Formal Logic teaches us how to come rightly to a conclusion. But coming to just any conclusion is only half the goal of reasoning: we want conclusions which are true and unquestionable.
Not all conclusions have the same logical force—some conclusions are only probable and lead to opinion, some are absolutely infallible and lead to science. Not being able to tell the difference is the way to intellectual chaos, and it’s the great failing of modern science: are scientific experiments certain? Do they lead us to truth? Modern scientists can’t answer this rightly because modern science is founded on bad criteria for certitude.
Material Logic studies how to use the valid reasoning of Formal Logic to the best advantage in exploring the knowable universe; how to combine observation, experiment, definition, division, and reasoning in order to construct a science. Modern scientists say there is no way to prove a theory and hence everything is ultimately subjective. We debunk this myth and lay down the guidelines for proof and scientific certitude. In Material Logic we look at the kinds of concepts and judgments that we must use to come, not to just any conclusion, but to a certain and scientific conclusion. Hence, Material Logic is not a science distinct from Formal Logic—it is the perfection of Formal Logic. Material Logic answers the question: How do we best go about investigating the world around us using what we learned in Formal Logic? So, Material Logic presupposes Formal Logic and, generally, it’s highly recommended that they be studied in order; though some more capable students do decide to take both courses at the same time.
Sometimes called methodology, the course of Material Logic culminates in the division of the sciences—their interrelation and how one science depends on another. In today’s academic community, each area of study is put in the wrong place: the physics department is separate from the psychology department, the math department infiltrates every other department, and the philosophy department is off in its own world entirely. Material Logic will show us that there is an order between the various sciences, that some depend on others while a number of them are wholly independent. Though a complete systematization of the sciences is left ultimately to Metaphysics, Material Logic will give us the guidelines to properly coordinate our scientific investigation of reality; an investigation which, in the end, will lead us to Metaphysics and an ordered view of all reality that we call wisdom.