I am spending a lot of time with logic curriculum this summer as I prepare to teach logic for the first time this fall. I’m looking for a logic curriculum that this logic impaired Momma can understand… and teach!
This month Timberdoodle Co sent The Amazing Dr. Ransom’s Bestiary of Adorable Fallacies: A Field Guide for Clear Thinkers for review. This book teaches readers to identify and ‘exterminate’ fifty informal fallacies by introducing each fallacy through an adorable yet dangerous beast. The book is organized into 4 sections on the 4 types of fallacies. Each section contains several chapters on subtypes of each fallacy. The four fallacies included are fallacies of distraction, ambiguity, form and millennial fallacies. For example, chapters in the distraction fallacy section include red herrings, irrelevant thesis, ad hominem, genetic fallacy, ad populum and more.
The book is written for high school through adults, and can be used either as an introductory logic curriculum, or as a supplement to another logic curriculum. It teaches logic with a Christian perspective, often using Biblical examples and verses in discussion questions.
Each chapter presents a fallacy, an example of an argument using that fallacy, and the description of the ‘beast’ who comes with that particular fallacy. For example, a genetic fallacy of distraction rejects or accepts an argument solely based on the moral character of the person presenting the argument. The beast included in that chapter is the Origin Sniffer, whose long nose is used to sniff out the ancestry of the arguer. Not only do the creatures add fun and interest to the subject, but they help the reader remember and understand each fallacy.
Logic is a subject I’ve always struggled with, it really all starts running together with the ad this and ad that. These cute yet dangerous beasts really do aid in my understanding and retaining the difference between all these fallacies!
Each chapter ends with discussion questions. Three big picture questions help the reader get to the bottom of the logic behind each fallacy, and even the why. Students are encouraged to give their own example of each fallacy. Next, several short examples of arguments are presented so the student can identify whether the argument is valid, or if the fallacy is being used.
At the end of the book, suggested schedules are included for either semester or full year use of the book. Also, a link is included which contains quizzes and tests for the book.
I am really impressed with this logic book. In fact, each time I pick it up, I end up reading several chapters at once. It is very interesting and engaging, and hard to put down!
My student will begin logic in 7th grade this fall, but I will not be using this curriculum with her this year. The book is written for high school age students, and I find that an appropriate age recommendation. Each fallacy is presented with a relevant story, and the discussion questions often include moral and political issues of our time. Topics such as addiction, abortion, adultery, and welfare are brought up in the discussion questions.
I plan to finish reading this book myself, before our school year starts. I think it will make me a better logic teacher for my 7th grader this year. Then, I look forward to reading it again with my children in high school as a supplement to more advanced logic courses. While this book could easily be used as independent learning for a high school student, I think most benefit will come from answering the discussion questions together. In fact, since I have several students close in age, I look forward to completing this book together when I have several high schoolers at once.
If you have a high school student studying logic, or if you want to learn more about logic yourself, check out The Amazing Dr. Ransom’s Bestiary of Adorable Fallacies.
I get to giveaway 3 copies of this book! Enter below to win one.