 
Summary: Chapter 1
Logic and Proof
Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the
end.
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) selfevident. 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 selfevident 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
