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Logic vs. Philosophy - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Logic vs. Philosophy
A friend and I got to talking about how to put the bottom rungs on the ladder. One thing you need for this is an understanding of base premises -- those are the bottom rungs. The ladder is an argument. You get this stuff from logic and philosophy, but those fields handle them in slightly different ways ...







So in logic, premises are true statements that lead to a sound conclusion. If the premises are faulty, the conclusion will be too.

To practice logic, take a newspaper or newsfeed and examine its articles to identify the premises and conclusions. As few people study logic closely, these are usually buried. But it's great practice for identifying bottom rungs.







In philosophy, premises are ideals that inform decisions. They're basic concepts about how the world does or should work, which indicate a moral or effective course of action through a dilemma. That means they're not necessarily falsifiable, because people can value different virtues. But some philosophies really do work better or worse in the real world.

Now go back to your news and look for dilemmas where people have to take a stance on an issue. Pick several schools of philosophy whose premises you understand. Describe how each of them would frame that issue and what their premises would say to do about it. The answers will usually vary, which is why people get into fights over this stuff.

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