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Logic as a Liberal Art: An Introduction to Rhetoric and Reasoning

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In the twenty-first century there are two ways to study logic. The more recent approach is symbolic logic. The history of teaching logic since World War II, however, casts doubt on the idea that symbolic logic is best for a first logic course. Logic as a Liberal Art is designed as part of a minority approach, teaching logic in the "verbal" way, in the student's "natural" l In the twenty-first century there are two ways to study logic. The more recent approach is symbolic logic. The history of teaching logic since World War II, however, casts doubt on the idea that symbolic logic is best for a first logic course. Logic as a Liberal Art is designed as part of a minority approach, teaching logic in the "verbal" way, in the student's "natural" language, the approach invented by Aristotle. On utilitarian grounds alone, this "verbal" approach is superior for a first course in logic, for the whole range of students. For millennia, this "verbal" approach to logic was taught in conjunction with grammar and rhetoric, christened the trivium. The decline in teaching grammar and rhetoric in American secondary schools has led Rollen Edward Houser to develop this book. The first part treats grammar, rhetoric, and the essential nature of logic. Those teachers who look down upon rhetoric are free, of course, to skip those lessons. The treatment of logic itself follows Aristotle's division of the three acts of the mind (Prior Analytics 1.1). Formal logic is then taken up in Aristotle's order, with Parts on the logic of Terms, Propositions, and Arguments. The emphasis in Logic as a Liberal Art is on learning logic through doing problems. Consequently, there are more problems in each lesson than would be found, for example, in many textbooks. In addition, a special effort has been made to have easy, medium, and difficult problems in each Problem Set. In this way the problem sets are designed to offer a challenge to all students, from those most in need of a logic course to the very best students.


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In the twenty-first century there are two ways to study logic. The more recent approach is symbolic logic. The history of teaching logic since World War II, however, casts doubt on the idea that symbolic logic is best for a first logic course. Logic as a Liberal Art is designed as part of a minority approach, teaching logic in the "verbal" way, in the student's "natural" l In the twenty-first century there are two ways to study logic. The more recent approach is symbolic logic. The history of teaching logic since World War II, however, casts doubt on the idea that symbolic logic is best for a first logic course. Logic as a Liberal Art is designed as part of a minority approach, teaching logic in the "verbal" way, in the student's "natural" language, the approach invented by Aristotle. On utilitarian grounds alone, this "verbal" approach is superior for a first course in logic, for the whole range of students. For millennia, this "verbal" approach to logic was taught in conjunction with grammar and rhetoric, christened the trivium. The decline in teaching grammar and rhetoric in American secondary schools has led Rollen Edward Houser to develop this book. The first part treats grammar, rhetoric, and the essential nature of logic. Those teachers who look down upon rhetoric are free, of course, to skip those lessons. The treatment of logic itself follows Aristotle's division of the three acts of the mind (Prior Analytics 1.1). Formal logic is then taken up in Aristotle's order, with Parts on the logic of Terms, Propositions, and Arguments. The emphasis in Logic as a Liberal Art is on learning logic through doing problems. Consequently, there are more problems in each lesson than would be found, for example, in many textbooks. In addition, a special effort has been made to have easy, medium, and difficult problems in each Problem Set. In this way the problem sets are designed to offer a challenge to all students, from those most in need of a logic course to the very best students.

20 review for Logic as a Liberal Art: An Introduction to Rhetoric and Reasoning

  1. 4 out of 5

    Scotty Hendricks

    An excellent, accessible introduction to grammar, rhetoric, and logic. I highly recommend it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

  3. 4 out of 5

    Fábio

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jeet

  5. 5 out of 5

    Omar

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jordan

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bryce McDonald

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rubens Barros

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nashat Nimer

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sam Mason

  11. 4 out of 5

    Erik

  12. 5 out of 5

    Annika

  13. 5 out of 5

    Wesley

  14. 4 out of 5

    Leslie Yang

  15. 5 out of 5

    Carolina Sarai

  16. 5 out of 5

    Shea

  17. 4 out of 5

    Don

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ian

  19. 4 out of 5

    Metin

  20. 4 out of 5

    A Young Philosopher

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