# The Elements of Logic By Stephen F Barker PDF

### The Elements of Logic

ARGUMENTS

In elementary logic, the main task is that of studying the difference between good reasoning and bad.

But just what is reasoning? How is it recognized! For the moment we shall not worry about the difference between good and bad reasoning; we shall first consider what reasoning itself is.

When a person is reasoning, he starts from certain statements that he assumes to be true; then, in his thinking, he moves on to a consequence that he thinks follows from them.

When he does this, he is making an inference; he is constructing an argument; he is trying to give proof. What one starts with is called premises, and what one reaches is called the conclusion.

An argument may have just one premise, or there may be two or more; but each argument has just one conclusion, for where several conclusions are drawn, there are several separate arguments.

For the purposes of logic, we shall use the words “argument” and “inference” rather differently from the way they are used in ordinary language.

In ordinary discourse, the word “argument” means almost any sort of quarrel, disagreement, or debate; the word “inference” ordinarily means reasoning whose conclusion is quite speculative and doubtful.

Thus when a detective guesses that someone is guilty of a crime, the accused person may object, “But that’s a mere inference; you don’t have any positive evidence against me”.

For the purposes of logic, however, we shall use these words in a more technical sense.

What we shall mean by an argument (or reasoning, or an inference, or a proof) involves two essential features.

In the first place, the person who presents the argument must be claiming.

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