Why do we need to learn the laws of logic, and is it so important for the development of logical thinking? By and large, a reasonable person can speak very clearly and logically correctly even without knowledge of the science of logic.
But if you want to learn to identify logical errors (your own and others’), then some basics of logic you still have to learn.
The eminent philosopher John Stuart Mill wrote:
«…Logic dispels the fog that hides our ignorance from us and makes us think we understand a subject when we do not. I am convinced that nothing is more useful in modern education for producing accurate thinkers than logic.»
Fundamentals of Logic
In this article, we will cover the essence of formal logic, the 4 basic laws of logic, and the tools that logic has at its disposal in as concise and accurate a manner as possible.
At the end you will be able to take one of the best logic tests that will give an objective assessment of your logical thinking. After that, we recommend reading about cognitive distortions, or thinking errors.
What is logic
Logic is the science of the forms and laws of correct thinking. Logic appeared approximately in the 4th century B.C. in ancient Greece. Its creator is considered the famous ancient Greek philosopher and scholar Aristotle.
One of the main tasks of logic is to determine how to come to a conclusion from the premises and to obtain true knowledge about the subject of thought. It is an interesting fact that in any science, logic serves as one of the basic tools.
It must be said at once that logic does not study the content of thinking, but only its forms. That is, it is not interested in what we reason about, but how we do it. This is why it is called formal logic.
To make it easier to understand, here’s an example. There are two expressions:
all humans walk on two legs;
all aliens move on all fours.
In terms of content, the first example is quite correct, while the second looks simply inadequate. However, for logic, these are two equally valid statements that have the same form:
all A is B.
We hope that you understand why Aristotelian logic is called formal logic.