Traditional Logic I: Introduction to Formal Logic
Traditional Logic II: Advanced Formal Logic
By Martin Cothran
4105 Bishop Lane
Louisville, KY 40218
The study of logic is an important component in a classical education, but many parents have no background in logic whatsoever. I have found it to be a very intimidating prospect, myself. Fortunately, Memoria Press has come to the rescue once again.
Traditional Logic I provides an excellent introduction to the study of formal logic. Included in the introductory chapter are a brief history of the study of logic, outlines of the branches of logic, and definitions for terms used in the study of logic. The material is organized in three sections: Simple Apprehension (Term), Judgment (Proposition), and Deductive Inference (Syllogism.)
Traditional Logic II continues on with the study of formal logic. The material covered is Further Study of Simple Syllogisms, Arguments in Ordinary Language, Hypothetical Syllogisms, Complex Syllogisms, and The Logic of Relations.
If you are anything like me, just the table of contents might make you think, ďI canít do this. I donít know what any of these things mean.Ē I would encourage you to keep working your way through Cothranís material. He takes you through each lesson, giving definitions and providing illustrations. The information is broken down into manageable chunks; he provides repetition for new ideas, and logic begins to make sense as you work through each page. Each lesson is taught in one day, with four days of exercises following. The answers to the exercises are provided in a separate answer key volume.
Together, these books cover a complete course in formal logic at the high school level. Depending on the age of your student, each book can take approximately one semester. The material in book two is more difficult, and Cothran provides a suggested schedule to allow extra time for it by studying more than one lesson a week during certain sections of book one.
I strongly encourage the use of the videos for this course. Even more than Latin, I found logic to be difficult to grasp, and having the video instruction was essential for me. Cothran provides graphics to illustrate concepts and is very thorough. The videos from Memoria Press are not flashy; they will not provide bright colors, loud music, or entertainment, but they are incredibly reassuring for a parent teaching unknown material.
This course is geared toward high school students, with the suggestion that it can be used with students as young as seventh grade. For my family, seventh grade was too young; our oldest started logic in eighth grade, but in retrospect, I think we should have waited until ninth grade to begin. It would be a rare seventh grader who would be ready for this course. Logic is hard work but a study well worth the effort.
Logic can be intimidating to teach, but Martin Cothranís Traditional Logic series can make the study of formal logic a success for hard-working homeschool families. Donít let the terms and definitions intimidate you; Memoria Press has structured a program to give you the support you need to learn and understand formal logic. This is highly recommended for high school age and beyond.
--Product review by Diane Wheeler, Contributing Writer, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, June 2006