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Logic

Grape
Posts: 989
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6/26/2011 10:36:22 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
How hard are it?

This is not a sarcastic comment regarding my debate with izbo10. I am considering signing up for Logic 103 at Tufts this fall. Supposedly it is very hard (but I have no idea how smart the people who reported back to me on it are). I can also sign up for Logic 33, which is an easier course (courses numbered 0-99 are intro/immediate and 100-199 are advanced). Logic 33 is not required for and is very similar to Logic 103. You are not allowed to take both, though I am told if I asked nicely they would let me take 103 after taking 33. Seems like that would make 33 a waste of time, though.

Both courses claim to cover sentential logic, first order predicate logic, identity theory, and definite descriptions. That's vague. The descriptions generally suck.

How hard could a course in logic for people with no prior knowledge be? This is not a rhetorical question, I would seriously like to know. I am not sure if taking this as a first semester freshman is a good idea, but it's not offered often and hard to get in to so I'd like to while I have the chance.

I consider myself a bit of a smarty pants and all of my other courses sound relatively easy. I need to complete a 3 class "culture" requirement, so I'm doing classical culture and getting it all out of the way at once. I have a course on ancient political philosophy, another on Egyptian mythology, and another on ancient Greek history for the rest of my schedule. I might take one more course (Intermediate Latin, to complete my language requirement?), but I'm not sure.

inb4 don't take philosophy courses. You will not convince me to major in engineering so don't bother trying.
Sieben
Posts: 2,736
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6/26/2011 10:39:12 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
If they teach it in a class, it is not hard.

Except for certain engineering classes. But you won't have to deal with those.
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LaissezFaire
Posts: 2,050
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6/26/2011 10:59:08 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
It depends. Are you good at math? I've taken a class that I assume is similar to what you're talking about (covers the same subjects, at least), and it's really more of a math class than a philosophy class. Almost entirely proof based.

(Proofs as in:
P1: ~P
P2: P v Q
C: Q
Except way more complicated--some of the ones I had to do were 50-60 steps long.)
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: At 6/22/2011 6:57:23 PM, el-badgero wrote:
: i didn't like [Obama]. he was the only black dude in moneygall yet he claimed to be home. obvious liar is obvious liar. i bet him and bin laden are bumfvcking right now.
BennyW
Posts: 698
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6/26/2011 11:02:13 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
If izbo10 is the teacher, it is probably confusing. For me though I am bad at math, yet logic is an area that relates to math that I am no bad a, I consider it the bridge between Math and Philosophy.
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It's pretty lazy to quote things you disagree with, call it stupid and move on, rather than arguing with the person. -000ike
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
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6/26/2011 11:18:48 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/26/2011 10:36:22 PM, Grape wrote:

How hard could a course in logic for people with no prior knowledge be?

For people, very, for you, trivial. The only thing I would suggest is not to cram, this type of material doesn't lend itself well to it.
Grape
Posts: 989
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6/27/2011 12:54:56 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
The grades consist of six homework assignments which apparently take a very long time to do and an open book final exam. The professor suggests you plan to spend eight hours a week on the course (this is probably a maximum, as every professor I've met loves to think his course is harder than it is).

I am basically wondering how much detail they would go into. For instance, LF, what would a problem on your final look like? The only thing I learned about the class is that it covers all of prepositional calculus (which looks easy). I am not as familiar with first order predicate logic and it looks more difficult, although still not much more difficult. I know very little about definite descriptions and nothing about identity theory.

I suspect I can learn a lot of the material from Wikipedia and various other sources before the semester even starts, but the presentation is never very good :/
belle
Posts: 4,113
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6/27/2011 1:00:10 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
its not that hard if you're good at math, but a lot of people find it difficult. when i took it the class started out with 50+ people, and by the final there were only 7 of us left. personally i didn't think it was hard at all, but it was a community college class, so i think most of the people there just weren't serious about it. i also had several friends take it at UC Davis, and got pretty much the same feedback. those who were good at math had no problem with it, those who weren't struggled. i think you'll be fine.
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
LaissezFaire
Posts: 2,050
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6/27/2011 1:54:34 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/27/2011 12:54:56 AM, Grape wrote:
I am basically wondering how much detail they would go into. For instance, LF, what would a problem on your final look like? The only thing I learned about the class is that it covers all of prepositional calculus (which looks easy).
Here's an example prepositional calculus problem I found:

Question:
Premise 1: P>(Q>R)
P2: P>~R
Show that P>~Q

Solution:
1. P>(Q>R) [Premise]
2. P>~R [P]
3. | P [Assume]
4. | | Q [As]
5. | | Q>R [From 1+4]
6. | | R [4+5]
7. | | P [3]
8. | | ~R [2+7]
9. | | Contradiction [6+8]
1. | ~Q [Since assuming Q leads to a contradiction, you have ~Q]
1. P>~Q [Since assuming P leads to ~Q, you have P>~Q] QED
(above are 10 and 11, but did 1 so the bars would line up)

The vertical bars are layers of assumptions. On really complicated problems, this can go on for like 50 steps and 4-5 layers of assumptions.
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: At 6/22/2011 6:57:23 PM, el-badgero wrote:
: i didn't like [Obama]. he was the only black dude in moneygall yet he claimed to be home. obvious liar is obvious liar. i bet him and bin laden are bumfvcking right now.
LaissezFaire
Posts: 2,050
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6/27/2011 2:08:28 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
If you need any help with this stuff in the fall, feel free to PM me. I loved doing those problems when I was in that class.
Should we subsidize education?
http://www.debate.org...

http://mises.org...

http://lewrockwell.com...

http://antiwar.com...

