How to Solve Symbolic Logic Problems

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When solving symbolic logic problems, it's helpful to know which statements are equivalent. Find out which symbols are always consistent with each other with help from a math teacher in this free video on basic math lessons.

Part of the Video Series: Math Lessons
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Video Transcript

So how do you solve symbolic logic problems? Hi, I'm Jimmy Chang and I've been teaching college math for nine years. And those symbolic logic problems can be a little bit of a pain but if you know what those various symbols and statements actually mean if you get the terminology down you will be just fine. But here's a few additional tips on how to solve those pesky symbolic logic problems. As I mentioned just a minute ago know your symbols really really well. There's a lot of little symbols that are always going to be consistent with each other. The symbols involving the words not, and, if, then, if and only if, as well as the symbol for or, all those symbols will always come into play in these symbolic logic problems. Often times you're going to see a lot of problems involving statements as well as arguments which are consisting of statements. Know which statements are equivalent. There's some laws and rules that tell you which forms of statements are equivalent. But they'll also tell you some rules for which statements will not be equivalent by association. There's also some things which will tell you instantly some arguments and statements are valid or invalid. There is actually a table of arguments which tell you four basic types of valid arguments and four basic types of invalid arguments. So if you're able to convert sentences or statements into symbolic form and you recognize the structure to be that of a valid or invalid argument then your problems will be done a lot quicker. Last but not least if you come across a scenario, if you form an argument or a statement and you want to ask and you're asked to prove it as valid or invalid, true or false and it doesn't fit one of those basic forms then it might be necessary to make a truth table. Now if you have two variables like a P or a Q then your truth table will only be four rows. But if you have three variables as a P, Q, R, your truth tells will be getting a little longer but as long as you know what the structure and the definitions are then you should be able to fly through those truth tables very well to figure out if those statements and arguments are valid or invalid. So I'm Jimmy Change and that's how you solve those symbolic logic problems.


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