Mist Harbor Library Lectures - 2024-01-07 - On Logic (log)

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The following was a part of the Mist Harbor Library lecture series, where Raelee Svala took her second turn as the guest speaker. This was presented on on 1/7/5124. The lecture discussed both formal and informal logic, and demonstrates how logic can accompany the study of magic.

This log has been edited to remove excess noise and chatter.

[Library, Meeting Hall - 29806] (u3223132)
A trio of wide stairs lead down from a wide archway into this brightly lit room. A small podium stands atop a small dais opposite the archway, and several cushioned benches have been arranged throughout the space, each offering an excellent line of sight. A number of elliptical windows line the walls of the hall, and a rich crimson-patterned carpet covers the entirety of the floor underfoot. You also see the Murfey disk, the web-draped Missoni disk, the hammered silver Meliyara disk and a small table with some stuff on it.
Also here: Seneschal Dendum, Murfey who is sitting, Lady Elaejia who is sitting, Lady Starletdawn who is sitting, Hospitaller Yukito who is sitting, Kalyrra who is sitting, Lord Daevian who is sitting, Bathcwyn Missoni who is sitting, Lady Landrai who is sitting, Sister-at-arms Ifanna who is sitting, Sir Bristenn, Lady Corlyne who is sitting, Lady Meliyara who is sitting, Lady Akenna who is sitting, Tikba who is sitting, Giogionni who is sitting, Loremaster Rohese who is sitting, Argent Herald Leifa who is sitting, Jossarian who is sitting, Lord Teveriel who is sitting, Lady Uniana who is sitting, Yunni who is sitting, Relic Hunter Ordim who is sitting, Bakarus who is kneeling, Chatelaine Traiva who is sitting, Prentice Mavwyr Phanna who is sitting, Meril who is sitting, Squire Delindra who is sitting, Jisandra who is sitting, Lord Kothos who is sitting, Magister Raelee, Rillarie who is sitting
Obvious exits: none

Rohese graciously greets, "Good afternoon everyone and a happy new year."

Rohese softly begins, "As the Library's Loremaster, it gives me great pleasure to once again welcome you to another in our lecture series -- now entering its fourth year!"

Rohese softly says, "I see many familiar faces and quite a few new ones."

Rohese nods approvingly.

Speaking to Rohese, Kothos says, "Congratulations on this momentous anniversary, my friend. Loremaster indeed."

Rohese softly says, "Forgive me if you've heard me this before but it doesn't hurt to repeat ..."

Rohese brightly explains, "As I'm sure you are all aware by now, the aim is to provide a platform for imparting knowledge and encouraging discussion."

Rohese smiles.

Rohese gently reminds, "I ask that everyone be considerate to our speaker, as well as those who comment or ask questions."

Rohese wrinkles her nose.

Rohese softly continues, "All opinions are welcome and indeed encouraged, as long as they are courteously expressed."

Rohese excitedly says, "I am especially delighted that our speaker agreed to return and bring in the new year with flair ... or flare."

Rohese softly says, "So without further ado, please give the Magister a warm Library welcome."

Rohese beams at Raelee and claps her hands together in delight!

(Raelee calmly steps up to the podium and takes a position behind it.)

Raelee clearly announces, "Today we are going to discuss a subject that should be at the root of all inquiry, at the root of all attempts to understand the world around us..."

Raelee continues, "...and a subject that in my experience, should be relied upon far more often than it is..."

Raelee bluntly states, "Logic."

Raelee asks, "Define logic? One of you?"

Delindra raises her hand.

Raelee nods at Delindra.

Delindra hesitantly offers, "Reasonableness?"

Raelee echoes, "Reasonableness."

Raelee says, "To elaborate on that..."

Raelee says, "When we describe logic as a science, it can be defined as the study of the principles of correct reasoning or inference."

Raelee says, "When we describe logic as a tool that we use in inquiry, it is a *method* of reasoning or argumentation."

Raelee clearly asks, "And why is logic important in academic inquiry and the pursuit of knowledge?"

Raelee quickly adds, "... and that is a rhetorical question. I am not actually seeking commentary."

Raelee says, "I value the practice of logic so highly because it provides a pathway to formulate correct arguments and correct conclusions without interference by *subjective* influences such as emotion or our personal desires."

