Monday, February 26, 2007

Review: Traditional Logic I: Introduction to Formal Logic by Martin Cothran

Traditional Logic by Martin Cothran
Memoria Press, Text, Answer Key and DVDs available

This is a very competent book with a perfectly straightforward layout. It covers the basic topics of the form of the syllogism and the forms that produce valid conclusions.

Formal logic, for those who do not already know, means logic according to form. It's not about what is true, which depends on the truth of the premises; it is about how to draw logically valid conclusions from the premises you start with. In that sense, it is limited, but it is really the very foundation of logic in the western world. You'll learn about the undistributed middle term and the square of contradiction and things like that.

The DVD's simply present the material in the book; they are for your auditory learner and do not, so far as I watched them, have new material.

Martin Cothran is a Protestant, and every now and again, his syllogisms are about matters that would be typical for an evangelical Protestant, and not particularly appealing to a Catholic. Nothing serious, but noticeable.

The presentation is also a little short on sparkle. If you think that, since it has a DVD, you can just hand it to your children and go, it may not work. Some of the kids will just fall asleep.
Reviewed by Mary Daly (2-27-07)

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