Logic equips individuals with the required skills to identify errors, known as fallacies in an argument. Logic generally studies the relations the mind creates between different products or contents of intellectual knowledge; that is perceptions, propositions and arguments, and seeks to understand the different relations, which arise in the human mind when it knows things. This comprehensible course on logic is divided into two parts: the second part (sections III and IV) on formal logic focus on the core aspects of categorical syllogisms.
Course code: FIXEN022
The term Epistemology comes from the Greek word epistēmē, meaning ‘knowledge’.
Sections of the course
The first section of the course focusses on the nature and definition of logic through an examination some of its core elements as a branch of philosophy. Some of the questions answered by the first section include: What is logic (or philosophy of logic)? What is the scope of logic? What are the major forms or types of logic? What is Aristotelian logic? Why is Aristotle important in the study of logic? What is the difference between logic and epistemology? While some of the definitions of logic will be cited, it will be clear that Philosophers have historically provided divergent but related definitions of logic. A student of logic should be able to construct a personal working definition of logic by the end of the first section.
The second section discuss fallacies. The earliest methodical study of fallacies has been credited to Aristotle in his Sophistical Refutationswhere helists thirteen types of fallacies. In Medieval Europe, the systematic study of fallacies became prominent – this explains why several fallacies have Latin names. Based on the renewed interest in the study of disciplines such as philosophy, logic, rhetoric and artificial intelligence in the later twentieth century, the systematic study of fallacies was again renewed. As a result, there are now hundreds of fallacies that scholars discuss in divergent textbooks and articles. The aim of this section is to introduce one to the theme of fallacies by attempting to answer the following questions: What is a fallacy? What are the classifications of fallacies? What are the most common formal fallacies? Because formal fallacies are discussed in the second part of this course under the rules of syllogisms, the discussion in this section will focus on informal fallacies. Given that there are far too many informal fallacies, only common ones will be discussed.