Raelee says, "Thus today, I aim to provide you with an introduction to logic as a branch of philosophy as well as demonstrate how it can be applied in inquiry."

Raelee explains, "At the highest level, logic can be divided into two categories: formal and informal."

Raelee says, "There are many ways to describe the difference between these two forms."

Raelee says, "Formal logic evaluates the structure of an argument, informal logic evaluates the content of the argument."

Raelee says, "Or... formal logic takes an argument, converts the content into symbols, and then evaluates that argument according to rigid rules, whereas informal logic utilizes our natural language, acknowledges context and ambiguity, and ultimately can be described as 'everyday reasoning.'."

Raelee explains, "In our day-to-day studies and activities, we are far more likely to engage in informal logic... unless the activity at hand is actually mathematics or a practice that leverages formulae such as the physical or alchemical sciences."

Raelee adds, "... I should note, however, the underpinning of informal logic is the formal form."

Raelee says, "And despite how a thorough command of formal logic can greatly increase one's effective use of informal logic, I am not going to spend much time on the formal today."

Raelee flatly says, "I have been informed that it is a very dry topic, though I do not understand why it is seen as such..."

Raelee narrows her eyes.

Raelee shakes her head, totally at a loss.

(Raelee makes a brief beckoning gesture towards a library assistant. Moments later, the assistant rolls a slate board in, leaving it beside the podium.)

Raelee gives a slight flick of her wrist, and some long translucent chalk suddenly appears in her hand!

Raelee continues, "There are many branches of formal logic... And while my favorite to study is epistemic logic, I am going to introduce propositional logic today instead."

Raelee says, "Propositional logic is, arguably, the simplest form of formal logic."

Raelee says, "This is a very early form of logical study as well - we see examples of it in early Kannalan scholarship, ancient Elven scholarship, and so forth. To my knowledge, the Erithians also separately built a very similar foundation to their own logical scholarship."

Raelee says, "It utilizes propositions, which are statements that are either true or false... and logical operators, such as 'and', 'or', or 'not', to combine and manipulate those propositions."

(Raelee chalks the equation 'C = A ^ B' on the slate board in a quick, but neat hand.)

Raelee says, "Written representations of formal logical arguments do often resemble algebraic equations, in truth."

Raelee says, "Alternatively, one might say algebraic forms follow the path of formal logic and its symbolic language."

(Raelee taps the slate board with a knuckle, as if reinforcing the point.)

Raelee says, "Now, let us take two statements:"

Raelee states, "The fire is burning."

Raelee states, "I am warm."

Raelee says, "We can combine these two statements and say... the fire is burning and I am warm."

Raelee says, "Our first statement, the fire is burning, is symbolized by the letter A in this example. Our second statement, I am warm, is symbolized by the letter B."

Raelee says, "As one might guess, C symbolizes the combined statement."

Raelee says, "And this symbol here," She indicates the '^' symbol on the board with a pointed finger, "represents the conjunction 'and'."

Raelee says, "What this formula means is that C, our combined statement, is only true if both A and B are true."

Raelee says, "The truth of the statement 'the fire is burning and I am warm' relies upon it being true that the fire is burning and it also being true that I am warm."

(Raelee chalks another equation onto the board, below the first: ((A = B) ^ (A=C)) followed by an arrow pointing rightwards towards (B=C).)

Raelee states, "If A equals B and A equals C, then B equals C."

Rohese whimpers.

Raelee surreptitiously glances at Rohese.

Raelee says, "And we can continue to build. We have a symbolic language that covers all manner of conditions such as and, or, if, necessity, possibility, syntactically entails, semantically entails, the negation of both of those, and so forth."

Raelee says, "Thus, we can illustrate complex arguments in this symbolic language and utilize that to prove or disprove their validity."

Kothos says, "Logic is when the conditions are balanced in the argument."

Speaking to Kothos, Raelee says, "Succinctly put."

Raelee says, "Now, I did promise that I would not spend much time on formal logic."

(Raelee shakes her head briefly.)

Raelee says, "... but before I continue on to the informal, I am going to veer away from fact and into opinion."

