’s meant to be used for a broad-based intro to logic/critical reasoning course, rather than a course focused on just modern deductive logic, so it may contain discussions of basic notions more suitable for our audience.
@knachel I recall @benjamin-martin joking how hard it was for him to fit everything on this topic into a manageable part, seeing as entire books have been written on Logic. I think your book would be an excellent resource for chapter authors to use or point towards! Thanks for sharing Matt, and congratulations!
Just a note to say we are actively seeking comments on the part outline that is linked in the general thread description, above. Please read and leave comments on the doc or on this thread! We’ll move forward on the outline to seek chapter authors soon. Thanks!
@rzach Thanks for sharing the resources, Richard. I’m a big fan of forallx, and Magnus’s original seems to have introductory information on arguments and their evaluation than other versions I was aware of, such as Button’s. We’ll definitely point section authors in its direction for inspiration.
Thanks for sharing for the Varek paper, also. Maybe yet another good motivation for a stronger conditional!
@knachel Thank you for sharing your textbook, Matt, and congratulations! I’ve downloaded it, and will give it a look over the weekend. Please let us know if you would like to offer a particular part of it up to serve as a section in this textbook.
@benjamin.martin Any part that you think might be useful can be used for the textbook. I have material that could be a part of any of your proposed chapter, except, I suppose, the one on necessary and sufficient conditions.
The main challenge I see is the word-limits. For example, my chapter 4 covers the basics of sentential logic–syntax, truth-functional semantics, translation, truth-table test for validity–and it comes in at about 16,000 words. I’m not sure how one gets that down to 3,000. If the goal is to get the student to the point of understanding how this logic can identify formal fallacies, that means truth tables; and to get to those, a whole lot of preliminary work has to be done.
I would be happy to help with esp. chapter v, though I won’t be able to take lead. I did a lot of work on Forallx: Calgary remix with @rzach, and have taught a class using that book. I could also help with proofreading/copyediting any of this, and have enough knowledge to comment on any of it.
Wonderful, thanks @athomasb! We’ll see who else shows an interest in chapter v and put you in touch. Your input will be great to have.
@athomasb Thanks for offering to help, Aaron. We’ll let you know as soon as we get some chapter drafts, or some potential collaborators.
@knachel I agree about the challenge of word-limits, particularly with ch. v. The aim of that chapter is to introduce the concept of formal logic, and what one should expect when they come into contact with a purely logic textbook, such as yours. I mentioned in the part outline that it would be better to use propositional logic in examples, as it is still used by the community. However, for the reasons you give, some toy syllogistic logic examples may be better to communicate the idea of formal logic as the study of argument forms.
I’ve now read the first two chapters of Fundamental Methods and its great, really clear. Would you be happy to adapt part of Fundamental Methods’ Ch. 1 for either Ch. i or ii of the textbook?