13 Great Reasons To Study Logic

“Raising the level of logic and understanding is an extremely worthwhile activity, and it benefits those who can grasp the essentials.”
– Jon Rappoport, The Fallacy Of Circular Reasoning: A Vast Infection In Public Discourse

“Logic and analysis keeps you from being sent down wrong roads, keeps you from buying official reality.  Logic also reminds you that you have a mind.  Logic is a road that can take you deeper and deeper into more fallacies that underpin organized society and its branches of knowledge.  Logic tells you there are always more fundamental questions to ask and answer.  There are levels of lies.  The deeper you go, the more confident you become.  The more powerful.  Logic also lets you know when you’re projecting basic pre-judgments over a whole landscape and neglecting to look at the details.”
– Jon Rappoport

ScreenHunter_1216 Dec. 15 09.15
BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
December 15, 2018

In an age where the public dumbing down is reaching new lows [Read Here For More], a mindful, thorough and proactive approach to an individual’s self-directed education is vitally needed.  A great tool to help that lays the groundwork for self-directed learning is Logic.

Throughout most of History, Logic has been a component of the Trivium, which entails Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric. Public schooling used to teach the Trivium in the past as part of a much more robust academic curriculum. Such is not the case anymore though. This outright stripping of core components of classical education is one of the incisive reasons why public education has become so dismal.

In A Different Kind Of Teacher, the late John Taylor Gatto, who was an award winning lifelong teacher of exemplary virtue and respect, bluntly states that the school system keeps failing us because:

Schools were designed by Horace Mann, E.L. Thorndike, and others to be instruments of scientific management of a mass populationSchools are intended to produce, through the application of formulas, formulaic beings whose behavior can be predicted and controlledTo a very great extent, schools succeed in doing this.”[1][Bold Emphasis Added]

In other words, school system is about social engineering the masses towards robotic-like predictable behaviour, and not producing critically thinking well-rounded educated individuals.

In the same vein, outspoken critic of our dwindling education system, Professor Patrick Deneen, shared in his landmark piece, How A Generation Lost Its Common Culture:

Our students’ ignorance is not a failing of the educational system – it is its crowning achievement. Efforts by several generations of philosophers and reformers and public policy experts — whom our students (and most of us) know nothing about — have combined to produce a generation of know-nothings.”[2][Emphasis Added]

As clear as one can see the sun setting, one can also see that it isn’t by accident that the school system has reached the state of decline it has.

Coming to terms with this, what’s an individual to do?  To accomplish this, one must go ‘back to the roots’ so to speak, as there is no better place to begin but in the realm of Logic.

But you might be asking: why is Logic so vital?

To answer this, let’s delve into the words of Jon Rappoport [NoMoreFakeNews.com], that home in on the matter:

Logic and analysis keeps you from being sent down wrong roads, keeps you from buying official reality. Logic also reminds you that you have a mind. Logic is a road that can take you deeper and deeper into more basic fallacies that underpin organized society and its branches of knowledge. Logic tells you there are always more fundamental questions to ask and answer. There are levels of lies. The deeper you go, the more confident you become. The more powerful. Logic also lets you know when you’re projecting basic pre-judgments over a whole landscape and neglecting to look at the details.”[Jon Rappoport][Bold & Italic Emphasis Added]

To further buttress our foray into why Logic is so crucial, let’s take a look at the work of Philosopher Peter Kreeft Ph.D.  Kreeft, in his extraordinary book called Socratic Logic [Review Here] outlines the many reasons why Logic is crucial to an individual’s growth.

Kreeft minces no words in stating that in the past, most students were privy to was called “the old logic”.  Due to this, those individuals were much better prepared to “think, read, write, organize, and argue much better than they can today”.[3]

Getting back to classical education, which employed The Trivium – with Logic as one of its anchoring components – is what will ultimately help individuals breakaway from the downward avalanche public schooling is undertaking. 

Below follow salient reasons why to study Logic:

“13 Good Reason Why You Should Study Logic

1. Logic brings order.

Logic builds the mental habit of thinking in an orderly way.

