The three branches of logic
by Jon Rappoport
March 29, 2017
After working for 30 years as a reporter, I recognized I was using “three branches” of logic. Each one helps. Each one contributes to investigations. Each one enables a person to spot flaws.
Branch one: this is called formal logic, or the logic of implication, or symbolic logic. It began with Aristotle. It offers rules for determining what is valid and what is invalid. In the simplest terms, for example: “If it snows, there are clouds; there are no clouds; therefore, it isn’t snowing.”
Branch two: the logical fallacies. There are many lists. Some fallacies overlap with others. Example: If I want to defend the existence of manmade global warming, I attack the PERSON who argues that warming is pseudoscience— and I ignore the CONTENT OF HIS ARGUMENT. This fallacy is called ad hominem; “toward the man.” Or I find a person making an extreme and ridiculous argument against global warming: “The sun actually exudes very little heat, so warming is impossible.” I use that person as my Straw Man. I imply he represents ALL people arguing against global warming, and I knock him down. The Straw Man fallacy. It is extremely helpful to study these fallacies and become able to spot them.
Branch three: You ask, “What point is an author trying to make? What is he arguing for? What is his conclusion?” Finding that, what evidence does he offer for his conclusion? Does the evidence justify the conclusion? Many arguments these days are circumstantial. They involve degrees of probability. They need to be approached on a case-by-case basis.
I’ve described the “three branches” in bare-bones terms. There is much more to learn about each one.
If schools taught these three aspects to students, if teachers gave students increasingly complex arguments to analyze, a whole new generation of thinkers would arise. Education would be revolutionized.
Since most schools don’t do that job, the task often falls to home schoolers.
For a teacher, there’s nothing quite like seeing the lights go on in a student’s mind. The student suddenly understands what using logic means. He can deploy it to take apart information. He no longer wanders from one bit of information to another, selecting what he already agrees with or what strikes his fancy of the moment. He has staying power. He can work on his own. He can find fallacies and explain them. He can assess degrees of probability.
This is independence. This is power.
The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.