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Re: [lewiscarroll] Lewis Carrool and logic

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  • Kate Lyon
    Hi Keith, Well as you probably know I ve written fairly directly on Carroll and logic in various forums. I have suggested that Carroll s main purpose in life
    Message 1 of 6 , Apr 1, 2006
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      Hi Keith,
       
      Well as you probably know I've written fairly directly on Carroll and logic in various forums.  I have suggested that Carroll's main purpose in life was to look at the different ways people tried to establish truth (as opposed to truths).  A basic schemata is;  he examines and explores written and spken language and finds it failing.  But the failure of spoken and ritten language is fundamental and a necessary contingecy of its function - which is to describe a relative and contingent reality.  Maths fails because the truths that Maths construct cannot, by definition describe existential truths (e.g. there cannot be a mathematical formulae that says God Exists or that, given God exists, God is capable of injustice  the sort of truth that Carroll pursues as we know.
       
      Logic, and symbolic logic in particular, seems to have offered a possible bridge to Carroll between the formal, tautological, truths of mathematics and the exitential truths of life and faith.  Ceretainly it did act in an albeit negative manner, to act as a guard against false logic in argument.  The syllogism was central to all Carroll's works and, you will often see regferences to his use of formal logic in his personal mail.  Most notably in his biting criticisms of his nephew/biographer.  Certainly his work in these areas - whether to do with constructing voting and electoral systems, tennis scoring systems or smply deciding the best way of evaluating opinions increasingly took up his time.  His work in formal logic has increasingly been recognised as groundbreaking and many modern philosophers suggest he was ahead of people like Venn.
       
      I think Sylvie and Bruno is extremely revealing in the way he saw language, truth and logic.  Well worth a read just for this.
       
      Regards
       
      John Tufail
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Keith
      Sent: Thursday, March 30, 2006 6:44 AM
      Subject: [lewiscarroll] Lewis Carrool and logic

      Anyone got any thoughts on LC's logic?
       
      As I see it his attempts to train people in symbolic logic fell on deaf ears, people were often intrigued but rarely educated and many were just irritated!  Logic is associated with philosophy - at least that's where it sprung from.  LC used to puzzle people with what I think were silly brain teasers that he had already worked out the answers to.  Symbolic logic fails in that there are relationships that cannot be represented by symbols and I see it as one step beyond mathematical logic which is to me algebra.
       
      The sort of thing I refer to is where somebody doing a census calls at a house and asks the age of someone's else's children and is told the product of their ages is 36 and the sum of their ages is the same as their house number.  He says that's not enough info to sort it out and cannot solve it until he's told that the youngest two are twins.  Using the info you have to work out the age of the children and say what house number he was at.
       
      I just wonder if I've missed something here or am I completely wrong?
       
      Keith
       
       
       
       


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    • Keith
      John, no I didn t know you had written on logic in various forums! The written or spoken language can be misunderstood and CLD used this fact often to mislead
      Message 2 of 6 , Apr 1, 2006
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        John,
         
        no I didn't know you had written on logic in various forums! 
         
        The written or spoken language can be misunderstood and CLD used this fact often to mislead folk.  I cannot see though how symbolic logic can assist in religious matters except to examine the inconsistencies of religious belief - certainly not to prove the existence of god.
         
        When you say 'false' logic aren't you in danger of straying into beliefs?
         
        I can't read S&B it's 'plot' is of no interest to me - if Bruno perished on page one it would be soon enough for me!  If studying logic means reading S&B I'll play tiddlywinks instead - much more interesting!
         
        Keith
         
        PS isn't your other answer to Jenny bound up with this one?  Nobody with a logical mind and any conviction of truth could possibly sign the 39 articles with a clear conscience. High churchmen in particular, those with leanings to Rome, could not sign them - perhaps this was why CLD did not sign?
         
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Kate Lyon
        Sent: Saturday, April 01, 2006 2:50 PM
        Subject: Re: [lewiscarroll] Lewis Carrool and logic

        Hi Keith,
         
        Well as you probably know I've written fairly directly on Carroll and logic in various forums.  I have suggested that Carroll's main purpose in life was to look at the different ways people tried to establish truth (as opposed to truths).  A basic schemata is;  he examines and explores written and spken language and finds it failing.  But the failure of spoken and ritten language is fundamental and a necessary contingecy of its function - which is to describe a relative and contingent reality.  Maths fails because the truths that Maths construct cannot, by definition describe existential truths (e.g. there cannot be a mathematical formulae that says God Exists or that, given God exists, God is capable of injustice  the sort of truth that Carroll pursues as we know.
         
        Logic, and symbolic logic in particular, seems to have offered a possible bridge to Carroll between the formal, tautological, truths of mathematics and the exitential truths of life and faith.  Ceretainly it did act in an albeit negative manner, to act as a guard against false logic in argument.  The syllogism was central to all Carroll's works and, you will often see regferences to his use of formal logic in his personal mail.  Most notably in his biting criticisms of his nephew/biographer.  Certainly his work in these areas - whether to do with constructing voting and electoral systems, tennis scoring systems or smply deciding the best way of evaluating opinions increasingly took up his time.  His work in formal logic has increasingly been recognised as groundbreaking and many modern philosophers suggest he was ahead of people like Venn.
         
        I think Sylvie and Bruno is extremely revealing in the way he saw language, truth and logic.  Well worth a read just for this.
         
        Regards
         
        John Tufail
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Keith
        Sent: Thursday, March 30, 2006 6:44 AM
        Subject: [lewiscarroll] Lewis Carrool and logic

        Anyone got any thoughts on LC's logic?
         
        As I see it his attempts to train people in symbolic logic fell on deaf ears, people were often intrigued but rarely educated and many were just irritated!  Logic is associated with philosophy - at least that's where it sprung from.  LC used to puzzle people with what I think were silly brain teasers that he had already worked out the answers to.  Symbolic logic fails in that there are relationships that cannot be represented by symbols and I see it as one step beyond mathematical logic which is to me algebra.
         
        The sort of thing I refer to is where somebody doing a census calls at a house and asks the age of someone's else's children and is told the product of their ages is 36 and the sum of their ages is the same as their house number.  He says that's not enough info to sort it out and cannot solve it until he's told that the youngest two are twins.  Using the info you have to work out the age of the children and say what house number he was at.
         
        I just wonder if I've missed something here or am I completely wrong?
         
        Keith
         
         
         
         


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