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THE IMPORTANCE OF LOGIC TO HUMAN LIFE BY ADAWA PHILIP BEING AN ASSIGNMENT SUBMITTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY, SEMINARY OF ALL SAINTS, UHIELE EKPOMA, EDO STATE IN AFFILIATION TO THE UNIVERSITY OF BENIN, IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE AWARD OF BACHELOR DEGREE OF ART. COURSE: INTRODUCTION TO LOGIC COURSE CODE: LECTURER: REV.FR BENEDICT EGBUCHUNAM OCTOBER, 2021 EKPOMA. INTRODUCTION Both philosophy and logic as being seen by many as something of no value to human life. Down the ages, men of great importance to humanity, includes both philosophers and logicians, like, Thales, Anaximander, Aristotle and others. Particularly, logic has contributed greatly to human life. Nearly every undertaking in life will ultimately require that you evaluate an argument, perhaps several. You are confronted with a question: Should I buy this car or that car? Should I go to this college or that college? Did that scientific experiment show what the scientist claims it did? Should I vote for the candidate who promises to lower taxes, or for the one who says she might raise them? And so on. Our lives are a long parade of choices. When we try to answer such questions, in order to make the best choices, we often have only one tool: an argument. We listen to the reasons for and against various options, and must choose between them. And so, the ability to evaluate arguments is an ability that is very useful in everything that you will do—in your work, your personal life, your deepest reflections.1 What then are the importance of logic in the human life. In this research, the importance of logic in our day to day activities will be explained in its explicit form. Outlines 1 Introduction (as seen above) Clarification of the term “Logic” Brief history of logic Overview of the Importance of logic to human life Craig Declancey, “A concise introduction to logic”.www.minepublishing.com Evaluation Conclusion DEFINITION AND MEANING OF LOGIC Every human being, regardless of his/her geographical location in the universe, is endowed with thinking ability. What makes human being different from other animals, is the ability to think or reason, that is logical. Just like philosophy there is no particular definition for logic. There is a debate among philosophers on whether logic should be a branch of philosophy or a tool of philosophy. Philosophy, defined in the professional term, is a rigorous and systematic inquiry rooted in abstraction and speculation into the ultimate causes, first principles and presuppositions of everything in reality by using only the light of natural reason. 2 Philosophy in its own field is to always seek knowledge, ask questions, conduct enquiries, make discoveries, knowing the fundamental and ultimate beginning, end of all things, finding out about the physical reality in the world the mysteries in the world and wonders of universe. All these demands logical reasoning and logical mental processing. The question whether logic is a branch or tool of philosophy therefore seems not to be necessary, since philosophy makes use of logical process to arrive at its conclusion.3 2 Williams Olorunfemi Aso, Rudiments to philosophy for undergraduates (Lagos: Fropiel International Limited Publishers, 2018), 8. 3 M.O Aderibigbe, “The Nature of Logic” in Philosophy,Logic and Issues in Science and Technology: An Introduction, ed. Olusegun Oladipo and G.M.A Adedeji. (Oyo: Hope Publications, Ibadan, 2007), 59 What then is logic? Etymologically, the English word logic is a derivative of the classical Greek word, logos that simply means what is spoken and consequent of this meaning later on developed to imply human thought or human order of reasoning.4Logic can be defined as the science which has the study of the principles for appraising arguments as correct or incorrect as its primary aim.5 According to William a. Wallace, he define logic as an intellectual habit that strengthens the mind to accomplish the art of reasoning inherent in his rationality.6Nyong defines logic as the study of the fundamental principles, laws and methods that human mind needs to observe so as to attain the truth and all-encompassing knowledge.7 It is obvious that there is no generally accepted definition of logic, it is generally characterized with recognizing right (logical) or wrong (illogical) arguments. Ordinarily, the word argument refers to a quarrel or disagreement, but an argument in the technical sense is one or more propositions, called a premise or premises, which are offered as evidence for another proposition, called a conclusion. Meanwhile, a proposition is a statement which can be evaluated as true or false.8 Logic as an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning, is subdivided into informal and formal logic. Informal logic seeks to characterize valid arguments informally, for instance by listing varieties of fallacies. Formal logic represents statements and argument patterns symbolically, using formal systems such as first order logic. Within formal logic, mathematical logic studies the mathematical characteristics of logical systems, while philosophical 4 Williams Olorunfemi Aso, Rudiments to philosophy for undergraduates(Lagos: fropiel international limited publishers, 2018), 123 5 M.O Aderibigbe, “The Nature of Logic” in Philosophy,Logic and Issues in Science and Technology: An Introduction, ed. Olusegun Oladipo and G.M.A Adedeji. (Oyo: Hope Publications, Ibadan, 2007), 59 6 A. William Wallace, The elements of philosophy: a compendium for philosophers and theologians,(Mumbai: stpaul press). 