Traditionally there are two main types of logic: formal and informal. Formal logic deals with the form of an argument (are the propositions internally consistent), while informal logic deals with the content of an argument (the truth or falsity of its propositions). In an age when logic of any kind is increasingly devalued, it is important for Christians to hold onto its principles as God made us to be rational. Classical Academic Press aims to educate young people in logic and its uses, not only from a theoretical perspective, but in order to put the concepts they learn to practical use.
The Art of Argument and The Argument Builder introduce informal logic. The Art of Argument is an investigation of logical fallacies, how to identify and avoid them. The student book contains everything the student needs, including reading assignments and written exercises; the teacher’s edition contains the full text of the student book, answers to all exercises and teaching tips. The Argument Builder deals with the more positive side of informal logic, equipping kids to focus on the veracity of their statements and material when constructing an argument. The teacher’s guide works the same as the one for The Art of Argument.
The Discovery of Deduction turns to formal logic. Students learn the proper form of various types of arguments, and how to keep their statements and propositions within each argument consistent and logically plausible. This one is a little more challenging than the other two, but it is a vital aspect of logic that often gets ignored, even where informal logic is taught and practiced. The teacher’s guide works basically the same as those for the other two texts, but there is more information for outside study and research.
All three texts are designed for students in middle school and early high school. While some will want to pursue logic study further, the information in these three books will be enough to prepare them for serious study in all fields, and give them a critical eye to examine arguments they will encounter in study and in life. Each book is highly practical in nature, so students won’t end up dead in the water, filled with useful theories but unable to articulate them to practical use. Overall this is an excellent course, both fun and highly educational, not too hard for teachers to implement yet challenging enough to keep students busy.