Logical Thinking: Definition & Process

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  • 0:00 Is That Logical?
  • 0:33 Antecedents
  • 1:28 Consequents
  • 2:40 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: David McMillan
Logical thinking is a process of clearly moving from one related thought to another. In this lesson, you will examine the definition and process of logical thinking, and then you'll get to test your knowledge with a quiz.

Is That Logical?

When you say something is logical, it probably means that thing makes sense to you. For example, let's say that you really like to drink ice-cold lemonade on a hot day and today is a scorching 105 degrees. What can you conclude from these statements? What is the logical outcome?

Logical thinking is a process that involves moving from one related statement or thought to another. The first statements in logical thinking are called antecedents, and the later statements are consequents.

Antecedents

Antecedents are statements that are given to you. Let's examine the lemonade example mentioned earlier. The first two statements in that example given to you are the following:

You really like to drink ice cold lemonade on a hot day.

Today is a scorching hot day (105 degrees).

These two statements are given to you and are the antecedents in the logical thinking process. They are what lead you to an accurate conclusion. That is, given these two statements, what can we conclude? The conclusion is the consequent. Before we discuss consequents, let's look at another example. Here are two more statements:

Sally has a crush on Jeff and Jeff knows it.

Jeff always asks girls out that he knows have a crush on him.

Based on these antecedents, what can we conclude will happen?

Consequents

Antecedents lead to consequents. Consequents are the logical results that follow from antecedent statements. You might want to think of consequents as 'Therefore…' statements in logical thinking, meaning that based on the given information, we can therefore conclude what?

Consider the lemonade example above. You really like to drink ice-cold lemonade on a hot day and today is a scorcher. Therefore, given these two statements, we can conclude that you will probably drink an ice-cold lemonade today. This conclusion is the consequent; it's what results from the antecedent statements and/or is the conclusion you can draw from those statements.

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