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Symbolic Logic for Teens Part 1

Learn how to make sense of complicated arguments with 14 video lessons and activities. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

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The study of symbolic logic, also called formal logic, is the study of the structure of arguments. Symbolic logic helps us to break down arguments into parts in order to figure out whether or not they are good ones.

This course is meant for ages 13 and up. It consists of short video lessons with activities covering 13 topics:

  1. What is an argument in logic?
  2. How arguments can go wrong
  3. Types of arguments - deductive and inductive
  4. Types of sentences - contradictions, tautologies, and contingent sentences
  5. Types of sentence groups - logically equivalent, inconsistent, and consistent
  6. Atomic sentences
  7. Conjunction
  8. Negation
  9. Disjunction
  10. Conditional
  11. Biconditional
  12. Unless
  13. Parentheses

After completing the lessons, students will go on a sci-fi quest to test their skills.

What is symbolic logic?

The study of logic is the study of the structure of arguments. Understanding symbolic logic helps us to break down complex arguments. This helps us to analyze both the correctness of the premises and the validity of the reasoning in order to determine whether the argument is sound.

Symbolic logic worksheets

Symbolic logic examples

Consider this argument: “If it was sunny yesterday, Bob went to the beach. It was sunny yesterday. Therefore, Bob went to the beach.”

We can write this argument as follows:

A → B
∴ B

This argument is valid.

Here’s another argument: “If it was sunny yesterday, Bob went to the beach. Bob went to the beach. Therefore, it was sunny yesterday.”

This one seems valid, but it is not. From the first premise, we only know that Bob definitely went to the beach if it was sunny, but we don’t know that he wouldn’t have gone in other weather conditions. This argument looks like this:

A → B
∴ A

A student who understands the rules of symbolic logic can quickly detect that the second argument is not valid.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Video Summary
For this course, you’ll need a notebook and something to write with.

You may need to pause the video to think about things or rewatch certain parts several times. That’s totally fine. The videos were designed to be used that way.

All the best on your logical journey!