What do you learn in logic class?
“We learn what makes a good argument and what makes a bad argument,” says Logic I teacher Dr. Scott Richardson. “Think of examples like these:
Do you ever hear statements like these and think that there's just something not right about it? In this course, students learn about fallacies, which are poor or incorrect reasoning. A famous athlete recommending a soda does not logically mean that the soda tastes good. Your music preferences have nothing to do with your intelligence. Just because something is new does not automatically make it better. By the end of this year, students will be able to spot poor logic in people's arguments, as well as notice poor logic in their own.”
What do you enjoy about logic class?
“I love seeing the students’ maturity progress as the year goes on. I love teaching them how to think instead of what to think. I feel like these students are getting armor and ammunition to face the outside world. I also love it when students come to me and say, ‘Dr. Richardson, I saw a political debate on TV and I saw three fallacies a minute!’”
Why is logic class important?
“It makes me feel good knowing students won’t be taken in as easily. It’s hard to describe but there’s a look the students get in their eyes when something makes sense to them. It’s a look of understanding and liberation, a look that says, ‘I’ve fallen for this before and I didn’t know why, but now it makes sense to me.’ Logic class empowers students. But most of all, I love when students recognize their own fallacies and understand that you can argue for truth in a poor way. We need to learn how to defend and promote truth in a sound way.
What are the most common fallacies you encounter in your daily life?
"Culturally, the most common fallacies I see are the ad hominem attack and the red herring. As a teacher, I get 'appeal to pity' a lot which seems to be students’ go-to fallacy."