(Delindra absently pulls a torn piece of parchment out and scribbles something on it with a quill, squinting back and forth between the slate board and her handwriting.)

Delindra works her fingers under her green leather hat and scratches her head.

Raelee says, "As I previously mentioned, we can see the development of these structures occurring separately in ancient scholarship. The Elves and the Erithians were able to develop very similar systems without much known contact or collaboration. We also see this phenomenon in ancient mathematical development."

Raelee says, "I believe that there is likely great meaning in the fact that separate people, separate cultures are able to come to these same conclusions... that these rules are able to be found by any who are looking for them."

Raelee says, "To me, that speaks to the universal truth in logic... or mathematics for that matter."

(Raelee appears lost in thought briefly, and for a fleeting moment she looks almost wistful.)

Raelee schools her face into a neutral expression.

Raelee continues, "... and now on to where I intend to dwell for the next chapter of this lecture: informal logic."

Raelee explains, "Informal logic is the logic we tend to leverage in our everyday lives, whether in argumentation or decision making."

Raelee states, "These are our critical thinking skills."

Raelee says, "Returning to my previous example of 'the fire is burning' and 'I am warm' - if I am too warm, informal logic may lead to a thought process such as..."

Raelee states, "I am too warm because I am near the fire, thus I should move away from the fire."

Raelee asks, "It seems... logical, no?"

Raelee raises an eyebrow.

Yukito signals, "A person could also be suffering from hypothermia. And not feel warm."

Daevian looks over at Raelee and shakes his head.

Kothos says, "It does depend on the rest of the argument."

Daevian nods at Kothos.

Raelee says, "And I shall proceed to the rest of the argument, of course."

Speaking to Kothos, Daevian says, "That was my disagreement with it being logical."

Speaking to Yukito, Raelee says, "Hypothermia, as you suggest, would fall under the category of counterarguments. Which is amongst the nine points of constructing a valid argument."

Yukito nods politely at Raelee.

(Raelee begins visibly counting on her fingers, raising one in turn with each stated component.)

Rohese incredulously murmurs, "Nine."

Rohese takes a slow, deep breath then pinches the bridge of her nose.

Raelee clearly says, "We begin with premises."

Ordim mouths, "Oh boy!"

Raelee says, "A premise is a statement in an argument which is accepted to be true for the purpose of the argument and does not need to be proven in context. One such unstated premise in the aforementioned argument might be, 'Fire is warm.'."

Raelee says, "At times, a premise may also be referred to as a given or a given statement."

Raelee says, "In short - these are established facts."

Raelee says, "The fire is burning. Fire is warm. I am too warm."

Raelee continues, "We, of course, end with conclusions."

Raelee states, "I should move away from the fire."

Raelee says, "The rest of the component parts are utilized in reaching the conclusion from the given premises."

Raelee states, "Inference or reasoning."

Raelee says, "This the process we follow to connect these two things. It explains how the evidence in the premises leads to the acceptance or support of the conclusion."

Raelee says, "If fire is warm, and I am warm, perhaps my proximity to the fire is the cause."

Raelee states, "Supporting evidence."

Raelee says, "This consists of facts, examples, data, or other information that reinforces the truth or likelihood of the premises. This is everything we know about the nature of fire and practical examples of that knowledge."

Raelee says, "... such as the effect fire has upon a kettle of water for tea."

Raelee says, "If fire can increase the temperature of water... perhaps it can also increase my own temperature."

Raelee states, "Assumptions."

Raelee says, "These are unstated or implicit premises that are taken for granted but not explicitly mentioned in the argument."

Raelee says, "Such as, we may be assuming the fire is the source of the warmth and not some internal magical process, for example."

The air around Raelee shimmers in a mirage, waves of invisible heat radiating off of her.

Raelee says, "Which is, of course, possible."

Raelee states, "Counterarguments."

Raelee says, "These are not required and may not be used in all cases, but these are opposing viewpoints or objections that may be raised against the argument. Addressing counterarguments strengthens the argument by demonstrating awareness of potential challenges and providing responses to them."

Speaking to Yukito, Raelee says, "Perhaps one might suggest hypothermia, which can be refuted by saying our subject has not been exposed to extreme cold."

Yukito nods at Raelee.

