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who_ate_my_cake
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Postby who_ate_my_cake » Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:32 pm

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soj
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Re: What is THE best way to master Formal Logic?

Postby soj » Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:25 am

The LG/LR Bibles

quidprobono
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Re: What is THE best way to master Formal Logic?

Postby quidprobono » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:56 pm

--LinkRemoved--

who_ate_my_cake
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Re: What is THE best way to master Formal Logic?

Postby who_ate_my_cake » Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:15 pm

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who_ate_my_cake
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Re: What is THE best way to master Formal Logic?

Postby who_ate_my_cake » Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:16 pm

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Ikki
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Re: What is THE best way to master Formal Logic?

Postby Ikki » Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:16 pm

Take an upper division course on formal logic from your UG's phil department. It's like the LR/LG Bibles but on steroids.

who_ate_my_cake
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Re: What is THE best way to master Formal Logic?

Postby who_ate_my_cake » Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:20 pm

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Easy-E
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Re: What is THE best way to master Formal Logic?

Postby Easy-E » Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:36 am

Invent the universe

who_ate_my_cake
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Re: What is THE best way to master Formal Logic?

Postby who_ate_my_cake » Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:41 pm

emarxnj wrote:Invent the universe

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bp shinners
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Re: What is THE best way to master Formal Logic?

Postby bp shinners » Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:33 pm

IMO, taking a formal logic class, while a great way to get a grip on logic, can be a bit of overkill. If it fits into your schedule (and you're a few years off of the LSAT), great, go for it, you'll have no problem with the LSAT logic.

If, however, you're taking the LSAT in 1 or 6 months, that might not be an option.

For me, I think both practice and figuring out your own tricks is best. Don't just practice diagramming (by, say, purchasing a book that lays out which questions you should diagram and then challenges you to do so - though that's a great start), but also spotting which questions can be helpful to diagram. A lot of seemingly difficult questions that don't have diagramming keywords (if, then, only, etc...) can be diagrammed to trivialize that question.

As far as tricks go, the one that seems to help my students the most is restating everything you diagram as an If/Then statement. Most of the time, you can catch an error with this method.

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Ikki
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Re: What is THE best way to master Formal Logic?

Postby Ikki » Sun Apr 24, 2011 8:53 pm

bp shinners wrote:IMO, taking a formal logic class, while a great way to get a grip on logic, can be a bit of overkill. If it fits into your schedule (and you're a few years off of the LSAT), great, go for it, you'll have no problem with the LSAT logic.

If, however, you're taking the LSAT in 1 or 6 months, that might not be an option.

For me, I think both practice and figuring out your own tricks is best. Don't just practice diagramming (by, say, purchasing a book that lays out which questions you should diagram and then challenges you to do so - though that's a great start), but also spotting which questions can be helpful to diagram. A lot of seemingly difficult questions that don't have diagramming keywords (if, then, only, etc...) can be diagrammed to trivialize that question.

As far as tricks go, the one that seems to help my students the most is restating everything you diagram as an If/Then statement. Most of the time, you can catch an error with this method.


I took BP here in California and it was a great course with a great instructor, the only thing that bothered me is that my instructor simply refused to use formal logic jargon. For later editions, is BP willing to use the universal terms like "antecendent", "consequent", "modus tollens", "modus ponens", etc. Instead of "sufficient", "necessary", "contrapositive"?

Also, going back to the OP's question, he did ask what is the BEST way to formal logic, I still stand behind taking an upper division course on symbolic logic.

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suspicious android
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Re: What is THE best way to master Formal Logic?

Postby suspicious android » Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:38 pm

Ikki wrote:I took BP here in California and it was a great course with a great instructor, the only thing that bothered me is that my instructor simply refused to use formal logic jargon. For later editions, is BP willing to use the universal terms like "antecendent", "consequent", "modus tollens", "modus ponens", etc. Instead of "sufficient", "necessary", "contrapositive"?


This is a weird thing to be bothered by, in my opinion. "Sufficient", "necessary" and "contrapositive" are in pretty common usage in college courses these days. It mostly depends on your professor or department, I'm sure. But anyway, the language of the Academy isn't really universal, nor is it necessary here. I think dropping the the latin terms and simplifying the jargon is a good move. Makes the concepts more accessible, which is extremely important to prep companies, since they make most of their money on people prepping between about 130 and 160.

