As a student in Bachelor in Management, Philosophy & Economics programme, I have had the opportunity to study a wide range of subjects, but my favourite by far has been Logic. In my studies, I have been introduced to a number of fascinating topics within the field, including fallacies, predicates and quantifiers and the calculus of natural deduction. I was drawn to this subject because of its potential to help me think more clearly and critically. In this blog post, I will discuss why I found it so valuable.
One of the main areas that I studied was the concept of valid logical inference. This involves the use of logical rules and principles to derive new conclusions from existing information. I learned about different methods for constructing valid inferences, syllogisms and the calculus of natural deduction. For example, I learned about common fallacies, which are errors in reasoning that can lead to false or misleading conclusions. I have been introduced to a fascinating world of symbols and rules that can be used to represent and manipulate complex ideas. I have also studied the use of quantifiers, such as universal and existential quantifiers, to express general statements about groups of objects. These concepts are incredibly powerful and can be applied in a wide range of contexts, from computer programming to the analysis of complex systems.
But one may ask, what is the practical application of this? Why would I study this as a business student? The answer is that the ability to reason logically and avoid common fallacies is incredibly valuable in the world of finance and business. For example, consider the case of a financial analyst who is trying to evaluate the potential risks and rewards of investing in a particular company. By using logical reasoning, the analyst can carefully consider the company’s financial statements, its management team and the overall state of the economy, then make a more informed decision about whether or not to invest. However, if the analyst is not careful, they may fall prey to common logical fallacies and make invalid deductions. For instance, they might assume that because a company has strong financials and a competent management team, it is guaranteed to be a good investment. This would be an example of the fallacy of affirming the consequent, as it is possible for a company to have strong financials and a competent management team but still not be a good investment.
Or, let’s take the case of an entrepreneur who is trying to determine whether or not to launch a new product. By using logical reasoning, the entrepreneur can carefully consider the potential demand for the product, the competition in the market and the overall feasibility of the venture, then make a more informed decision about whether or not to proceed. However, if the entrepreneur is not careful, they may fall prey to common logical fallacies and make invalid deductions. For instance, they might assume that because a similar product has been successful in the past, their own product is guaranteed to be successful as well. This would be an example of the fallacy of affirming the consequent, as it is possible for a product to be similar to a successful one but still not be successful itself.
As of now, the study of logic has been incredibly helpful in a number of ways. For one, it has helped me to think more clearly and critically about the world around me and to avoid making common mistakes in my reasoning. Additionally, my knowledge of logic has also helped me communicate more effectively with my colleagues, as I am able to clearly and persuasively present my arguments and avoid common pitfalls in reasoning.
In conclusion, the study of logic is an essential pursuit for any student looking to distinguish themselves and enhance their critical thinking and reasoning abilities. Not only is it intellectually stimulating and fascinating in its own right, but it also has practical applications in a wide range of fields. Additionally, studying logic has helped me to develop the ability to make informed and well-reasoned choices, which is a crucial skill in today’s rapidly changing world. If you are a student looking to improve your critical thinking skills and gain a competitive edge in your chosen field, I highly recommend giving the study of logic a try. You will be rewarded with a deeper understanding of the world around you and the ability to make choices that are based on sound reasoning and evidence.