Raelee says, "Or given that the conclusion we are arguing towards is the necessity of moving away from the fire..."

Raelee says, "Perhaps one could suggest extinguishing the fire instead - but then remark that some heat from the fire is necessary and we would be too cold in its absence. Thus, it is more logical to simply reduce our proximity to it."

Raelee states, "Structure."

Raelee says, "This is how we arrange our other components into valid deductive reasoning."

Raelee elaborates, "If we revert back to formal logic for a moment, this is where all of our defined operators come into play. And, or, if, because, and so forth..."

(Raelee clearly enunciates as she mentions various logical operators.)

Raelee says, "I am too warm *because* I am near the fire. Thus, *if* I move away from the fire, I will be less warm."

Raelee states, "Rhetorical devices."

Raelee says, "These are methods to increase the effectiveness of one's argument. They may include analogies, metaphors, or emotional appeals, all designed to persuade."

Raelee mentions, "I prefer to not rely upon these in my own formation of argument, but one might say that is merely my own opinion on method."

Speaking quietly to her well-aged whiskey, Murfey says, "I think I'm going to need more of you for this."

Speaking quietly to Murfey, Kothos says, "It does provide a certain elasticity for these subjects..."

Raelee says, "The necessity of rhetoric is often weighed upon the purpose of the argument - if one intends to persuade, it is useful. If one is evaluating evidence, it may cause deviation from the truth."

Rohese confusedly ponders, "Does the wearing of a blanket introduce a new variable?"

Speaking to Rohese, Raelee says, "It could."

Rohese beams!

Rohese brightly whispers aloud, "I think I understand this!"

Rohese claps her hands together in delight!

Speaking to Rohese, Murfey asks, "Is the blanket on fire?"

Speaking to Rohese, Raelee says, "Even more than you realize, likely. These are principles you likely leverage every day."

Rohese laughs softly, trying to hide her amusement from Murfey.

Raelee states, "Lastly, clarity and precision."

Speaking loudly to Rohese, Delindra whispers aloud, "She's such a good teacher!"

Raelee explains, "Ambiguity can weaken an argument, thus precision in language is essential to a well-constructed argument."

Rohese nods enthusiastically at Delindra!

Raelee surreptitiously glances at Delindra.

Delindra clasps her hand over her mouth.

Raelee says, "I am too warm, thus I should move over there."

Raelee says, "We are now missing the cause and effect due to lack of specificity surrounding reason."

Speaking to Raelee, Kothos says, "They fade into assumptions."

Speaking to Kothos, Raelee says, "Precisely."

(Raelee pauses for a moment, glancing about the room. She then drops her hands into a more relaxed position, curling her previously raised eight fingers and thumb into them.)

Raelee suggests, "Now, provide me with some examples of use of informal logic in the course of pursuit of knowledge?"

Raelee glances expectantly around the room.

Delindra raises her hand.

Raelee nods at Delindra.

Delindra hesitantly suggests, "Forming a hypothesis and testing it?"

(Rohese tentatively raises her hand for a moment then lowers it again.)

Speaking to Delindra, Raelee says, "Yes. Logic is leveraged in that process, both in the formation and in the proving."

Speaking quietly to Delindra, Kothos says, "Experiments."

Speaking to Rohese, Raelee says, "I did see that."

Yukito signals, "Informal... so... um... The books on the shelves should hold a lot of information, therefore I can read them all and become a genius? Everyone says so?"

Speaking to Delindra, Murfey asks, "Isn't a hypotenuse a type of Krynch?"

Speaking to Murfey, Daevian whispers aloud, "Hypothesis, not hypotenuse."

Speaking quietly to Murfey, Delindra admits, "I'm not sure."

Speaking to Murfey, Raelee says, "That is the longest segment in a right triangle, opposite the ninety degree angle."

Speaking to Murfey, Ordim adds, "That was the last lecture actually."

Speaking to Ordim, Murfey says, "That's what I get for missing one."

Raelee says, "And Yukito mentions the idea that books should hold a lot of information, therefore he can read them all and become a genuius."

Daevian says, "Of course, that would depend on what the books are."

