Symbolic Logic for Teens
Coming in March 2024 - Learn how to make sense of complicated arguments.
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 will have 13 short video lessons with activities:
- What is an argument in logic?
- How arguments can go wrong
- Types of arguments - deductive and inductive
- Types of sentences - contradictions, tautologies, and contingent sentences
- Types of sentence groups - logically equivalent, inconsistent, and consistent
- Atomic sentences
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 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
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 student who understands the rules of symbolic logic can quickly detect that the second argument is not valid.