7 David Nyong, Rudiments of philosophy and logic, (Lagos: Obaroh and Ogbinaka publishers ltd., 1996,) 60 8 Philosophy, logic logic applies them to philosophical problems such as the nature of meaning, knowledge, and existence. Systems of formal logic are also applied in other fields including linguistics, cognitive science, and computer science. Logic is further classified into various categories, which includes: scientific logic, mathematical logic, aristotelrian logic, universal logic, symbolic logic and material logic. HISTORY OF LOGIC There was a medieval tradition according to which the Greek philosopher Parmenides (5th century BCE) invented logic while living on a rock in Egypt. The story is pure legend, but it does reflect the fact that Parmenides was the first philosopher to use an extended arguments for his views rather than merely proposing a vision of reality. But using arguments is not the same as studying them, and Parmenides never systematically formulated or studied principles of argumentation in their own right. Indeed, there is no evidence that he was even aware of the implicit rules of inference used in presenting his doctrine. Perhaps Parmenides’ use of argument was inspired by the practice of early Greek mathematics among the Pythagoreans. Thus, it is significant that Parmenides is reported to have had a Pythagorean teacher. But the history of Pythagoreanism in this early period is shrouded in mystery, and it is hard to separate fact from legend. If Parmenides was not aware of general rules underlying his arguments, the same perhaps is not true for his Zeno of Elea (5th century BCE). Zeno was the author of many arguments, known collectively as “Zeno paradoxes”, purporting to infer impossible consequences from a nonParmenidean view of things and so to refute such a view and indirectly to establish Parmenides’ monist position. The formal study of logic is believed to have begun with Aristotle in the 4th BC. Aristotle is considered to have an important contribution to logic in terms of the theory of syllogisms. The works of Aristotle to logic were admired and studied by a number of thinkers from medieval to modern times. In the 19th century AD, the Irish logician George Boole developed logic further in the area of truth functions. Truth functionality is part of what became known as modern formal logic. Boole also introduced a new interpretation of universal categorical propositions which solved a problem that originally could not be solved by the Aristolian interpretation of the universal categorical propositions. In the 20th century AD, there were further developments in logic. The German mathematician and philosopher Gottlob Frege (1848-1925) introduced the theory of qualification in logic. This theory was a further development of the theory of syllogism which had hitherto been based mainly on syllogistic terms, and truth functional logic that introduced the idea of truth-value of compound propositions. Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914), an American philosopher, also made pioneering investigations into the logic of relations, and truth-functions, and independently discovered the quantifiers slightly later than Frege. The Italian mathematician Giuseppe Peano (1858-1932) also made some contribution in the area of set theory. Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947) and Bernard Arthur William Russell (1872-1970), both English mathematicians and philosophers, systematized the new developments in logic. Apart from the systematization they also tried to show that laws of pure mathematics are derivable from the laws of logic. Russell also introduced some symbolic notations into logic. IMPORTANCE OF LOGIC TO HUMAN LIFE Logic plays an important, significant and indispensable role in our day-to-day activities, in reasoning, passing judgment, giving advice and doing many other things. The importance of logic in its wider sense includes: Improving our reasoning Every humans reason in one way or the other, whether correct or incorrect. Logic as a branch of philosophy studies reasoning with the main concern of differentiating the correct from the incorrect reasoning. It is therefore, the study of principles of good reasoning that help in distinguishing good from bad, or correct from incorrect reasoning, and improves our reasoning capacity.9In improving our reasoning, itinfluences every decision we make in our daily lives. Logic which deals in thinking and reasoning, helps us to learn and make decisions that will affect our daily lifestyle. 10 With the help of logic, we make decisions on how to choose among many alternatives, to check whether is good or bad. Helping us in our daily live to find the truth Logic helps us in our daily life on how to differentiate between right and wrong statement. With the study of fallacy in logic, statements that are unreasonable and contradicted to each other are easily detected, and necessary questions are asked to have a better understanding and vital mistakes are avoided. For Cohen and Nagel (1996), logic, like other sciences aims at attaining the truth in its own special field and is not primarily concerned with the values or uses to which these truths can be 9 Oriare Nbbyarwath, Traditional Logic: An Introduction,(Consolata institute of philosophy press, 2010.) Importance of logic to human life, Htttps://www.mvorganizing.org 10 put.11 Logic helps us to find truth, and truth is its own end, it is worth knowing for its own sake. Logic is like a safety line that allows us to move unerringly from one truth to another. With logic we can make sure that the truths we claim are, indeed, truths and no mere illusion. And more than that: it allows us to convince others of the truth. So it not only keeps us bound to the world but also to each other.12 Fallacious thinking—in the form of propaganda, exaggeration, misdirection, and even outright lies—abounds in our culture. Politicians, pundits, advertisers, and corporate spokespersons attack straw men, appeal to the majority opinion, promote red herrings, or oppose a view simply because they dislike the