Comprehensive Courses in Logic Series: A Parent-Friendly Guide
Catholic Homeschooling and Teaching Logic: Online Classes
Looking through logic course offerings can be daunting for the un-initiated. “Do I have to take a course in logic before I know what my student should study?” Never fear! We now have a painless, parent-friendly guide for our Comprehensive Course in Logic series, a four-course offering that will prepare your student for future studies and life skills in all arenas. For those parents with Unlimited Access, these courses are available for your student and for you today! And, there is Instructor Access (optional grading service) available for the recorded courses. These courses are also available as LIVE, interactive courses for students (grading included).
Following is a breakdown of the various logic courses in this series with an offer to help you decide which course or courses may be the best fit for your student.
The logic curriculum comprises four courses: Reasoning and Rhetoric, Classical Syllogistic Logic, Modern Symbolic Logic, and Basics of Inductive Reasoning. There is only one textbook purchase required for all four of these courses- all materials are drawn from Copi and Cohen’s Logic: An Introduction, 14th Edition.
The most general course is Reasoning and Rhetoric, which lacks a formal component and introduces the basic terminology you need to discuss and evaluate arguments. In this course we also go over the various fallacies, and learn how to diagram written arguments to lay bare their logical structure.
The two courses with a formal component are Classical Syllogistic Logic and Modern Symbolic Logic. The former operates on categorical propositions and classes, and the latter uses a mathematics-like symbolism to prove conclusions. Syllogistic logic is essentially verbal in nature, and builds upon our basic understanding of how things can be grouped into categories and the logical relations among terms such as “All”, “None”, and “Some”. In this course we learn how to construct valid syllogistic arguments, read and interpret Venn Diagrams, and construct extended chains of deductive reasoning.
Modern Symbolic Logic, on the other hand, is more abstract in nature and uses symbols to represent propositions. These propositions have a logical syntax and a logical “grammar” that can be used to construct and evaluate extended arguments of great complexity. For those unfamiliar with this style of logic, you might consider High School Geometry as its nearest equivalent in terms of methods and content. Those interested in computer science will find this type of logic particularly helpful, as modern symbolic logic is the precursor of computational languages.
The final course in the series is Basics of Inductive Reasoning, which is non-formal in nature but much more specific than Reasoning and Rhetoric. In this course, we study the scientific method, cause and effect reasoning, and basic probability theory. There is a light mathematical component, as we will use math to compute probability, but this part of the course contains nothing inaccessible to any student able to add and multiply fractions.
While we recommend ALL students take all four courses, here is the bottom line should you and your student decide to choose only one:
- If your student does not have a strong preference between math/science and the liberal arts, choose Reasoning and Rhetoric. This is where the basic terms are introduced, you’ll learn to diagram arguments, see structure, and read critically.
- If your student is really strong in math or science or has an interest in computers, choose Modern Symbolic Logic, which is the most abstract and mathematics-like of the systems of logic.
- Most students who will want to dig deeper and who want a form of logic applicable in the humanities should choose Classical Syllogistic Logic, which will introduce classes, terms, and syllogisms, and is well-suited to verbal reasoning.
- Those who seek something with applicability in the natural sciences, should choose Basics of Inductive Reasoning, which will emphasize the scientific method, cause-and-effect reasoning, and even some basic probability theory.
Courses available for the upcoming 2022/2023 school year: All four courses are available through Unlimited Access as independent-learning, self-paced courses. Classical Syllogistic Logic and Modern Symbolic Logic are offered as LIVE, interactive courses in 2022/2023. Note: All of the courses in this series can be taken in any order or individually.