Popular Science

THE CLASSIC

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Alice’s Adventures Lewis Carroll filled tales like in Wonderland with wordplay. As a lecturer of mathematic­s at Christ Church, Oxford University, he used the same trickery to teach systematic reasoning—parsing a series of premises to reach a conclusion. His so-called The Game of Logic syllogisms debuted in in 1887, Symbolic Logic. and he built on them in 1897’s

Instructio­ns: Read the following statements, note the relationsh­ips among their assertions, and determine one unstated truth.

1. (A) No kitten that loves fish is unteachabl­e.

(B) No kitten without a tail will play with a gorilla.

(C) Kittens with whiskers always love fish.

(D) No teachable kitten has green eyes.

(E) No kittens have tails unless they have whiskers.

2. (A) A plum-pudding that is not really solid is mere porridge.

(B) Every plum-pudding served at my table has been boiled in a cloth.

(C) A plum-pudding that is mere porridge is indistingu­ishable from soup.

(D) No plum-puddings are really solid, except what are served at my table.

3. (A) No ducks waltz.

(B) No officers ever decline to waltz.

(C) All my poultry are ducks.

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