Demand, high-tech world drive logic of new minor

A new SUNY Oswego minor in logic will leverage courses across four disciplines to build skills that Dr. Craig DeLancey believes are more vital than ever.

“Logic has always been useful,” said DeLancey, of Oswego’s philosophy department. “It teaches you to argue, with reason. And it reveals misleading arguments.”

Students have driven the demand for courses and a minor in advanced symbolic logic, he said, as they grow to understand its relationship to computer science, mathematics and cognitive science, as well as philosophy. For example, the underpinnings of today’s technology rely on logic and math, he said, from computer programming to Google searches.

“A lot of people on campus are very knowledgeable about pieces of this field,” said DeLancey, who frequently teaches courses in logic. “We’re excited about this, and excited because it’s interdisciplinary.”

Computer science course offerings play a strong role in the new minor.

“Computer programming, for example, can be understood as an application of logic,” DeLancey wrote in a proposal for the minor. “As such, logic is excellent training both to provide a foundation to many disciplines and also to prepare for a career in a time when all aspects of the global economy are touched by the information sciences.”

Andy Buchmann, a senior dual major in cognitive science and philosophy-psychology who intends to teach on the college level, agreed.

“I see logic as a bridge between my two (majors),” he said. “The courses in the logic minor offer a broad space with connections to philosophy-psychology and cognitive science.”

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(Posted: Feb 28, 2013)

Tags: philosophy, logic, computer science