Speaking to Yukito, Raelee says, "But that does leave out several variables - such as the quality of information, whether or not they actually hold to what they assumed to do, and the ability of the reader to process and understand that information."

Daevian nods at Raelee.

Yukito agrees with Raelee.

Speaking softly to Yukito, Rohese exclaims, "I had a similar idea!"

Speaking curiously to Raelee, Kothos says, "Measurement, perhaps? So you have a scale for collecting premises."

Speaking to Kothos, Raelee says, "Standards for definition."

Kothos nods at Raelee.

(Raelee rests her hands on the podium again.)

Raelee says, "Carrying on..."

Raelee says, "We might use it in historical inquiry, for example, forming a conclusion about the activities of someone a millennia ago based on what we know of human behavior, existing record, and other evidence at hand."

Speaking to Yukito, Daevian says, "I think it'd be more accurate to say that if you read all the books, you would know more than you knew before you did. Though, there's still variables there..."

Speaking to Daevian, Raelee adds, "... as all books in the established set could, perhaps, only contain information the reader has previously been exposed to, and thus nothing is learned despite the effort."

Speaking to Raelee, Daevian says, "You finished my thought exactly."

Daevian says, "That'd be highly unlikely, though."

Speaking to Daevian, Raelee agrees, "Excellent thought, then."

Raelee says, "The usage does not need to be academic. We might utilize it in the decision making process of purchasing a horse."

Meliyara notes, "Or the author could be biased or incorrect in some way, introducing flaws into the subject matter."

Daevian says, "Even being exposed to the same information you've read before, you could perceive it differently due to experiences since the last time you were exposed to it."

Daevian nods at Raelee.

Raelee says, "I require a horse to travel long distances. This horse is of a breed known for endurance, thus this might be an ideal horse to purchase."

Raelee says, "Many of us are used to making decisions or forming conclusions based on our instinct. It is often said that instinct is the instant form of informal logic - we are acting on numerous unconscious premises that we have come to know the truths of in our lifetimes of experience."

Speaking softly to Raelee, Rohese blurts, "But is it a pretty horse?"

Rohese clasps her hand over her mouth.

Speaking to Rohese, Raelee says, "That is subjective."

Rohese blushes sheepishly to herself.

Raelee says, "Though, we must still take care as instinct can also be drastically influenced by emotion, which can often pull us away from a logical path."

Speaking quietly to Rohese, Kothos says, "Aesthetics play a role, my friend. Agreed."

Raelee says, "... such as subjective, aesthetic qualities."

Raelee glances between Kothos and Rohese.

(Raelee shakes her head faintly.)

Raelee says, "As I have said, the purpose of logic, both in academic inquiry and everyday decision making is to form *correct* arguments based upon truths."

Speaking loudly to Kothos, Delindra whispers aloud, "You helped her make her point perfectly."

Delindra nods approvingly.

(Raelee pauses for a moment and moves away from the podium. She waves a hand over the slate board and releases a small torrent of air, erasing all of the existing chalk from its surface into a cloud of dust.)

Speaking to Delindra, Kothos says, "...yes, I meant to do that."

Kothos flashes a quick grin at Delindra.

Raelee says, "And now I will end this with what some might consider an odd confluence of topics: logic and magic. This is a more detailed attempt to demonstrate usage of both formal and informal logic in the pursuit of a specific study."

Raelee says, "Some might find it ill-fitting that I would speak of these two topics together, as so much of magic is based upon force of will... and the mortal will so often defies logic."

Raelee dryly adds, "... exhaustingly often, really."

Raelee asks, "Yet, there are many patterns in magic, no?"

(Raelee briefly glances about the room, raising both eyebrows as she does.)

Raelee says, "The entire concept of rote magic relies upon us repeating patterns over and over until the mana about us easily folds into them like a well-worn crease in a sheet of parchment."

Kothos says, "Gestures and the verbal components."

Raelee states, "Where patterns exist, logic defines them."

Raelee says, "Alchemy for example, one might say is amongst the best examples of logic applied to magic."

Ordim groans.

Rohese nods enthusiastically at Raelee!

Yukito winces.

Delindra fidgets.

With an empathetic nod, Rohese discreetly takes Yukito's hand in hers and gives it a momentary squeeze.

