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• Like maths equations, logic has a structure.

• It looks a bit like: one, plus two, equals three. On one side of the equation we

• have things we already know or agree upon.

• On the other side is an answer that's true, so long as the numbers on the other side

• don't change.

• In logic, an idea is called a premise, which can be put together with other

• premises in such a way that they lead us to a conclusion.

• One premise might say magnets attract iron,

• the other premise might be, this object is made from iron. Without seeing it

• you can logically say that the magnet will attract this object.

• But what if you swap around the information? Say, magnets attract iron and this object

• is attracted to magnets.

• Can you then say that this object is made from iron?

• Unfortunately not. It still looks like logic but the conclusion no longer works.

• Magnets not only attract iron, but other metals as well, such as nickel.

• This broken logic is called a logical fallacy.

• This particular example, is a formal fallacy. Because its form looks similar

• to logic, but is false. In Latin and in legal circles, it's called a 'non sequitur' which

• means 'does not follow.'

• It's easy to mistake a logical fallacy for the real deal if you're not careful.

• People do it all the time. Sometimes by accident and sometimes to fool you.

• Knowing the structure of a logical argument is important. You wouldn't make the

• mistake of thinking: three, plus two, equals one.

• Rules are rules after all.

• But breaking the rules of logic, can make an answer seem right,

• when it isn't.

Like maths equations, logic has a structure.

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# Critical Thinking Part 2: Broken Logic

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賽魯 posted on 2015/04/16
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