This article deals with Basic Concepts of Logic. This segment is captured from ‘Traditional logic: An introduction’ by Dr. Oriare Nyarwath. Logic is the study of the principles of reasoning. Reasoning is a process through which an inference is made from other words. In other words, it is a process of drawing conclusion from other propositions called premises. Therefore, in Basic Concepts of Logic, the study of reasoning is the study of arguments.
Arguments as Basic Concepts of Logic
An argument is a set of propositions in which one of the proportions is claimed to be established on the basis of the truth of the other propositions either necessarily or by some probability as Basic Concepts of Logic. The one whose truth is asserted on the basis of the truth of the others is called a conclusion while those whose truth provides the basis for the truth of the conclusion are called premises.
Therefore arguments as Basic Concepts of Logic can as well be defined as sets of propositions and a conclusion. Since a conclusion is drawn or inferred from premises, an argument then must have at least two propositions, one being a premise and the other a conclusion, but at most an infinite number of premises and conclusions. E.g. since we are in the month of December, next month must be January. In this example, the premise is ‘we are in the month of December’ and ‘next month is January’ is the conclusion.
A proposition is a sentence that is either true or false. The condition of a sentence being either true or false is called the true value in Basic Concepts of Logic. A proposition therefore is a statement that has truth value. E.g. Kenya is an African country. From the example, we see that propositions are declarative sentences as opposed to interrogative sentences (question) and the other types of sentences.
Propositions as Basic Concepts in Logic can either be simple or compound. Simple propositions as basic concepts of logic are normally categorical. Compound propositions are hypothetical. They can either be conditional, disjunctive, conjunctive or biconditional.
- Conditional are in the form of ‘if p, then q.’
- Disjunctive are in the form of ‘either p or q.’
- Conjunctive are in the form of ‘both p and q.’
- Biconditional are in the form of ‘p if and only if q.’
Kinds of arguments as Basic Concepts of Logic
From our definition of arguments as Basic Concepts of Logic, we can discern two types of arguments:-
Deductive arguments as Basic Concepts of Logic are the ones in which there is a claim that the truth of the premises if granted imply the truth of the conclusion. E.g.
A living thing must die.
All human beings are living things.
Therefore, human beings must die.
Deductive arguments can be valid or invalid. Validity in Basic Concepts of Logic is considered when the structure and relationship between the premises and conclusion is in question. When the structure and relationship is good, then the argument is valid. E.g. of an invalid argument;
All Africans are black.
All Kenyans are black.
Therefore all Kenyans are Africans.
Deductive arguments can also be sound or unsound. Soundness is considered when the truth of the premises is in question. A sound argument in Basic Concepts of Logic is one that has all its premises being actually true.
Inductive arguments as Basic Concepts of Logic are the ones in which there is a claim that the truth of the premises if granted imply that the conclusion is only probably true. E.g.
Most luo like eating fish.
Mangla likes eating fish.
Therefore, probably Mangla is a luo.
Inductive arguments can be strong or weak. Strength in Basic Concepts of Logic is considered when the probability of the conclusion being true is in question. When the probability is high, the argument is said to be strong. E.g. of a weak argument;
There are 50 students in the logic class.
10 of them are poor in logic.
Therefore, probably all the 50 students are poor in logic.
Inductive arguments can also be cogent or uncogent. Cogency is considered when the strength and truth of an inductive argument are in question. A cogent argument in basic concepts of logic is one that is strong and has all its premises being actually true.
Basic Concepts of Logic are important in Business Training in Kenya
Conclusion on Basic Concepts of Logic
The aim of an argument is to establish or justify the truth of its conclusion and consequently have it accepted. If an argument fails to justify the truth of its conclusion then it fails to achieve its aim in Basic Concepts of Logic.