Everyone thinks, but not everyone thinks clearly. Everyone makes arguments, but not all arguments are valid. Aristotle points out that all people use the arts of logic and rhetoric in all their thinking and speaking, but some do so randomly, while others study the principles behind these two basic mental arts and apply them systematically. And Augustine reminds us that the rules concerning logic are not arbitrary and man made, but descriptions of the way the mind naturally thinks, whether correctly or incorrectly, as God has created it. The study of logic helps us to identify the errors and inaccuracies in what we and others think and say. This is valuable training for the mind, for it teaches the student to analyze carefully the arguments in the books he studies, and it is a protection against deception, especially in the news media and the political and theological arenas.
Cassiodorus.org online classes include reading and discussing the texts in class, and working the exercises in the texts. Working the exercises will involve a lot of practice in applying the principles of logic to arguments found in Scripture, newspapers, advertising, famous speeches, popular science, etc.
This course is recommended for students thirteen years old and older, and it helps greatly to have had or to be taking Algebra I. We may make exceptions based on parental evaluation of the student’s ability to handle coursework.
Course Summary and Profile:Age Range: 13 and up Topic: The Art of Reasoning Duration: 1 year
Logic is the second stage of the trivium of classical education and is a crucial stage in the educational development of a child. This course is written to be both practical in its application to everyday reasoning, and thorough in communicating the principles and patterns of reasoning in the symbolic abstract.
1. Rhyme and Reason, Peter D. Roise
2. Proverbs of Solomon, The Bible
3. Weight of Glory (Collection of Essays), C.S. Lewis
4. The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
5. A Study in Scarlet, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
6. Father Brown Stories (Father Brown Omnibus), G.K. Chesterton
7. Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis
8. Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
9. Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin (first six chapters)