: At 6/22/2011 6:57:23 PM, el-badgero wrote:
: i didn't like [Obama]. he was the only black dude in moneygall yet he claimed to be home. obvious liar is obvious liar. i bet him and bin laden are bumfvcking right now.
Meatros
Posts: 1,075
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6/27/2011 6:53:33 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/26/2011 10:36:22 PM, Grape wrote:

How hard could a course in logic for people with no prior knowledge be? This is not a rhetorical question, I would seriously like to know. I am not sure if taking this as a first semester freshman is a good idea, but it's not offered often and hard to get in to so I'd like to while I have the chance.


There's an intro to logic book that comes with a CD, which helped me out immensely. I would suggest getting it, to cover 'intro' logical systems (Aristetilian, bolean, propositional). That would give you a decent foundation and would probably take you a few weeks if you put in an hour a day or so.
Rob1_Billion
Posts: 1,300
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6/27/2011 11:25:23 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I'm not good at math, and I got a B in sentencial logic. Proofs aren't the whole curriculum, after all. There are things like truth charts (I think they are called) as well which aren't as intensive. Logic is pretty fun, although once I learned how utterly useless it was I wasn't so impressed. Any normal dialogue is far, far too complex for any logical framework to apprehend. Hell, we can't even define our words, never mind find truth in their relationships.

Logic is essentially useless, other than mental exercise in an interdisciplinary type of degree. If you're going on to a graduate degree in philosophy, you will absolutely need it. If that particular goal is not in your future, then it's something fun to say you did, which will give you a little pride in the company of intellectual elitists, but that's about it.

I think people aspire to logic too much in casual dialogue, actually. I hear a lot of formal logical fallacies thrown around on DDO, but they are usually the product of mis-understanding then actual logical truth. If you say "X" and I say "that's logical fallacy Y," then it's much more likely that X wasn't communicated effectively (regardless of who's fault it is) than it is that you actually made a blatant logical error.
kfc
vbaculum
Posts: 1,274
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6/27/2011 12:02:35 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I agree with Rob1. I got a book on logic and started teaching myself all about truth tables and the operators and such. I liked a lot of it because some of it is like computer programming. I also find it useful to be able to express and understand ideas using logical language like the example someone posted above:
P1: P ^ Q
P2: ~Q
C : P

(or something like that)

After that basic stuff, I started to get the distinct impression that I was simply learning for the sake of learning and what I was learning would never be applicable. So I skipped to the book's chapter on logical fallacies (which was the best part) and put the book down after that.

Maybe some day I will get interested in something the great logicians (like Russel or Spinoza) were saying and read the book in its entirety.
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

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Rob1_Billion
Posts: 1,300
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6/27/2011 12:58:56 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
... yeah and the logical fallacies are overrated, at least IMO. If you are anything at all good at debating, then you aren't going to be helped by a list of logical fallacies - all they are going to do is give you a convenient and neat little package for you to box up your opponent's argument into, instead of explaining in detail why they are being illogical. The problem with this is that now instead of giving examples, analogies, etc. as to why the opponent is wrong, we just get a short phrase like "begging the question." While succinctness is always appreciated, it can be inappropriate and disrespectful if you don't give a good enough explanation as to exactly why your opponent is committing this fallacy.

If debating wasn't so contingent on communication, this might not be the case. I'd say, however, that 9/10ths of an argument is just to get the idea across, while only 1/10th has to do with actually arguing.
kfc
Procrastarian
Posts: 21
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6/28/2011 3:25:02 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I don't think you need to worry about doing well grade-wise in the class if you put in an honest effort. Going in you will definitely have a leg up on more than 90% of the class from your time on this site. I've read many of your debates and I seriously doubt intelligence would be a problem. You also have access to tons of people who have mastered the sorts of things you'll learn, so if you get really stuck you always have somewhere to turn. The only advantage of the easier class seems to be that it might give you more free time, but if philosophy is what you're interested in the harder course sounds like a better bet since it's sure to teach you more.

Advantages:
- Learn more
- Probably more interesting or at least mentally stimulating
- Be better prepared for future courses (after a really hard course normal courses feel easier)

Disadvantages:
- More work (Only a disadvantage if you dislike the work)
- Less free time

Those are my two cents. Hope it helps!
nonentity
Posts: 5,008
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6/28/2011 2:27:21 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I'm taking Logic in the Winter term in the upcoming school year. I had no clue math would be involved :/ I haven't take a math course since Grade 12 (other than Stats)...
Rob1_Billion
Posts: 1,300
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6/28/2011 5:01:01 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/28/2011 2:27:21 PM, nonentity wrote:
I'm taking Logic in the Winter term in the upcoming school year. I had no clue math would be involved :/ I haven't take a math course since Grade 12 (other than Stats)...

There is no "math involved." It simply uses that side of your brain, that's all... that part of your mind that has to think outside the box in order to get the correct answer, so to speak. Also, your logic course may not be sentencial logic based; not all are.
kfc
Tiel
Posts: 1,500
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6/30/2011 5:46:21 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Education in logic can be quite useful. Logical conclusions are the building blocks of intelligence and wisdom.

I hope you do well in the class Grape. I wish you luck.
"Only the inner force of curiosity and wonder about the unknown, or an outer force upon your free will, can brake the shackles of your current perception."