Logic is seldom even required study in college these days, let alone in the junior or high school level. The move toward classical education in many home and private education circles is slowly changing that, however, and Classical Academic Press is taking advantage of and helping to lead the reversal. The Discovery of Deduction is their latest logic text, a move away from informal logic to formal deductive logic.
How Does This Work?
The Discovery of Deduction is designed for students grades 8-10. The student text contains 45 lessons grouped in chapters and units according to topic. The teacher’s edition contains the complete student text, along with answers to all written exercises, references for extra resources, teaching tips, supplementary information, etc. While the teacher’s edition isn’t absolutely necessary, the time it will save you grading students’ work alone makes it worth the purchase.
Lessons vary in length from two to several pages. Each one begins with “Points to Remember” which helps kids know what to look for as they read, followed by a reading assignment and several written exercises. The exercises quiz both retention of specific information and students’ ability to put what they’ve learned into practice. Reading assignments are challenging and some can be lengthy; they range from history of philosophy and logic to technical logic to instructional dialogues. There is some required reading not found in the text, but detailed instructions for finding it are included.
Whereas informal logic is concerned with the content of an argument (whether or not its propositions are true or false), formal logic is concerned with the form of the argument. For instance, the proposition “All men are mortal” may be true or false (the property of informal logic), but whether the propositions that follow it do so in a logically consistent manner is the domain of formal logic. The Discovery of Deduction deals with formal logic, and is the first logic text from Classical Academic Press to do so.
Students will get a thorough introduction to formal logic and its principles and concepts, but this isn’t simply a theoretical text. The practical value of the material is emphasized, and even applied in the exercises. Interdisciplinary information is included as students are shown the importance of formal logic in all fields of study. While this is an introduction, the text covers a lot more ground than simply the basics and does so at a pace that will challenge students without overwhelming them.
Our Honest Opinion:
This is an excellent introduction to formal logic, a subject often overlooked to the detriment of any complete education. Reading assignments are written in a clear style with frequent comic forays that keep students interested. While you could simply pick this one up and be fine, we suggest using The Art of Argument and The Argument Builder first as a two-part introduction to informal logic—both are also available from Classical Academic Press.
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