Online Class: Introduction to Logic

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Course Description

One of the very earliest forms of academic study, long before science was even a thing and gods were still believed to reside in the mountains, was the examination into logic. Nowadays, the concept of logic seems to just mean an ability to apply rational thought, but in reality, logic is much more than that. Logic is the system of rules that governs what is rational, and what is not.

In this course, we will introduce many of the concepts that are involved in various forms of logical study. We will examine both formal and informal logic, differentiate between inductive and deductive reasoning, and take a look at some of the more advanced schools of logic. Because formal logic is a study focused on taking the colloquial out of any statements and reducing them to a pure abstract, some of the following lessons will involve an introduction to some of the formal systems and languages involved. For the most part, though, this introductory course will try to relate as many concepts as possible using plain English, in order to make the lessons more accessible and comprehensible. In this course, we will also review a number of paradoxes and fallacies that are inherent in logic, as well as some of the history and the applications possible with logic.

The aim of this course is not to give a comprehensive understanding of logic, as that would take a number of very involved degrees. Hopefully, it will leave you with a clearer understanding of logic, both in the abstract, and that you can apply to everyday life.

Take a moment and ask yourself what you think the word "logic" means. If you were to ask the average person, they might say that it means reason, or common sense. Certainly, it's something to do with intelligence, they would say. In reality, like words in every language, the common use of the word logic has evolved. The way most people commonly use logic is quite different than the classical definition of the word; both would be considered proper uses of the word, but it is the latter that forms the foundation for an entire field of study. So in order to progress this course on logic, we first have to establish exactly what it is that logic is.

What is Logic?

Put as simply as possible, logic is the study of constructing and deconstructing an argument that something is true or false. A set of consistent rules are established, and applying those rules to any particular argument determines whether the argument is valid or invalid. Logic cannot be applied to any statements that do not have a binary answer; a statement must be capable of being proven true or false for logic to be applied to it.

Language and Logic

Logic is primarily involved with the thought process behind determining whether something is true or not. Because thought processes are fundamentally abstract, logic is fundamentally based upon the language a concept is expressed in. The language itself doesn't matter; many of the first rational arguments were conducted in Greek, so their logic was based upon Greek. The concepts and examples we will discuss in this course will be in English, but the principles could be extended to any other language. There is a fundamental issue with language, however: language changes. Words evolve, sometimes over the course of centuries, sometimes much sooner. Dialects form in different regions, making the same sentence in one region mean an entirely different thing somewhere else. Because language cannot provide a rigid structure for logical arguments, there have been a number of attempts to create logical systems that are not reliant upon language.

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  • 6 Months to Complete
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  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

Course Lessons

Average Lesson Rating:
4.2 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
"Extraordinarily Helpful"
(172 votes)

Lesson 1: Introduction to Logic

Put as simply as possible, logic is the study of constructing and deconstructing an argument that something is true or false. A set of consistent rules are established, and applying those rules to any particular argument determines whether the argument is valid or invalid. Additional lesson topics: The Basics of Philosophy; Philosophy of Logic; Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy 11 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Reasons for Taking this Course
  • Complete Assignment: My Logic for Taking this Course...
  • Assessment: Lesson 1 Exam

Lesson 2: The History of Logic

Unlike advancements in a field such as physics, where new discoveries often supplant established knowledge, the progressing study of logic has been more about building off of previous knowledge than disproving it. Additional lesson topics: Brittanica: History of Logic 8 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 2 Exam

Lesson 3: Argumentation Theory

When you think of an argument, you probably don't conjure up a very pleasant image. Possibly it's one with lots of shouting, perhaps some stuff being thrown around Arguing has a very negative, confrontational connotation to it. Additional lesson topics: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Informal Logic; Argumentation Theory; Argumentation Theory: A Very Short Introduction 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 3 Exam

Lesson 4: Formal vs. Informal Logic

Logic falls into two broad categories: formal logic, and informal logic. The names formal and informal, however, imply a somewhat different meaning to a modern audience than is actually intended. Additional lesson topics: Deductive Reasoning vs. Inductive Reasoning; The Relationship Between Formal and Informal Reasoning 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 4 Exam

