Category Archives: Logic

On Vulcans And Androids

Science fiction has made popular a certain trope concerning us logicians. The common depiction is that logic is somehow cold and calculating, the activity of a merely robotic kind of intelligence. In the original Star Trek, Dr. Spock captures this stereotype with his pointy-eared precision. In The Next Generation, the role is taken over by […]

The Surprising Logic of the World

Surprising Logic of the World

A logic teacher often encounters the complaint that logic is not useful, that being so abstract it is detached from the real issues of life. The student must memorize names (in Latin, of course) for basic patterns, and the examples of these patterns all seem to involve Socrates somehow. Students are made to work through […]

How to Teach Logic

How to teach logic

Every subject that is systematic has a certain inherent order to it that dictates how it should be approached. In some subjects this order is more explicit than others. In mathematics, for example, there is a widely acknowledged sequence in terms of what should be learned and when it should be taught. In other subjects, […]

Why Logic?

Formal Logic

When you begin to study a subject, it is always helpful to know two things: first, what it is you intend to study and, second, why it is important to study it. When it comes to the study of logic, you must have some idea what logic is, and what a study of logic consists […]

Lord, Liar, or Lunatic

Lord, Liar

Some of the most interesting things to study when it comes to logic are the arguments for the existence of God. They come in all shapes and sizes. There is the Ontological Argument, which argues from the very idea of God to His real existence. There is the Cosmological Argument, which argues from the fact […]

Philosophers: 1, Scientists: 0

hilosophers: 1, Scientists: 0

There are some questions we ask of science that it is ill-equipped to answer. The question of how human beings are different from animals is one. I thought about this when I read Kevin Laland’s article in a recent issue of Scientific American. “[H]ard scientific data have been amassed across fields ranging from ecology to […]

Stephen Hawking’s Many Universes

Why Logic?

Stephen Hawking once pronounced that he thought his brain was little more than a computer and that, because of this, he was unafraid to die: “I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story […]

The Four Questions You Can Ask About Anything

Four Questions

The most basic thing we can ask about anything is “What is it?” Young children explicitly ask this question all the time. But even adults do it, although they may not do it explicitly, or even think about doing it at all. We ask this about words we don’t know, and things we encounter for […]