Logic and Critical Thinking




This chapter is a primer on basic logical concepts that often appear in various critical thinking textbooks—concepts such as entailment, contraries, contradictories, necessary and sufficient conditions, etc. The chapter will not provide a historical genealogy of these concepts—in some sense critical thinking, argumentation theory, and formal logic all trace their roots back to at least Aristotle over two thousand years ago. As a result, for many of these concepts, determining whether the concept was a logic concept co-opted by critical thinking, or a critical thinking concept co-opted and changed by logic and then co-opted back again, is extremely difficult. Regardless, a brief orientation of the relationship of critical thinking and logic is in order.

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Copyright © G.C. Goddu. This book chapter first appeared in Studies in Critical Thinking.

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Purchase online at Centre for Research in Reasoning, Windsor Studies in Argumentation.