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Logic and Proof Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the

Summary: Chapter 1
Logic and Proof
Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the
-Leonard Nimoy as Commander Spock
We begin with material that every liberally ed-
ucated person should know and that not all do. In
the novel Ethan of Athos, an epiphany by the main
character is characterized by the author in the fol-
lowing manner: "It all fit, with the overpowering self-
evidence of a mathematical proof." This means that
the author thought that mathematical proofs are (or
should be) self-evident. A mathematical proof is a
claim followed by a series of logically correct argu-
ments that demonstrate that the claim is true. If a
proof fails to be self-evident it may be a bad proof,
or the person reading it may lack a good grasp of the
rules or logic (or both).
The use of the qualifier "or both" shows a failure
of English as a medium for expressing logical ideas


Source: Ashlock, Dan - Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Guelph


Collections: Mathematics