person who holds it. Familiarity with common fallacies of this sort helps make you a more critical reader, listener, and thinker, and eventually leads an individual in their daily lives to attain nothing but the truth. For Cohen and Nagel (1996), logic, like other sciences aims at attaining the truth in its own special field and is not primarily concerned with the values or uses to which these truths can be put Logic helps in the society The role of logic in the society is to set rules that we must follow to achieve rational communication.13 Laws of logic are the rules that we must obey so that we can have a better society for the human life. Rational thinking also helps us in the society, by enhancing communication between people and reinforces the idea that despite our differences, we live in 11 Sylvester Enomah, Simplified Logic for University Students. (Delta: Shelfa International Publishers ltd,2002),5 “Importance of Logic to Life.” www.inference.com/world-viewAccessed November 12, 2021 13 Importance of logic to human life, Htttps://www.mvorganizing.org 12 the same world and it is possible to come to some agreement.14With the study of logic, individual is able to think and reason about the development in the society and to evaluate our political leaders in our society. As Thomas Jefferson said, “In a republican nation, whose citizens are to be lead by reason and persuasion and not by force, the art of reason becomes of the first importance.”[Copi& Cohen, Logic, 10th edition, Prentice-Hall, 1998.). Helps us to avoid mistakes in our argument With the study of what an argument is in logic, it will help us to differentiate between a valid and non-valid arguments. Knowing what a non-valid argument contains, it will guide us not to make mistakes in our arguments with others. Mistakes and errors occur in our arguments everyday due to various reasons. They may occur to deceive, persuade, elicit sympathy and convince, maneuver, manipulate may even be unintended. The recognition of these errors, which are usually referred to as informal fallacies, will go a long wayto enhance the performance of our roles as individuals in our arguments and avoid mistakes.15 Examples of such mistakes or errors includes: Argumentum ad miscericordiam (appeal to pity), Argumentum ad baculum (appeal to force or threat), argumentum ad hominem (abusive), fallacy of division and of composition, etc. Helps us to make good judgment Judgment is a form of thought in which something is affirmed or denied about the existence of objects, the links between an object and its properties or the relations between.16 In our daily lives, we come across many situations in which we are to make judgment, but errors 14 Olatunji A. oyeshile, “Logic and Life”, in Philosophy and Society: An Introduction to Beginners, ed. Ayo Fadahunsi, (Hope publications ltd.,2015), 39. 15 Olatunji A. oyeshile, “Logic and Life”, in Philosophy and Society: An Introduction to Beginners, ed. Ayo Fadahunsi, (Hope publications ltd.,2015), 43 16 Alexandra Getmanova, Logic( Progress publishers, Moscow, 1989), 84. and mistakes can be made in our judgment in ways that does not correspond to reality. With the study of logic, reasoning is improved, mistakes and errors are avoided in our arguments, and truth is found, we can therefore arrive at a good and sound Judgment. Evaluation All the importance of logic seen above, are just few out of many. The Importance of Logic, for me, is compared to a fuel in a vehicle, in which, without the fuel in a vehicle, it cannot move. The vehicle is the human person, while the fuel is compared to the reason faculty (logic) of the human person. Whether Formal or Informal, logic influences all our actions in our day to day activities. In evaluating its importance in the society, we see that, if logic is formally study by all and sundry in the society, there will be more peace, development and orderliness in the society. Though the study of logic cannot fully help us in solving all the problems in human life, I believe, with the study of logic and philosophy, and other humanity related courses, the problems in human life will be reduced to its mere minimum. Conclusion Finally, after discussing the meaning and definition of logic, its history and its importance, and evaluating its importance, it’s worth saying that logic can also be fun, brings happiness, brings wisdom, helps in reading, brings order, brings certainty, testing authority, attain wisdom, helps in religious faith, brings order and wisdom, helps in reading and writing, construct proofs, uses in persuasion, and many other importance in our daily lives. Therefore, the work and importance of logic in our daily lives is indispensable. Bibliography Craig Declancey. “A concise introduction to logic”. www.minepublishing.com Williams Olorunfemi Aso. Rudiments to philosophy for undergraduates. Lagos: fropiel international limited publishers, 2018. Olusegun Oladipo. Philosophy, logic and issues in science and technology, A. William Wallace. The elements of philosophy: A Compendium for Philosphers and Theologians. Mumbai: St Paul press David Nyong. Rudiments of Philosophy and Logic. Lagos: Obaroh and Ogbinaka publishers Limited, 1996. Oriaren Byarwath. Traditional Logic: An Introduction. Consolata institute of philosophy press, 2010. “Importance of Logic to Human Life”. Htttps://www.mvorganizing.org Sylvester Enomah. Simplified Logic for University Students. Delta: Shelfa International Publishers Ltd,2002. “Importance of Logic to Life.” www.inference.com/world-view Ayo Fadahunsi. Philosophy and Society. Hope Publications ltd, 1999. Alexandra Getmanova. Logic. Moscow: Progress publishers, 1989. M.O Aderibigbe. “The Nature of Logic”. In Philosophy,Logic and Issues in Science and Technology: An Introduction, edited by Olusegun Oladipo and G.M.A Adedeji. Oyo: Hope Publications, Ibadan, 2007.