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Logic (from Classical Greek λόγος logos; meaning 'speech/word') is the study of the principles and criteria of valid inference and demonstration. The term "logos" was also believed by the Greeks to be the universal power by which all reality was sustained and made coherent and consistent.

As a formal science, logic investigates and classifies the structure of statements and arguments, both through the study of formal systems of inference and through the study of arguments in natural language. The field of logic ranges from core topics such as the study of fallacies and paradoxes, to specialized analysis of reasoning using probability and to arguments involving causality. Logic is also commonly used today in argumentation theory. [1]

Traditionally, logic is studied as a branch of philosophy, one part of the classical trivium, which consisted of grammar, logic, and rhetoric. Since the mid-nineteenth century formal logic has been studied in the context of the foundations of mathematics. In 1910 Bertrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead attempted to establish logic as the cornerstone of mathematics formally with the publication of Principia Mathematica. However, the system of Principia is no longer much used, having been largely supplanted by set theory. The development of formal logic and its implementation in computing machinery is the foundation of computer science.

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This diagram shows the syntactic entities which may be constructed from formal languages. The symbols and strings of symbols may be broadly divided into nonsense and well-formed formulas. A formal language can be thought of as identical to the set of its well-formed formulas. The set of well-formed formulas may be broadly divided into theorems and non-theorems. However, quite often, a formal system will simply define all of its well-formed formula as theorems.[2]
In the formal languages used in mathematical logic and computer science, a well-formed formula or simply formula[3] (often abbreviated wff, pronounced "wiff" or "wuff") is an idea, abstraction or concept which is expressed using the symbols and formation rules (also called the formal grammar) of a particular formal language. To say that a string of symbols is a wff with respect to a given formal grammar is equivalent to saying that belongs to the language generated by . A formal language can be identified with the set of its wffs.

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Uni Freiburg - Philosophen 4.jpg
Aristotle (Greek: Ἀριστοτέλης, Aristotélēs) (384 BC – 322 BC) was a Greek philosopher, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. He wrote on many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, politics, government, ethics, biology and zoology.

Together with Plato and Socrates (Plato's teacher), Aristotle is one of the most important founding figures in Western philosophy. He was the first to create a comprehensive system of Western philosophy, encompassing morality and aesthetics, logic and science, politics and metaphysics. Aristotle's views on the physical sciences profoundly shaped medieval scholarship, and their influence extended well into the Renaissance, although they were ultimately replaced by Newtonian Physics. In the biological sciences, some of his observations were confirmed to be accurate only in the nineteenth century. His works contain the earliest known formal study of logic, which was incorporated in the late nineteenth century into modern formal logic. In metaphysics, Aristotelianism had a profound influence on philosophical and theological thinking in the Islamic and Jewish traditions in the Middle Ages, and it continues to influence Christian theology, especially Eastern Orthodox theology, and the scholastic tradition of the Roman Catholic Church. All aspects of Aristotle's philosophy continue to be the object of active academic study today.


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  1. ^ J. Robert Cox and Charles Arthur Willard, eds. Advances in Argumentation Theory and Research, Southern Illinois University Press, 1983 ISBN 0809310503, ISBN-13 978-0809310500
  2. ^ Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, Douglas Hofstadter
  3. ^ Because non-well-formed formulas are rarely considered, some authors ignore them altogether. For these authors, "formula" and "well-formed formula" are synonyms. Other authors use the term "formula" for any string of symbols in the language; certain of these strings are then singled out as the well-formed formulas.

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