No course is more practical than logic, for no matter what you are thinking about, you are thinking, and logic orders and clarifies your thinking.  No matter what your thought’s content, it will be clearer when it has a more logical form.  The principles of thinking logically can be applied to all thinking and to every field.

2.  Logic brings power.  Logic brings the power of proof and persuasion.

The power of logic comes from the fact that it is the science and art of argument.  Any power can be either rightly used or abused.  This power of logic is rightly used to win the truth and defeat error; it is wrongly used to win the argument and defeat your opponent.

3.  Logic helps reading. Logic will help you in education and learning, for “logic will help you to read any book more clearly and effectively.  And you are always going to be reading books; books are the single most effective technological invention in the history of education.

On the basis of over 40 years of full time college teaching of almost 20,000 students at 20 different schools, I am convinced that one of the reasons for the steep decline in students’ reading ability is the decline in the teaching of traditional logic.

4.  Logic helps writing.  Logic will also help you to write more clearly and effectively, for clear writing and clear thinking are a “package deal”: the presence or absence of either one brings the presence or absence of the other.  Muddled writing fosters muddled thinking, and muddled thinking fosters muddled writing.  Clear writing fosters clear thinking, and clear thinking fosters clear writing.  Common sense expects this, and scientific studies confirm it.  Writing skills have declined dramatically in the 40 years or so since symbolic logic has replaced Aristotelian logic, and I am convinced this is no coincidence.

It is simply impossible to communicate clearly and effectively without thinking clearly and effectively.  And that means logic.”

5.  Logic brings happiness.  In a small but significant way, logic can even help you attain happiness.  We all seek happiness all the time because no matter what else we seek, we seek it because we think it will be a means to happiness, or a part of happiness, either for ourselves or for those we love.  And no one seeks happiness for any other end; no one says he wants to be happy in order to be rich, or wise, or healthy.  But we seek riches, or wisdom, or health, in order to be happier.

How can logic help us attain happiness?  Here is a very logical answer to that question:

(1)  When we attain what we desire, we are happy
(2)  And whatever we desire, whether Heaven or a hamburger, it is more likely that we will attain if it we think more clearly.
(3)  And logic helps us to think more clearly.
(4)  Therefore logic helps us to be happy.

Even fantasy is not illogical.  In fact, according to the greatest master of this art, J.R.R. Tolkien, “Fantasy is a rational, not an irrational, activity…creative fantasy is founded upon a hard recognition that things are so in the world as it appears under the sun; on a recognition of fact, but not a slavery to it.  So upon logic was founded the nonsense that displays itself in the tales and rhymes of Lewis Carroll.  If men really could not distinguish between frogs and men, fairy stories about frog-kings would not have arisen.”

6.  Logic helps with religious faith.  Even religion, though it goes beyond logic, cannot go against it; if it did, it would literally be unbelievable.  Some wit defined “faith” as “believing what you know isn’t true.”  But we simply cannot believe an idea to be true that we know that has been proven to be false by a valid logical proof.

It is true that faith goes beyond what can be proved by logical reasoning alone.  That is why believing in any religion is a free personal choice, and some make that choice while others do not, while logical reasoning is equally compelling for all.  However, logic can add faith in at least three ways.

First, logic can often clarify what is believed, and define it.

Second, logic can deduce the necessary consequences of the belief and apply it to difficult situations.

Third, even if logical arguments cannot prove all that faith believes, they can give firmer reasons for faith than feeling, desire, mood, fashion, family or social pressure, conformity, or inertia.

7.  Logic helps attain wisdom.  “Philosophy” means “the love of wisdom.”  Although logic alone cannot make you wise, it can help.  For logic is one of philosophy’s main instruments.  Logic is to philosophy what telescopes are to astronomy or microscopes to biology or math to physics.

8.  Democracy.  There are even crucial social and political reasons for studying logic.  As a best-selling modern logic text says, “the success of democracy depends, in the end, on the reliability of the judgments we citizens make, and hence upon our capacity and determination to weigh arguments and evidence rationally.”  As Thomas Jefferson said, “In a republican nation, whose citizens are to be lead by reason and persuasion and not by force, the art of reason becomes of the first importance.”[Copi & Cohen, Logic, 10th edition, Prentice-Hall, 1998.).

