Author Topic: A Guide to Logic

A Guide to Logic
« on: May 30, 2021 »
by Humbug

Guest post from
Humbug - the radical rabbit
The Bigger Bun's Guide Ter (Maffmatical) Logic

Now the problem wiv logic is a bit like the problem wiv stuff - a lot ov peeps argue about wot bits ov it are rarver good and wot is a load ov rubbish. An I am not talkin about peeps wot talk about important fings on the internet an get emotional becos they av strong beliefs innit. Even the most famous maffmaticians an philosophizers ov all time got in a tizz wiv the logic business.

This is why the P.A. gets a bit miffed when peeps tell her ter teach 'maffs facs' ter innocent little kiddies. If there is one fing that logic proves beyond reasonable doubt it is that maffs is more or less an invention ov the brain. She as bovvered me rotten ter produce a neat guide wiv a nice sense ov perspective ter help yer rise above the wickid world ov so-called facs, in no particuler order.

Dualism - or the eivver/or question

Now this is like a multiple choice test wiv a choice ov 2 answers.
This type ov question wos made famous by the ancient Greek geezer Aristotle. Yer mite fink it is very simple becos the answers are basically 'yes' or 'no'. But then yer mite fink 'yes, if...' or 'no, but...' or 'maybe?' or even 'that is a bleedin stupid question, yer twonk.' - if yer a bit ov a smarty-pants.


In the misterious discipline ov Zen Buddism ov the East, when yer ask an eivver/or type ov question, or actcherly most uvver sorts ov question, a Zen master will bonk yer on the head wiv a stick an go back down the pub.

Proof by contradiction

Since time immoral this type ov proof as bin a cornerstone ov logic, even if yer can't agree about anyfing else. Wot happens is yer fink up a hyperthetical sitcheration an say, 'if fing 1 is true, an fing 2 is true then it follows that fing 3 is also true.' etc. After a bit yer get ter fing Y wot turns out ter be the opposite ov fing Y-X an so it's back ter the pub.


All the hyperthetical fings ov logic are called axioms. The plan is that yer start wiv a few small axiom fings that look nice an simple an use em ter build a big theorem wot will win yer the Nobel Prize fer Genius. But yer mite actcherally induce a hernia becos yer iffy  meffod is shot full ov holes by a committee ov yer peers.


Once upon a time the Greek maffmatician Euclid had clever axioms ov geometry all about planes an lines and points, which wos nice. But there wos a rogue axiom ov parallel lines that wos independent ov all the uvver axioms an it mutated an flew off the plane an invented the hyperbolical universe.

Exceptions ter the rules

There wos this German geezer called Gottlieb Frege an his number one fing wos a book ter prove maffs is logical. Owever just as he wos almost done wiv provin all ov maffs is basically 100% logical Bertrand Russell wrote him a nice letter all about sets ov fings, an sets ov uvver sets, an lots ov uvver fings about wevver the set ov all the uvver sets is a member ov its own set, becos if it is then there would av ter be annuver set innit. So poor old Gottlieb had ter give up the sets an go ter speshial classes instead like the barber who cut everyone else's hair but messed up wiv his own barnet. Bertrand Russell wos a big fan ov logical classes, even tho he wos a Peer ov the Realm, so then he co-produced his version ov the Principia Maffmatica Volumes 1-3 wot is as good as it sounds.


This wos annuvver German bloke an he took logic ter extremes like a Zen master but wivout the mistery or the Buddhism, or even much maffmatics eivver really. He wos a mate ov Bertie Russell, but instead ov writin loads ov stuff about anyfing an everyfing he said not a lot about nuffing much.


Kurt Gödel wos yet annuvver Germanic blokey an his mitey strict contribution ter logic wos too much even fer the speshial classes becos he showed that if the ariffmetic ov maffs wos logical in the first place it would actcherly contradict itself in the next place.


'Garbage in garbage out' is the famous motto ov computer science. Wiv the Arterfishial Intelligence Revolution the computers got one up on this wisdom tho becos ov machine learnin by trial an error. This means yer modern souped up computer can ask itself a zillion questions in virtuerly no time at all. Yer can actcherly stick a load ov rubbish in it an Alexa will still tell yer where ter buy sum curtains.

So, never mind the logic, wot about common sense? This mite seem like a reasonable question. Owever, neivver logic nor computers can do anyfing wiv common sense becos they don't actcherly kno wot it is yet. If yer fink yer can offer a solution ter this fascinatin conundrum praps yer should take a deep breath an have a nice cup ov tea.

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