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v2.1 Reference

Logic as a Liberal Art

An Introduction to Rhetoric and Reasoning

In the twenty-first century there are two ways to study logic. The more recent approach is symbolic logic. The history of teaching logic since World War II, however, casts doubt on the idea that symbolic logic is best for a first logic course. Rhetoric and Reasoning is designed as part of a minority approach, teaching logic in the "verbal" way, in the student's "natural" language, the approach invented by Aristotle. On utilitarian grounds alone, this "verbal" approach is superior for a first course in logic, for the whole range of students.

For millennia, this "verbal" approach to logic was taught in conjunction with grammar and rhetoric, christened the trivium. The decline in teaching grammar and rhetoric in American secondary schools has led Dr. Rollen Edward Houser to develop this book. The first part treats grammar, rhetoric, and the essential nature of logic. Those teachers who look down upon rhetoric are free, of course, to skip those lessons. The treatment of logic itself follows Aristotle's division of the three acts of the mind (Prior Analytics 1.1). Formal logic is then taken up in Aristotle's order, with Parts on the logic of Terms, Propositions, and Arguments.

The emphasis in Rhetoric and Reasoning is on learning logic through doing problems. Consequently, there are more problems in each lesson than would be found, for example, in many textbooks. In addition, a special effort has been made to have easy, medium, and difficult problems in each Problem Set. In this way the problem sets are designed to offer a challenge to all students, from those most in need of a logic course to the very best students.

About the Author

Rollen Edward Houser is the Bishop Wendelin J. Nold Chair in Graduate Philosophy at the University of St. Thomas Houston.

Reviews

"There is a need for new textbooks in Aristoteilan logic for undergraduates and seminarians. An excellent presentation of logic as a liberal art, and it will serve students and instructors well. R.E. Houser's book fills a significant need."—Brian T. Carl, Dominican House of Studies, Washington, DC

9780813232348 : logic-as-a-liberal-art-houser
Paperback / softback
December 14, 2019
$34.95 USD

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