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Lecture 3

Lecture Three: Logic and Language

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York University
Modes Of Reasoning
MODR 1730
Philip Mac Ewen

Lecture Three: Logic and Language September 21, 2011 The Three Stages of Language What is language? Language is a vehicle of communication, either written, spoken or signed, to facilitate communication among users. Logic and Language Logic is the study of argument or argumentative discourse. Language consists of many types of discourse, only one of which is argumentative. Stage One - The Poetic or Metaphorical Many ancient civilizations used the use of poetry (often using metaphors) Metaphors - to compare something to something completely different (similar to a simile, but does not use “like” or “as”) Metaphor is a way of thinking, speaking, or writing in which explicitly or implicitly identifies one object to another of which it cannot be or is not. Stage Two - The Conceptual Concepts - intangible values such as justice, holiness, faith ect Philosophy is conceptual. Conceptual refers to things that must be thought about, rather than proven using empirical research. Usually questions start off with “What...” Example: What is poverty? What is justice? Is justice the same as fairness? Stage Three - The Informational (Descriptive) This deals with questioning the empirical world and how it behaves. Informational language is the primary purpose of which is to convey correct descriptions of states of affairs in the world. Things that cannot be proven using empirical research do not fall in this category. It is the most scientific out of the three stages. Involves facts and making a provable link between two things. Ambiguity and Vagueness Ambiguity - a situation where a word, term or expression has several different meanings which can be clarified given the context. Vagueness - a situation where a word term is expression has several different meanings which cannot be clarified given the context/ Example of Ambiguity P1. Death is the end (point of termination) of life P2. Whatever is the end (point of culmination) of something is its purpose C. Death is the purpose of life Example of Vagueness 1. Have a nice day (what exactly constitutes a “nice” day to you?) 2. This is a luxury condominium (“Luxury” actually means “filled with light”. What makes a condominium “luxury” compared to other condos that may not be considered to be a luxury) 3
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