Lesson 5: Syllogisms and Propositions

Syllogisms are arguments made out of three statements: two premises and a conclusion. Additional lesson topics: Syllogism Made Easy 8 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 5 Exam

Lesson 6: Logical Form

By now, you've probably noticed a common trend in a lot of these topics relating to the core of logic. Logic is based on some really simple concepts; so simple that you might think that they weren't really something that needed clarification. Additional lesson topics: What is Logical Form?; Logical Form and Formal Validity; Logical Form 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 6 Exam

Lesson 7: Natural Deduction

Natural deduction is a form of proving conclusions based exclusively on given hypotheses and nothing else. Fundamentally, it is a form of writing out an argument in an abstract way, with the only relevant aspects of the equation being the hypotheses, the conclusion, and the relation between them. Additional lesson topics: Natural Deduction for Propositional Logic; Propositional Connective 7 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 7 Exam

Lesson 8: Modal Logic

As early as Aristotle's first text on syllogisms, he explored the idea of modal syllogisms. There was never a complete system that was able to introduce those different modes, though. Additional lesson topics: Modal Logic: A Contemporary View; Modal Logic Explained; A Brief Introduction to Modal Logic 7 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 8 Exam

Lesson 9: Statistics and Probability

While it may not seem like it, the concept of uncertainty is one that is fundamental to the idea of logic. Most of the syllogisms that we have discussed are quite certain in their assertions. Additional lesson topics: Probability and Logc; Bayesian Logic 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 9 Exam

Lesson 10: Methods of Inductive Reasoning

Inductive reasoning is when you build a generalized conclusion from forming a case out of specific pieces of evidence, as opposed to deductive reasoning, which is when you use a general truth to identify truths about specific entities. There are a number of different established methods of using inductive reasoning to arrive at answers. Additional lesson topics: Deductive and Inductive Arguments; Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: The Problem of Induction; Mill's Methods 8 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 10 Exam

Lesson 11: Formal Logical Fallacies

A fallacy is a failure in reasoning that leads to a false conclusion. In terms of an argument, using a fallacy means that you have an invalid argument. Additional lesson topics: Rhetorical Fallacies; Logically Fallacious; false cause fallacy 8 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 11 Exam

Lesson 12: Informal Logical Fallacies

In this lesson, the fallacies will have to stand on their own merit, as there is no discernible issue when these arguments are represented using variables. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 12 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 12 Exam

Lesson 13: Paradoxes

There are, in fact, two different "types" of paradoxes, or, although I might be imitating a certain Scotsman here, there is only one "true" type of paradox, and a false paradox, also known as falsidical. 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 13 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 13 Exam

Lesson 14: Can Logic Be Trusted?

As the classical period gave birth to a period of unprecedented comfort and safety, and thus, unprecedented amounts of people with time on their hands to actually think about the nature of existence, this became one of the first questions to be pondered. Additional lesson topics: Philosophy and Christian Ideology; Reason and Faith; Theory and Observation in Science; Logic in religious and non-religious belief systems; Medieval Philosophy 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 14 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 14 Exam

Lesson 15: Practical Applications of Logic

As we near the end of this introduction to logic, one question might be on your mind. What was the point of all this? Is there something that all this discussion of logic has actually gotten us as a society, or is it all just more and more refined ways of defining and capturing thought experiments. 88 Total Points
  • Lesson 15 Video
  • Lesson discussions: End of Course Poll; Course Comments; Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
  • Assessment: Lesson 15 Exam
  • Assessment: The Final Exam
Total Course Points

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Describe what logic is and why it's important to know.
  • Summarize the history of logic.
  • Define argumentation theory.
  • Define informal logic.
  • Define syllogisms and propositions.
  • Define logical form.
  • Describe natural deduction.
  • Describe modal logic.
  • Describe statistics and probability.
  • Describe methods of inductive reasoning.
  • Describe formal logical fallacies.
  • Describe informal logical fallacies.
  • Describe paradoxes.
  • Describe practical applications of logic.
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Additional Course Information

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Course Title: Introduction to Logic
Course Number: 9770577
Course Requirements: View Course Requirements
Lessons Rating: 4.2 / 5 Stars (172 votes)
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Course Type: Self-Paced, Online Class
CEU Value: 0.7 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Course Fee: $90.00 U.S. dollars

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