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How Does Logic Help Us Clarify Or Solve Problems?

1459 words - 6 pages

Everyday people employ the use of logic to help them clarify or solve problems. Logic may only provide validity or highly probable ideas, but the correct answer, if any, is left for one to decide. The science of thinking and rationalizing, logic is like a double-edge sword. When logic is utilized it may become an efficient tool, capable of discovering correct ideas and understandings. Yet, it can also become an unsolvable maze, causing more confusion than clarity. There are certain methods of logic to determine possible solutions for a problem and to verify them. Induction and deduction are arguments that may give a solution, which is not considered absolutely true but rather having correct reasoning. For logic can only determine "the distinction between correct and incorrect reasoning" (Copi, p.5) of a problem. Well these methods can be useful; it still can make a problem more confusing such as with the case of paradoxes. It is up to one to make the leap of faith to decide if the conclusions of the methods are acceptable in practice or not.The argument of induction is based upon the idea of having a set of given general information called the premise. From the premise, one then can formulate a conclusion that supercedes the information, from the problem. A simple example of this is:There was one apple missing from the basket that was in the house.John was seen leaving the house with an apple.Therefore John must have taken the apple.The conclusion made from this argument seems right, but an inductive argument can only produce a probable answer and therefore is not absolutely true. So when induction is used, there is still a chance that the conclusion might be wrong. Hence any inductive conclusion must be thought as highly probable but having a chance that it might be wrong. It is up to one to judge for themselves if they have solved the problem or not."In induction our reasoning takes us beyond what we already know, it widens our knowledge." (Dilman, p.29) Induction is used in scientific problems for the reason that with given knowledge on can "provide conclusions whose content exceeds that of their premises." (Salmon, p.87) Although one must still face the fact that the conclusions of an inductive argument may be wrong though the premise might be true. Even with the uncertainty of inductive reasoning, being right or wrong, "most of our everyday reasoning is inductive." (Olen, p.318)To give an accurate conclusion for induction, one must be aware that the premises are all true but also that there is enough information for one to actually make a concluding statement. For example a scientist finds that crow #1 is black, crow #2 is black, and crow #3 is black. He then concludes that all crows are black. The final statement is considered to be incorrect because there is a lack of information provided to concluded an "all" statement but that lead to another question. How much information is needed to make a correct solution? The obvious answer would be...

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