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11 May 2006 - 16:09
My neighbor and I have been cruising logic texts. We figure we need to incorporate a HOW TO REASON "piece" in the afterschool writing program we're undertaking now that we have to teach our boys to write before they audition for high school Honors courses. (I'm going to count the number of times an Irvington administrator uses the word "piece" at the next school board meeting.) This morning it came to me that an excellent way to teach logic would be to give the kids essays written by educators (that's educators as opposed to teachers) and have them Spot the Logical Fallacy. Let's get started today, shall we?
Children's reading and writing abilities develop together. source:
Here's my answer.
-- CatherineJohnson - 11 May 2006 Back to main page.
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Most of that is just argument by assertion. I do rather like their use of a 15-year-old study to assert that "[r]esearch  has begun to show...". So, when will the research actually show what you assert rather than just beginning? Will it be in 15 more years? 20? 100? Oh, and I'll shamelessly link to Logical Fallacy Bingo. -- DougSundseth - 11 May 2006
For logic, I like "Straight and Crooked Thinking" by Thouless (I think), and something by Antony Flew (forget the name). -- VerghisKoshi - 11 May 2006
On the bigger issue of teaching logic, I'll note that there are several fields of study that are all referred to as "Logic", but which are only somewhat linked. What you're doing here is probably what most people would think of when the field is talked about. It is mostly inductive and requires a strong understanding of what sorts of reasoning are fallacious. Another sort is deductive logic. This is used in mathematical proofs and involves rigid reasoning to examine as many consequences as possible of a very limited set of premises. The premises themselves are not subject to challenge or proof, since they are the base upon which and the materials with which the rest of the structure is built. If you change them, an entirely different structure arises. (See non-Euclidean geometry for an example of this.) A third sort is boolean logic, which is most used in computer programming. It is a deductive logic, but is well-enough developed and ubiquitous enough that I consider it a field unto itself. This is the logic of Truth Tables and logic gates. I mention this, because you'll probably not want to teach all of these simulataneously, and a book on one is unlikely to be especially useful for learning the others. -- DougSundseth - 11 May 2006
Most of that is just argument by assertion. THANK YOU! I'm going to start relearning the logical fallacies - I'm gonna need them. -- CatherineJohnson - 11 May 2006
oh right.....I don't mean "logic" in the "mathematical" sense (is that the proper use of the term?) I'm not talking about deductive reasoning. I'm talking about the various logical fallacies & rules of argumentation. -- CatherineJohnson - 11 May 2006
I mention this, because you'll probably not want to teach all of these simulataneously, and a book on one is unlikely to be especially useful for learning the others. OK, I'm going to hope you're joking. -- CatherineJohnson - 11 May 2006
Verghis - thanks! I'll go look those up. My neighbor ordered "Crimes Against Logic," and her 7th grade son loves it. She also ordered....I'll go find it; back in a sec. -- CatherineJohnson - 11 May 2006
Isn't there a term for Getting Something Completely Wrong? One of the main problems here is a false distinction between writing & reading on the one hand and everything else on the other. Not sure "false distinction" is right.... In any case, this writer is making sweeping generalizations about the one-and-the-sameness of reading and writing through descriptive statements that apply to learning & thinking & having a brain in general. -- CatherineJohnson - 11 May 2006
uh-oh only one copy of Straight and Crooked Thinking available, at $125 People love it -- CatherineJohnson - 11 May 2006
ISBN: 0340527102 -- CatherineJohnson - 11 May 2006
Thouless website -- CatherineJohnson - 11 May 2006
oops - scratch that - that's a used copy site ($100) -- CatherineJohnson - 11 May 2006
Thirty-Eight dishonest tricks from Straight and Crooked Thinking HOW CAN THIS BOOK BE OUT OF PRINT??? -- CatherineJohnson - 11 May 2006
Introduction to Logic by Henry Gensler -- CatherineJohnson - 11 May 2006
Crimes Against Logic by Jamie Whyte -- CatherineJohnson - 11 May 2006
"Isn't there a term for Getting Something Completely Wrong?" Welllll, you see logic is all about defining how something is wrong. It's important to get the categories right. 8-) Really, though, the point of teaching fallacies is to allow you to avoid them in argument. Many fallacies involve someone Getting Something Completely Wrong, the rest are about Being Completely Unconvincing (even if you're right). Argument by assertion is saying that something is right because you say it is. It's vulnerable to (and properly responded to by) counter-argument by assertion. "Oh yeah, well you're wrong because I say you are." I'll again recommend both of the links at the bottom of LogicalFallacyBingo. They're free -- and cheap at twice the price. -- DougSundseth - 11 May 2006
Isn't there a term for Getting Something Completely Wrong? 'Begging the question' might be what you're looking for. "A type of fallacy occurring in deductive reasoning in which the proposition to be proved is assumed implicitly or explicitly in one of the premises." Or the 'Fallacy of many questions'. "It is committed when someone asks a question that presupposes something that has not been proven or accepted by all the people involved — i.e., a premise is included which is at least as dubious as the proposed conclusion. " -- TracyW - 12 May 2006
$125? My paperback copy (ancient!) was 70p UK. Can't understand the $125 price. -- VerghisKoshi - 12 May 2006
Today my husband showed me the most hilarious list of logical fallacies with examples - I laughed out loud several times. One of my favorites: "Appeal To Tradition: We've used Appeal to Tradition for centuries: how can it possibly be wrong?" :) Stephanie -- StephanieO - 09 Sep 2006
It's probably this list, from the indispensible GeekPress. If you follow the first link, you should also probably see this link, in which Steven Den Beste makes a correction and adds a few more. -- DougSundseth - 09 Sep 2006
Thank you, Doug. I realized this morning that I omitted the link, but I didn't know where to find it. I just had my husband find it again for me to post, and you've already done it! Someday I'll figure out these computer-thingys. :) -- StephanieO - 09 Sep 2006