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Has anyone here used Argumentation from The Teaching Co.?

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I was interested in this DVD from The Teaching Company: Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning. What do you think of this one?

Also, in the article about it in the magazine it includes 3 key concepts included with these lectures and one that confused me was this one:


Formal Logic adds surprisingly little to argument and persuasion.


Could anyone help me understand what this means?


Thanks for any help!

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Or I should say that my son is using it. He seems to be enjoying it. He has done Traditional Logic book I (Martin Cothran) and several Critical Thinking Press books, including Critical Thinking I and II prior to this, so he knows a little about formal logic.


This course is more practical in its approach, but it does use some formal logic, too, from what I gather. It seems good, but again, we are just starting and I am not always sitting with him as he watches. He has finished 5 lectures.

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Thanks ladies! I may go ahead and get it sometime soon but the comment about logic was confusing. I think we will stay the course and continue with the plan to include logic.


My son is taking an argumentation class at the community college. I was reading his text with him the other evening, and your question was answered in the book, but, I'm embarrassed to say I can't remember the passage well enough to even sketch it out. I'm not at home now, but I will look up that bit today. It was interesting.

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Maybe the passage I'm thinking about does not directly address your question, after all, but it does point in that direction. The book my son's using in his class is called The Informed Argument by Yagelski & Miller:




In chapter 2 (Strategies for Argument) the authors give various examples of faulty syllogisms and then say:


"This example suggest why many people see formal logic as too rigid for everyday arguments. Although formal logic can help us understand arguments and identify the assumptions we use in argument, rarely do writers of arguments consciously try to follow its rules. However, we do routinely use logic in our day-to-day discussions and arguments, though more informally. We regularly make and support claims, make and evaluate assumptions, and draw or oppose conculsion, and doing so according to the rules of formal logic would be cumbersome and perhaps even silly."


Then they give an example that is, indeed, silly.


They go on to discuss the Toulmin Model of argumentation, and that section begins, "Formal logic, although it is a powerful framework for argumentation, as its limitations. Most people prefer not to be bound y a predetermined method of structuring an argument and regard the syllogism, in particular, as unnecessarily rigid."


As I was reading this text with my son, I realized that the whole field of logic and argumentation has been played with, expanded on, lived and breathed, since Aristotle, kwim? I would imagine, looking at the lessons titles in the Teaching Company lectures you mentioned, the professor is fully aware of that history.


If my younger son does not go to the community college in high school, I think I would definitely go with the TC lectures, perhaps along with this book my oldest is using.

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