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Handbook of Practical Logic and Automated Reasoning by John Harrison

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1

Introduction

 

 

In this chapter we introduce logical reasoning and the idea of mechanizing it, touching briefly on important historical developments. We lay the groundwork for what follows by discussing some of the most fundamental ideas in logic as well as illustrating how symbolic methods can be implemented on a computer.

1.1 What is logical reasoning?

There are many reasons for believing that something is true. It may seem obvious or at least immediately plausible, we may have been told it by our parents, or it may be strikingly consistent with the outcome of relevant scientific experiments. Though often reliable, such methods of judgement are not infallible, having been used, respectively, to persuade people that the Earth is flat, that ...

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