9.  Defining logic’s limits.  Does logic have limits?  Yes, but we need logic to recognize and definite logic’s limits.  Logic has severe limits.  We need much more than logic even in our thinking.  For instance, we need intuition, too.  But logic helps us recognize this distinction.

10.  Logic helps in testing authority.  We need authorities because no individual can discover everything autonomously  We do in fact rely on the human community, and therefore on the authority of others – parents, teachers, textbooks, “experts,” friends, history, and tradition – for a surprising large portion of what we know – perhaps up to 99%, if it can be quantified.  And that is another reason we need logic: we need to have good reasons for believing our authorities, for in the end it is you the individual who must decide which authorities to trust.

11.  Logic helps recognizing contradictions.  Logic teaches us which ideas contradict each other.  If we are confused about that, we will either be too exclusive (that is, we will think beliefs logically exclude each other when they do not) or too inclusive (that is, we will believe two things that cannot both be true).

12.  Logic brings certainty.  Logic has “outer limits”; there are many things it can’t give you.  But logic has no “inner limits”: like math, it never breaks down.  Just as 2 plus 2 are unfailingly 4, so if A is B and B is C, then A is unfailingly C, Logic is timeless and unchangeable.  It is certain.

And logic never becomes obsolete. The principles of logic are timelessly true.

13.  Logic helps one attain truth.  Logic helps us to find truth, and truth is its own end: it is worth knowing for its own sake.

Logic helps us to find truth, though it is not sufficient of itself to find truth.  It helps us especially (1) by demanding that we define our terms so that we understand what we mean, and (2) by demanding that we give good reasons, arguments, proofs.”[4]

In the age of information, ignorance is no excuse.

And Logic, more than anything else, helps eviscerate that ignorance in a way that nothing else can.

That’s exactly why its been removed from the public school system, and exactly why all individuals need to employ it into their repertoire.

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Sources & References:

[1] John Taylor Gatto, A Different Kind Of Teacher, p. 16.
[2] Professor Patrick Deneen,
How A Generation Lost Its Culture
[3] Peter Kreeft Ph.D., Socratic Logic, p. 1.

[4] Ibid., pp. 1-7.

 

Book Review: Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto

“The math standard focuses on investigative math, which has been shown to be a disaster…With the new math standard in the Common Core, there are no longer absolute truths. So 3 times 4 can equal 11 so long as a student can effectively explain how they reached that answer.”[1][Bold Emphasis added]

The Common Core emphasizes teaching students to think of what they learn as “evidence” that can be used into making “arguments” as opposed to “facts” that help the student discern how things are. For the most part, the Common Core steers away from giving students a concrete picture of the world.”[2][Bold Emphasis added]

Dumbing Us Down
BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
November 28, 2018

The late John Taylor Gatto was an award winning teacher that wasn’t afraid to buck the trend. And bucking the tumultuous trend of the declining education in America is exactly what Gatto sought to accomplish in his first book.

Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum Of Compulsory Schooling was published in 1992, and is a masterly opening salvo and in-depth overview into how public schooling really works.

Sampling many of his best personal essays, Dumbing Us Down features the true reasons why education in our modern day system is failing: because it’s meant to be that way.

Gatto reinforces his main premise with a thorough examination of public schooling in America using source material he found throughout his research. Moreover, Gatto carries this out incisively with a no holds barred approach to the matter, and this is very refreshing.

While many others have tippy-toed their way around the issue, Gatto harpoons the heart of the matter:

“…schools and schooling are increasingly irrelevant to the great enterprises of the planet.  No one believes anymore that scientists are trained in science classes or politicians in civics classes or poets in English classes.  The truth is that schools don’t really teach anything except how to obey orders.”[3][Bold Emphasis Added]

Schools are intended to produce, through the application of formulas, formulaic human beings whose behavior can be predicted and controlled.”[4][Bold & Italics Emphasis Added]

It is absurd and anti-life to be part of the system that compels you to sit in confinement with people of exactly the same age and social class.  That system effectively cuts you off from the immense diversity of life and the synergy of variety; indeed it cuts you off from your own past and future, sealing you in a continuous present much the same way television does.”[5][Bold & Italics Emphasis Added]

Such scathing statements leave no question to Gatto’s courageous stance, and help the reader understand the plight all individuals – and society itself – faces via public schooling.

