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 An Explanation The Law of the Excluded Middle

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Join date : 2010-06-26

PostSubject: An Explanation The Law of the Excluded Middle   6/30/2010, 03:25

You will often see me say something like "I invoke the Law of the Excluded Middle."

What exactly does this mean? Why is this useful?

Almost the entirety of deductive logic as it is currently studied assumes the Law of the Excluded Middle, and therefore a basic understanding of it is required before any deduction should be attempted. It will help you to understand how some of the arguments on the forums are balanced, as well as helping you to understand a little more about how you yourself think.

The Law of the Excluded Middle can be stated quite simply:
Any meaningful statement is either true or false; there exists no third possibility.

This seems so incredibly intuitive until you realize that for a lot of issues there's plenty of gray area lying around. Partial trueness or falseness is not allowed by the Law of the Excluded Middle, and so if it doesn't obey Aristotle's Law it really can't be approached using deductive logic very effectively (if at all).

Nevertheless invoking the Law of the Excluded Middle in situations where it may be completely inappropriate will help to establish the facts of the situation since, by its very nature, it requires a cut and dried answer to the problem presented to us. This may be impossible, but that's not the point; merely invoking the law forces us to really take a deep look at the facts of the situation we're looking at rather than simply continuing to argue around and around in circles. Hopefully, by applying this Law of Logic, we all will be able to better ascertain truth from fiction.

Good luck and happy hunting!

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