Charles L. Dodgson's reputation as a significant figure in nineteenth-century logic was firmly established when the philosopher and historian of philosophy William Warren Bartley, III published Dodgson's ?lost? book of logic, Part II of Symbolic Logic, in 1977. Bartley's commentary and annotations confirm that Dodgson was a superb technical innovator. In this paper, I closely examine Dodgson's methods and their evolution in the two parts of Symbolic Logic to clarify and justify Bartley's claims. Then, using more recent publications and unpublished (...) letters, I argue that Dodgson approached the elimination problem in class logic differently than his contemporaries, and in doing so, anticipated several important concepts and techniques in automated deductive reasoning. These materials also provide additional insight into his reasons for writing this book. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
In the period 1893–1897 Charles Dodgson, writing as Lewis Carroll, published two books and two articles on logic topics. Manuscript material first published in 1977 together with letters and diary entries provide evidence that he was working toward a visual proof system for complex syllogistic propositional logic based on a mechanical tree method that he devised.