Another notable components of this ongoing public schooling issue is how vital the community is, and more importantly, the family unit, in helping foster a healthier, more independent, more curious, and ultimately more self-sufficient individuals through proper education.  While this might seem obvious in hindsight, it isn’t being employed that much at all in our modern environs.

Continuously throughout the length of the book, Gatto fiercely touches upon the many different factors that have helped cause this growing dilemma.  Some of these include the overwhelming amount of television being watched by society in general, and more specifically by children, while other components have to deal with the inherent designs of schooling such as the fragmentation of education, the removal of the family from an individual’s education, the poor life tenets individuals are taught, and much more.

One of the zeniths of the book is what Gatto calls ‘The 7-Lesson School Teacher’. In this piece, Gatto shows what teachers are truly expected to inculcate into students.

For example, one of the 7 Lessons Gatto states teachers teach is Class Position. On this, Gatto notes that:

“[his] job is to make them like being locked together with children who bear numbers like their own…If I do my job well, the kids can’t even imagine themselves somewhere else because I’ve shown them how to envy and fear the better classes and how to have contempt for the dumb classes. Under this efficient discipline the class mostly polices itself into good marching order. That’s the real lesson of any rigged competition like school. You come to know your place.”[6][Bold Emphasis Added. Italics Emphasis In Original]

Is it any wonder why society operates in the way it does, mirroring the very ideas that Gatto mentions?

In any case, The 7-Lesson School Teacher might seem facetious or downright ludicrous, but it really isn’t.  When one views what Gatto is stating with an open mind –  while keeping cognizance of the fact that he worked for over 3 decades for the public schooling system and knows exactly what he was talking about – then one completely comes to terms with why failure in schooling isn’t the exception, but the rule.

In fact, more specifically, Gatto gets at the heart of why public schooling is destined to fail:

Mass education cannot work to produce a fair society because its daily practice  is practice in rigged competition, suppression and intimidation.  The schools we’ve allowed to develop can’t work to teach nonmaterial values, the values which give meaning to everyone’s life, rich or poor, because the structure of schooling is held together by a Byzantine tapestry of reward and threat, of carrots and sticks.  Official favor, grades, and other trinkets of subordination have no connection with education; they are the paraphernalia of servitude, not of freedom.”[7][Bold Emphasis Added]

Gatto has unbounded a phenomenal book in the field of public schooling and more importantly, what true education should encompass.  Please keep in mind, schooling and education are not the same thing.  This differentiation, and what each set of terms mean are one of the main gems of this book.

Dumbing Us Down is a veritable fountain of information that is intense in precision and thought-provoking in its implications. These very implications filter into all aspects of our lives, and ultimately echo into the future and as such should be taken very seriously.  This is why it’s vitally important for individuals to become self-directed learners, also known as autodidacts.

Only through self-directed learning carried out at the grass roots level by individuals is the world going to change. If the world is to have a positive future of of critically thinking, inspired, creative, educated and inventive individuals, it starts now, in the present. It starts with you.

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Sources & References:

[1] Sandra Stotsky, Drilling Through The Core, pg. 48.
[2] Ibid., pg. 35.
[3] John Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum Of Compulsory Schooling, pg. 21.
[4] Ibid., pg. 23.
[5] Ibid., pg. 24.
[6] Ibid., pg. 5.
[7] Ibid., pg. 69.

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This article is free and open source. You are encouraged and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez
_________________________________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is a Poker Player, CEO, Business Owner, Open-Minded Skeptic, Book Reviewer, Introvert, Researcher, Writer, Creativity Connoisseur, Yoga Dilettante & Carmel Macchiato Addict.

Book Review: Socratic Logic [V. 3.1] by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.

