# Logic. Is this hard to teach?

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I'm looking at some of TWTM's suggested logic books and I am scared already.

From The Basics of Critical Thinking... one of their examples is this:

A. If a new person moves into our neighborhood, Susan is always mean to the person. Teresa just moved into our neighborhood. So, Susan will be mean to Teresa.

B. Whenever a new person moves to our neighborhood, Susan will be mean to him or her. Teresa just moved here from another neighborhood. So, Susan is going to be mean to her.

They want to know if this is a straw man argument. It basically sounds the same to me.

http://www.criticalthinking.com/the-basics-of-critical-thinking-book.html

Then the hertog question on pg 6 of this one https://www.amazon.com/Logic-Liftoff-Grades-Bonnie-Risby/dp/1593630883 .  And notaddels on page 8. What the heck?

I mean, I'm sure the answers are in there, but sheesh, shouldn't I be able to get these a little easier?

.... feeling dumb....

Edited by lgliser
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I find logic hard to teach too!  So glad that there are many books out there to help.  :)

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CAP has a nice book that would work for the ages of your oldest. We later used the James Madison Critical Thinking Course, which was super straightforward.

I haven't looked at the newest edition of WTM, but that sample sure does sound crunchy. Your kids are young. I'd keep it kind of fun and go in for something more language-driven closer to high school.

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Then the hertog question on pg 6 of this one https://www.amazon.com/Logic-Liftoff-Grades-Bonnie-Risby/dp/1593630883 .  And notaddels on page 8. What the heck?

"Hertog and "notaddels" are made up names for the shapes. What you have to do is discern what they all have in common. Maybe they each have three sides and a dot in the middle. Maybe they have no open sides, etc.  It is sort like patterning. You are finding out the pattern. My kids did not struggle with these, and we are not above average over here.

There are lots of other exercises in this book and only a few like this.  I would not be scared of these books. We have really enjoyed them and they give a good gentle introduction to the informal and formal logic we will move onto later.

Edited by cintinative
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"Hertog and "notaddels" are made up names for the shapes. What you have to do is discern what they all have in common. Maybe they each have three sides and a dot in the middle. Maybe they have no open sides, etc.  It is sort like patterning. You are finding out the pattern.

Ya, I get that you're supposed to figure out what kind of pattern or similarity you're looking at, but I seriously can't figure out the hertog thing. Or the notaddel!

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Ya, I get that you're supposed to figure out what kind of pattern or similarity you're looking at, but I seriously can't figure out the hertog thing. Or the notaddel!

Hertogs have at least two distinct curves (you know it has to be at least two because the circle is listed as not a hertog). Notaddels have an even number of things sticking off their edges. Like cintinative said, there are only a few lessons with those types of questions, and then they switch to something different. I will say, though, that the answer keys for those books are pretty much just "here's the answer" without explanations (you can actually see the answer key pages on the Amazon preview). So if you think you'll need help figuring out WHY an answer is what it is, those books may not be for you - there's not any additional instructor information.

On the other text you linked, that page has several examples and the student has to determine which ones involved the straw man argument and which don't. The one you quoted, I would say, doesn't; it's a rewording of the original argument, but not a weakening of it. If you look at the question before that on the page, the argument is weakened by removing the word "busy" to describe the street. So that one does use a straw man argument.

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I will say, though, that the answer keys for those books are pretty much just "here's the answer" without explanations (you can actually see the answer key pages on the Amazon preview). So if you think you'll need help figuring out WHY an answer is what it is, those books may not be for you - there's not any additional instructor information.

That's good to know. I have always liked logic-type things like this but I just wasn't getting the pattern. I figured if I couldn't get it, then how could my kids?

Is there a curriculum with some explanation of the answers?

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Maybe this isn't exactly a helpful or encouraging answer, but we outsourced Logic quicker than you can say "Jack Robinson."  Art of Argument with Classical Academic Press is a really nice option!

We are outsourcing what we don't know (logic), what will take too much time to teach with eleven kids (science), or what we despise grading (writing).

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