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Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software by Charles Petzold

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Chapter 10. Logic and Switches

What is truth? Aristotle thought that logic had something to do with it. The collection of his teachings known as the Organon (which dates from the fourth century B.C.E.) is the earliest extensive writing on the subject of logic. To the ancient Greeks, logic was a means of analyzing language in the search for truth and thus was considered a form of philosophy. The basis of Aristotle's logic was the syllogism. The most famous syllogism (which isn't actually found in the works of Aristotle) is

All men are mortal;

Socrates is a man;

Hence, Socrates is mortal.

In a syllogism, two premises are assumed to be correct, and from these a conclusion is deduced.

The mortality of Socrates might seem straightforward enough, but there ...

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