However, I do tend to indulge my students who ask "Is this affirming the consequent?"

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Ikki
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Re: What is THE best way to master Formal Logic?

Postby Ikki » Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:31 am

suspicious android wrote:
Ikki wrote:I took BP here in California and it was a great course with a great instructor, the only thing that bothered me is that my instructor simply refused to use formal logic jargon. For later editions, is BP willing to use the universal terms like "antecendent", "consequent", "modus tollens", "modus ponens", etc. Instead of "sufficient", "necessary", "contrapositive"?


This is a weird thing to be bothered by, in my opinion. "Sufficient", "necessary" and "contrapositive" are in pretty common usage in college courses these days. It mostly depends on your professor or department, I'm sure. But anyway, the language of the Academy isn't really universal, nor is it necessary here. I think dropping the the latin terms and simplifying the jargon is a good move. Makes the concepts more accessible, which is extremely important to prep companies, since they make most of their money on people prepping between about 130 and 160.

However, I do tend to indulge my students who ask "Is this affirming the consequent?"


After taking a BP course, the LSAT, an intro to logic and a symbolic logic course, knowing the history of formal logic and why we use the Latin terms helped me do well on the LSAT. Maybe it's just a personal quirk, but using the language of the Academy reminded me that what the LSAT is testing is not something found in a vacuum but was a system developed to make better thinkers. And come on, doesn't Modus Tollendo Ponens sound much better than whatever trademarked term BP uses?

Also, FWIW I used the term "contrapositive" with a phil professor once and he just rolled his eyes.

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suspicious android
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Re: What is THE best way to master Formal Logic?

Postby suspicious android » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:59 am

Ikki wrote:. . . using the language of the Academy reminded me that what the LSAT is testing is not something found in a vacuum . . .


This is a good point, something that I don't think is stressed enough and sometimes contradicted by ridiculous system which talk about what's true in "LSAT land" versus the real world.

Also, FWIW I used the term "contrapositive" with a phil professor once and he just rolled his eyes.


This makes no sense, though. Are you sure what he was rolling his eyes about? "Contraposition" comes from latin and has been in use for hundreds of years along with inversion, conversion, obversion. This stuff is considered obsolete since predicate logic pwns classical logic, and I don't think they really teach it anymore in most logic classes. But it's not wrong.

bp shinners
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Re: What is THE best way to master Formal Logic?

Postby bp shinners » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:08 am

Ikki wrote:I took BP here in California and it was a great course with a great instructor, the only thing that bothered me is that my instructor simply refused to use formal logic jargon. For later editions, is BP willing to use the universal terms like "antecendent", "consequent", "modus tollens", "modus ponens", etc. Instead of "sufficient", "necessary", "contrapositive"?


We are not. Thought I'm sure Trent (one of our founders and currently in the middle of his dissertation for a doctorate of philosophy) wouldn't mind.

First off, most of us don't know the formal logic jargon :)

Second, our courses are designed for those who will score in the 150s as much as for those who will score in the 170s. While you make great points about abstracting the logic to the point where it feels like a trick more than a method of thinking that was developed to improve...thinking, that's what it takes to get most people to learn it. If I sat in front of my class talking about modus tollens and ponens, most of my class would roll their eyes as much as your professor did at 'contrapositive'. We like to think that we improve the way people think, but our primary concern is preparing them for the LSAT. I can't do that if my class thinks I'm speaking a different language half the time.

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homestyle28
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Re: What is THE best way to master Formal Logic?

Postby homestyle28 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:18 am

THE best way to master it is to go to grad school in philosophy and get a TA gig teaching it. Now the most practical/useful way is probably something else.

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AreJay711
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Re: What is THE best way to master Formal Logic?

Postby AreJay711 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:22 am

homestyle28 wrote:THE best way to master it is to go to grad school in philosophy and get a TA gig teaching it. Now the most practical/useful way is probably something else.

:lol:

An intro logic course is enough for the LR part but a good textbook for like $35 from Amazon is probably adequate. I only missed one LR between the 2 sections and that is the way I studied.




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