Formal logic is the science and art of reasoning well. As a sub-discipline, Formal Logic focuses on the structural validity of arguments. In formal logic, the process of deductive reasoning is employed by studying the movement from a statement or series of statements to a conclusion. Formal logic is incredibly important because it forces us to take a step back and ask the question how we reached our conclusion. The form of the argument and its content will always be intimately related.
Modern education has left formal logic behind, depriving students of the opportunity to inculcate this essential discipline, relegating it to university philosophy departments. A well-rounded student is not taught only what to think but how. Tragically, one does not need to look far in our larger culture to find a plethora of evidence for logic’s absence. For a student to be well-rounded, they must be taught to think well.
In class, we will set the stage for our study of logic by defining terms, exploring the history and development of the subject, and establishing the three acts of the mind. We will then delve into the various kinds of propositions and how they relate to one another. Then, we will consider how propositions work together in syllogisms. Finally, we will discuss terms and their definitions. Besides looking impressive to colleges on a transcript, this course will give your student the ability to analyze how others will present ideas to them, an indispensable skill for those who participate in higher academics.
Required Text: The Discovery of Deduction (Student Edition); ISBN 9781600510335