DC Free School: Introduction into Logic and Reasoning

The intention of this course series seeks to provide an insight into classical Aristotelian logic in order to strengthen critical reasoning/rhetoric skills amongst the activist community. This course allowed for individuals to better represent themselves and the struggles they support in interviews, and will better allow for participants to hold-their-own in media interviews and in conversation amongst detractors from causes actively supported by Peace House/Affiliates.

Each course will be structured into a two-hour block containing two parts: theory and application. The first hour will contain teachings from varying works of antiquity, from Aristotle’s Logic to the Socratic dialogues and orations from Cicero & other distinguished rhetoricians. From here, theoretical knowledge will be applied in addressing/critiquing potent arguments through the history of philosophy, from Descartes Cogito Ergo Sum to Immanuel Kant’s metaphysical theory. The second one-hour block will deal with the application of technique acquired in the aforementioned block. Through consensus, we will decide which topic those in attendance would like to address, and will allow for a demonstration of informal logic and constructive criticism relative to the presentation of said argument (Note: if it is felt that there should be scheduled topics by course attendees, methodology for topic selection is subject to change).

-Presentation One: Introduction to Logic/Rhetoric: Presentation One will address one-third of Aristotle’s triangle-of-rhetoric: Logos

1) Layman’s Logic vs. Logic as a Math/theoretical science (If everyone has opinions and they’re all equally valid, why does debate exist?) -This section will cover the distinction between logic and Logic, as well as an introduction to the syllogistic form/ overview of the structure of argument. The distinction between Formal and Informal Logic will be made.

2) Logic in Practice; a reading of Plato’s Euthyphro.

-A group reading of Euthyphro will demonstrate how to address an opponent’s argument on an opponent’s terms. This will further explain the structure of argument and how many disputes remain unresolved due to axiomatic non-concessions.

-Follow-Up to Presentation One; Debate using per-determined axioms

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