is educational software designed to help students learn proofs in formal logic. It is intended to be used by instructors and students of college-level logic courses in philosophy, mathematics and computer science. It gives immediate feedback at each stage of a proof, provides hints about how to complete proofs, and comes with a set of video tutorials that explain and review several challenging concepts in logic.
Deductions aims to solve the three problems that make proofs the most difficult component of formal logic courses: not knowing whether rules are applied correctly, getting stuck in the middle of a proof, and uncertainty about the rules and strategies. Deductions addresses these issues by flagging errors, including a hint engine to make suggestions about how to complete a proof, and having multimedia tutorials to help students through complex rules.
- Textbooks - Deductions is designed to work seamlessly with the following textbooks: (i) The Logic Book (by Bergmann, Moor, and Nelson), (ii) A Modern Formal Logic Primer (by Paul Teller), (iii) A Serious Introduction to Mathematical Logic (by Tony Roy). It also works with Modern Logic (by Graeme Forbes) with some adjustment, and because Deductions is highly configurable, it can work with other textbooks as well.
- Flagging Errors - Deductions flags errors in proofs as soon as they occur. This is important, because when students are first learning proofs, they are often not sure how to apply certain rules, and frequently end up practising mistakes. By flagging errors, Deductions prevents students from learning the wrong rules.
- Hint Engine - Deductions provides hints about how to complete proofs. A common frustration of students is that they get stuck in the middle of a proof. Deductions has a hints feature which looks at the proof the student is working on, and suggests how to make progress.
- Multimedia Tutorials - Deductions comes with a set of multimedia tutorials. There are so many rules for constructing proofs that it often difficult for students to keep all the details straight. Deductions comes with a set of video tutorials, divided into two groups: how to use Deductions to learn logic, and how to use the logic rules.
- Flexibility - Deductions is designed to work with many different logic systems and textbooks. Both standard and alternative symbols are included, as well as rules that may be turned on and off individually.
- Modern Design - Deductions provides a modern interface. As a new entry into a field that has not seen many updates in recent years (many logic programs are written for DOS, Windows 9x, or are rudimentary Java applets), Deductions is designed and written for a modern operating system (Mac OS X). Deductions leverages the technologies of Mac OS X to provide a clean user interface, drag-and-drop support, and a comprehensive help system.
- More Efficient than Paper - Deductions takes care of the editing details. When working on paper, especially in large proofs, proofs must be reworked to add or remove lines, existing justifications must be renumbered, and so on. These details are necessary for the proof to work, but have little to do with learning or understanding proofs. Deductions takes care of these housekeeping tasks by automatically adjusting proofs when lines are added, removed or moved.