How to Think: Introduction to Logic, Lecture 1 with David Gordon - Mises Academy


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How to Think: Introduction to Logic, Lecture 1 with David Gordon - Mises Academy

  1. 1. Introduction to LogicLecture 1David GordonMises AcademyFebruary 13, 2012
  2. 2. If something is true and we deduce something else fromit following the rules of logic, then the conclusion will betrue too.Truth versus validity—a valid conclusion is one thatfollows the rules of logic. This doesn’t mean that a validconclusion is true. The conclusion is guaranteed to betrue only if the premises are true. If you start withsomething false, a validly deduced conclusion can beeither true or false.
  3. 3. ●Distinction between Concept and Mental Picture(Joyce calls this Phantasm)●Concepts are universal●Repugnant concepts●Concepts are our ideas of things
  4. 4. ● A Name names an object, in view of a concept● Scholastic logic uses a two names theory of a proposition. Both subject andpredicate are names.● Proper names tell nothing about the object● Significant singular terms = definite descriptions● Proper names are non-connotative● Positive and negative terms● Contradictory vs. Contrary Opposition● First and Second Intention
  5. 5. When you heard the terrible news from Arizona,were you completely surprised? Or were you, atsome level, expecting something like this atrocity tohappen? …The Climate of Hate
  6. 6. “The just wage represents people taking out of thesystem in consumption no more than they put inby production. This, by definition, constitutesequilibrium. But how do we know that just wageswill support a family? Directly, we don’t. But,indirectly, we do, because the contrary propositionis absurd. If we assert in general that wages ingeneral should not support the family, theneconomics becomes an absurd science with noreal purpose. If economic systems in general justdon’t work, then we must choose between chaosor Keynesianism.”
  7. 7. “The first lesson is that property is originallycommunal (owned by the community). Indeed,the very idea of a purely private property is acontradiction in terms, since the right toprivate property must be recognized by thecommunity to have any value. For example, theowner must be able to call upon the police tobe able to exclude others from his property, orhis property cannot be said to be private at all.”●Médaille, Toward a Truly Free Market, p.116
  8. 8. “The [marginal productivity] theory tries to figurethe ‘independent productivity’ of capital and labor,but this number is in fact the only precisely knownnumber in all of economics: it is precisely zero.Neither capital nor labor produces anythingwithout the other. . .The productivity of a givenprocess may be reliably measured and comparedwith other production processes, but theproductivity of factors within the process cannotbe reliably measured; one can only make ajudgment about them, a judgment that cannot bereduced to mathematics.”
  9. 9. “So which kind of science is economics, normativeor positive? I will suggest that the question ismeaningless. Every science, insofar as it really is ascience, is both positive and normative. Everyscience, insofar as it is a science, insofar as it ascience, must be ‘normalized’ to some criteria oftruth. These truths arise from two sources: aninternal and an external source. The internalcriteria involve a science’s proper subject matterandmethodology. . .In addition, there must be externalcriteria of truth, and these truths can only comefrom one or more higher sciences.”
  10. 10. Yet consider the absurdity of the claim that we have aright to spend every nickel of our pretax income. Iftaxes were purely voluntary, our government would notbe able to raise revenue to build roads or schools. Itcould not field an army … perhaps those who opposecompulsory taxation should just move to a countrywhere taxes are voluntary. But there isno such country. Given that reality, our best option isto have an intelligent conversation about what serviceswe want government to provide and who should betaxed to pay for them.●Robert H. Frank, The Economic Naturalist’s Field