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Description: An introductory and systematic course in formal logic that presents the concepts and methodology in a clear, concise, and organized way. If the course presentation and layout is a reflection of a very logical mind, and Martin Cothran wrote and laid out the course, then Martin Cothran has a very logical mind. While this may or may not be true, it is, nonetheless, a valid argument. Written specifically for the home school environment, and for use by a teacher with no previous experience in formal logic, it seems a good candidate for a self-instructional course (provided you can offer help as needed). You will want to read the author s notes in the front, as he suggests an alternate route through the book if students have trouble with the abstract concepts presented in the first three chapters. The author s targeted grade level is high school, but it may be used with "advanced" 7th and 8th graders or adults as well. If you are using the classical approach with your children, they will probably be ready for this course in junior high. Two levels of the course are available. Book I contains 14 chapters plus an introduction in the course, each with short, daily lessons. The introduction provides an excellent background of logic as a methodology and science, and defines key concepts used in logic. It is really part of the course, not just a preface. The following chapters introduce and provide both the mental and verbal aspects of Terms (chapters 1-3), Propositions (chapters 4-9), and Syllogisms (chapters 10-14). Each chapter is logically laid out for a clear presentation and to aid student understanding. An introduction presents the topic of the chapter. Headings throughout the text reveal the main points to be covered. Helpful sidebars highlight important definitions and concepts to remember. Diagrams provide a visual illustration of concepts. A conclusion at the end of each chapter summarizes the content, wrapping up the text. Following this are four daily exercise sets. You will probably want your child to look at the exercise instructions first, as they also contain the reading plan for each day. Book II is to be used only after completing Book I. It features a similar format, but also includes optional writing assignments to allow logic to be integrated with history, Bible, or English. Also, more real-life, contemporary examples of arguments are included. Case studies are also incorporated, to show the relevance of logic in history, literature, religion, and philosophy. The goal, after all, is for the student to apply what he has learned in all areas of life. Section titles include Further Study of Simple Syllogisms (chapters 1-4), Arguments in Ordinary Language (chapters 5-6), Hypothetical Syllogisms (chapters 7-9), Complex Syllogisms (chapters 10-13), the Oblique Syllogism (chapter 14), and a final review."