K S Sivakumaran
Clear thinking is necessary for clear writing. Though it is common knowledge, not many of us put it into practice. Even in a piece of essay writing or composition as it is called, logic is necessary, for which clear thinking is necessary.
Thinking is the intellectual activity by means of which knowledge is obtained. We do not know any fact until we think of it. The aims of Logic are to decide whether a statement is valid or invalid. In short, Logic deals with the nature of reasoning. Logic is correct reasoning
Great stylists have said that clear thinking produces clarity in writing. It is true. We could communicate well if there is clarity in speech and writing.
A simple style is always understood well by many. If thinking is logical, writing too would be convincing. Logic plays an important part in effective communication.
Logical thinking leads to forming an attitude and evolving a philosophy of our own. Logic is a branch of philosophy which reflects upon the nature of thinking itself. Logic does not deal with all types of thinking, however, but only with ‘reasoning’.
They say logic is ‘prescriptive science’. It is an ‘autonomous discipline’. It is also a ‘science of good reasons’ Most importantly logic is a discipline which deals with the relations between sentences or statements.
We produce reasons as evidence for a certain conclusion we wish to establish and reasoning is closely connected with inferring. The reasons we provide allow us to infer a certain conclusion. If true, they serve the function of providing evidence for the conclusion. Inference is considered to be a process which allows us to establish the truth of a certain sentence - of an argument - from the truth of other sentences which constitute the evidence for the conclusion. There are two branches of Logic – ‘Deductive’ and ‘Inductive’. Both are rules for correct reasoning or correct argumentation. There are only four possible types of sentences dealt with by logic. They are ‘affirmative’, ‘negative’, ‘universal’ and ‘particular’.
Thinking is the intellectual activity by means of which knowledge is obtained. We do not know any fact until we think of it. The aims of Logic are to decide whether a statement is valid or invalid. In short, Logic deals with the nature of reasoning. Logic is correct reasoning. To be logical is to argue reasonably says Professor Emeritus Cohen. He adds that ‘By means of logic we can find out what follows in given statements are true” Logic was made a very technical study and a special science by the Greek philosopher Aristotle. But this does not mean that Logic is found in a text book. Ordinary people like us very often make inferences. They make connections between various statements and come to conclusions.
All sciences are based on reasoning. Logic examines the very nature of reasoning. Literary styles are determined by logical thinking. Aspiring young writers should learn to think clearly if they are to produce non-imaginative critical writing.