Lewis Carroll's visual logic
Author: Abeles, Francine
Source: History and Philosophy of Logic, Volume 28, Number 1, February 2007 , pp. 1-17(17)
Publisher: Taylor and Francis Ltd
Abstract:John Venn and Charles L. Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) created systems of logic diagrams capable of representing classes (sets) and their relations in the form of propositions. Each is a proof method for syllogisms, and Carroll's is a sound and complete system. For a large number of sets, Carroll diagrams are easier to draw because of their self-similarity and algorithmic construction. This regularity makes it easier to locate and thereby to erase cells corresponding with classes destroyed by the premises of an argument, a particularly difficult task in Venn diagrams for more than four sets. Carroll diagrams can represent existential propositions easily, so they are capable of clearly representing more complex problems than Venn's system can. Finally, both Carroll and Venn diagrams are maximal, in the sense that no additional logic information like inclusive disjunctions is able to be represented by them. Carroll's logic diagrams and logic trees constitute his visual logic system.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Department of Mathematics & Computer Science, Kean University, Union, NJ, USA
Publication date: 2007-02-01