Logic is a language for reasoning. It is a collection of rules we use when doing logical reasoning. Human reasoning has been observed over centuries from at least the times of Greeks, and patterns appearing in reasoning have been extracted, abstracted, and streamlined. The foundation of the logic we are going to learn here was laid down by a British mathematician George Boole in the middle of the 19th century, and it was further developed and used in an attempt to derive all of mathematics by Gottlob Frege, a German mathematician, towards the end of the 19th century. A British philosopher/mathematician, Bertrand Russell, found a flaw in basic assumptions in Frege's attempt but he, together with Alfred Whitehead, developed Frege's work further and repaired the damage. The logic we study today is more or less along this line.

In logic we are interested in true or false of statements, and how the truth/falsehood of a statement can be determined from other statements. However, instead of dealing with individual specific statements, we are going to use symbols to represent arbitrary statements so that the results can be used in many similar but different cases. The formalization also promotes the clarity of thought and eliminates mistakes.

There are various types of logic such as logic of sentences (propositional logic), logic of objects (predicate logic), logic involving uncertainties, logic dealing with fuzziness, temporal logic etc. Here we are going to be concerned with propositional logic and predicate logic, which are fundamental to all types of logic.

Next -- Introduction to Propositional Logic

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