Raelee dryly asks, "Is this somehow worse than formal logic, now?"

(Delindra appears to be stifling a cringe.)

(Raelee pauses her speech to add another equation to the slate board. It begins with an upwards pointing triangle, then continues with an arrow, some numbers, the letters M and N, a few other symbols, and concludes with an equals sign followed by the letter D.)

Speaking to Raelee, Kothos says, "A sore subject for many, I am sure."

Raelee asks, "Does anyone recognize what this formula represents?"

Raelee glances expectantly around the room.

Meril asks, "Is this one of the alchemical symbols?"

Phanna raises her hand.

Raelee nods at Phanna.

Phanna asks, "Is that extracting a crystal?"

Speaking to Phanna, Raelee says, "It is, yes."

Phanna beams!

Raelee says, "Yes, it is the extraction of what is often colloquially referred to as 'shimmering dust' from an n'ayanad crystal."

Phanna nods thoughtfully.

Yukito stares at Phanna.

Speaking to Meril, Raelee says, "And the triangle does represent fire - we will see it very often in alchemical formulas."

Speaking to Yukito, Phanna whispers aloud, "I spent a lot of time working with alchemy last year."

Raelee says, "We do not often have to consider the logic behind alchemical formulas, or our rote spells, as our predecessors in these practices sorted all of that out generations ago - and we are merely following the path laid for us."

Uniana closes her eyes, leans back her head, and adopts an expression of bored misery.

Raelee says, "Let us consider what these earlier alchemists may have been thinking, though..."

Speaking to Raelee, Kothos says, "Leaving us to simply memorize their successes."

Raelee says, "It is known that if one begins with a n'ayanad crystal, one can reduce it to dust, and re-crystallize it into a cluster of the lesser t'ayanad crystals."

Delindra mumbles, "...how to bore novices into never wanting to practice alchemy ever again..."

Delindra coughs.

Delindra clasps her hand over her mouth.

Speaking to Delindra, Raelee counters, "It might be more appealing with greater understanding of the underlying principles."

Raelee says, "This process can be repeated, creating s'ayanad crystals, and then ayanad crystals. One n'ayanad crystal can ultimately produce eight similarly-sized ayanad crystals."

Raelee asks, "And with that simple eight to one ratio as our given in the formula, surely you can begin to see how early alchemists could begin to make logical inferences and conclusions regarding the effects of different crystal types in alchemical recipes?"

Raelee says, "If an ayanad crystal carries a level of power we shall define as A..."

(Raelee quickly slashes an A onto the slate board with her chalk.)

Raelee continues, "Now consider a mana potion that one can ingest to restore their own internal mana. These are brewed utilizing ayanad crystals."

Raelee asks, "Knowing that an s'ayanad crystal contains twice the power of an ayanad crystal... what is a reasonable inference to make when developing a formula for a stronger mana potion?"

Rohese excitedly whispers aloud, "I understand this!"

Rohese claps her hands together in delight!

(Raelee quirks an eyebrow while glancing about the room expectantly.)

Traiva says, "Twice as effective."

Raelee nods at Traiva.

Speaking cheerfully to Rohese, Rillarie whispers aloud, "I am trying."

Speaking to Traiva, Raelee agrees, "Logical."

Raelee adds, "Of course, it is not actually true that an s'ayanad crystal will create a mana potion with twice the power, as this ignores all other variables at play such as the mana that escapes when heat is applied and other ingredients that we may add to stabilize these reactions..."

Traiva quietly murmurs, "I have my moments."

Raelee says, "But despite that oversimplification, you can begin to see how a logical inference - one that can easily be illustrated propositionally - can be used in the development of our magic, alchemical or otherwise."

Speaking to Raelee, Kothos says, "It's an exponential scale."

Speaking to Kothos, Raelee says, "With variables."

Kothos nods at Raelee.

(Raelee quickly chalks the rest of a logical sequence after the existing A on the board, illustrating that if S equals two A, and if A equals M, then two M must also equal S.)

Raelee asks, "It makes sense, yes?"

(Raelee makes a gesture towards the written notations on the board.)

Raelee continues, "Now let us illustrate how we can also apply these principles in the development of our rote spells."