An Indispensable Piece For The Autodidact; A Vital Component To Education For Individuals Of All Ages

Socratic Logic
BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
November 17, 2018

“Profound simplicity = common sense.  – The height of cultivation runs to simplicity of common sense; the straightest, most logical way.”[1]

“The deepest sin against the human mind is to believe things without evidence.  Science is simply common sense at its best – that is, rigidly accurate information, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
– Thomas Huxley

Socratic Logic by Peter Kreeft PhD is an essential book. This book has the capability of helping every single individual. This is because logic, as a foundational tool for education, has many resounding qualities.

Logic allows for individuals to streamline their thought process – to think in sequential order. Logic can help individuals read more thoroughly, process information more clearly and effectively, express information in a more in-depth and incisive [the same] fashion, and features myriad other benefits.

And given the unfortunate circumstance that Logic has been all but removed from most curricula in modern Academia, the benefits of logic are not being passed on to individuals. This means that individuals must be proactive in their ventures to not only study and learn Logic, but seek to master it as it was once taught in schooling if they are to implement this knowledge and skillset into their repertoire.

One of the greatest strengths of Socratic Logic is that it showcases a very in-depth approach into learning logic, but better yet, in an easy-to-digest manner. Another strength of this book is that the lessons woven within its pages are not only thorough enough, but clearly divided in very user-friendly chapters that are not only flexible, but follow common sense.

Describing the book as ‘user-friendly’ or ‘accessible’ might be a misnomer, but when juxtaposed to The Organon by Aristotle, which is a vastly more complex and demanding read, this book is a ‘walk in the park’. This ease of accessibility is one of its countless virtues.

Kreeft makes it a point to give individuals all the tools they might need to comprehend traditional logic. The book is sprinkled generously with many real world examples, historical circumstances, significant quotes and instructive issues that allow for a latitude of learning that is robust, and yet significant. Moreover, this book is quite practical in its application once the concepts are mastered and implemented into one’s repertoire.

The book also features a differentiation where one can find the basic sections (B) and the philosophical sections (P) marked in the table of contents.  This helps the reader immensely in focusing on whatever specific area the reader might want to hone their skills in.

Also of note, the book – as mentioned by Kreef and corroborated by personal use – may be used in at least 10 different ways:

[1] the basics only
[2] the basic sections plus the philosophical sections
[3] the basic sections plus the more advanced sections in logic
[4] the basic sections plus the practical application sections
[5] the basic sections plus any two of these three additions
[6] all of the book
[7] all or some of it supplemented by a text in symbolic logic
[8] all or some of it supplemented by a text in inductive logic
[9] all or some of it supplemented by a text in rhetoric or informal logic
[10] all or some of it supplement by readings in and applications to the great philosophers[2]

What one gathers from the book will greatly depend on how much time one chooses to spend learning the tenets from it. Socratic Logic may be studied independently for an autodidact, or used as part of personal learning system. The book can be studied in single class lessons, once a week  lessons, semester formats, etc.

A healthy amount of exercises throughout the book further buttress one’s understanding of the subject matter. This multifarious approach definitely helps hammer in the concepts shown in the book with utmost precision.

Taking all into account, Socratic Logic should have been a book taught in school. In fact, it should be taught to everyone because our society lacks logic in myriad ways.

In the information age, not being educated in logic and its foundational aspects – that venture into every crevice of our lives – is an extreme detriment to all individuals.

And if conventional schooling continues on the downhill grade it’s currently in, knowledge in areas such as this will be worth more than its weight in gold, and that’s not an understatement. With the student loans costing over a trillion dollars collectively and real education dissipating right before our eyes within the conventional establishment, taking your education into your own hands is not only responsible and commonsensical, but downright crucial.

To seek or further one’s education is a choice, and luckily Socratic Logic makes it an easy to choice to make.

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Footnotes:

[1] Bruce Lee, Edited by John Little, Striking Thoughts – Bruce Lee’s Wisdom For Daily Wisdom, p. 189.
[2] Peter Kreeft Ph.D., Socratic Logic, p. 14.
_________________________________________________________________________________
This article is free and open source. You are encouraged and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez
_________________________________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is a Poker Player, CEO, Business Owner, Open-Minded Skeptic, Book Reviewer, Researcher, Writer, Yoga Dilettante & Reformed Carmel Macchiato Addict.