Raelee mentions, "As I am an elementalist, I will remain in that area for my examples."

Raelee says, "We are aware of the concept of opposing elements: fire and water, air and earth. The opposition of fire and water is often more easily understood, thus let us discuss that."

Raelee says, "When we desire heat, we utilize fire spells, when we desire cold, we utilize water spells, and so on..."

Raelee says, "Fire spells and water spells often contain similar patterns, but we simply invert them for the opposite effect."

(Raelee quickly jots a sequence on the slate board in standard magical notation, beginning with an upward pointing triangle. After she finishes writing, she taps the starting triangle with her knuckle.)

Raelee clearly states, "Fire."

Raelee says, "The rest that follows describes the process of directing a bolt of fire outwards. This is a description of a spell frequently utilized in basic, rote wizardry."

Raelee asks, "Taking the given statement that fire is the opposing element to water, and that water patterns are often the inverse of fire patterns... utilizing logical inference, what do we think might happen if we invert this spell?"

(Raelee quickly chalks another sequence of notation, starting with a downwards pointing triangle, and reversing many of the other symbols that follow.)

Ordim raises his hand.

Raelee nods at Ordim.

Ordim suggests, "Water will come to you?"

Speaking to Ordim, Raelee says, "That is correct."

Ordim adopts an agreeable expression.

Raelee says, "The caster is likely to freeze his or her own arm off, for we also inverted the bits that direct it outwards."

Raelee says, "Thus we learn, that while some patterns should be inverted, logically... others should remain as-is."

Raelee adds, "... many an empath has been required in the early development of spells. Unfortunately, most records also indicate that development of elemental magic predates that of most healing magic... thus that frozen arm may have resulted in permanent disfigurement or worse..."

(Raelee faintly shrugs one shoulder.)

Raelee says, "... but I digress..."

Raelee says, "As I mentioned, magic is brought forth through the force of will, but that means we are willing mana into very specific patterns with very specific effects. Magic is not simply a matter of will combined with mana and imagination."

Raelee says, "Even if you do not recognize or understand the pattern, it is still there."

Raelee says, "... and as I said, where patterns exist, logic exists."

Raelee says, "... thus one can begin to see how the development of rote circles relied upon logical thought processes surrounding cause and effect, particularly given that as one progresses through a circle, we are often building upon patterns utilized in previous spells."

Raelee says, "And in magic, much like in other areas of logic inquiry, we can take different routes to similar conclusions. Consider the spell in my own circle known as Major Fire - the eighth in the circle."

Raelee says, "... now consider the eleventh spell in a spiritual circle, Fire Spirit. Or the casting of Balefire in the sorcerous circles."

Raelee says, "These are three spells that have remarkably similar effects, yet are cast with entirely different methods. If we analyze them more closely, we will see repeating patterns, with Balefire in particular containing threads of the other two."

Raelee says, "... and the combination of those threads results in a similar, but not identical effect due to the other variables at hand."

Raelee says, "If a splash of fire can be achieved through elemental method A, and spiritual method B, then it is logical to believe that shared methods in the two can create similar effect through the hybrid method C."

Raelee says, "... now I could continue down this path for hours, days, or even years - there are scholars who devote their entire lifetime of study not to the application of these principles, but to the definition and understanding of these principles."

Raelee mentions, "... some brilliant treatises have come out of Chantry on the subject."

Raelee says, "Given that we have barely begun to broach the topic of logic, truly, I do not know that I have a neat statement to end this discussion with..."

Raelee says, "Thus, I will simply attempt to reiterate how formalizing our thought processes through logic can aid us greatly in the pursuit of *correct* knowledge, by clearly establishing our conclusions with defined proof and arguments."

Raelee says, "It is the process of defining not what we want, or feel, or think... but the process of defining the truth via formal argument, independent of our own biases."

(Raelee moves away from the slate board and returns to the podium.)

Raelee says, "And that is all I have to say on the topic for today."

Raelee asks, "Have we any questions?"

Rohese softly murmurs, "I would still look for a pretty horse."

Raelee gives a sidelong glance at Rohese.

Speaking to Raelee, Daevian says, "Absolutely fantastic."

Speaking cheerfully to Rohese, Rillarie says, "You and I both."