There are hundreds of logic books out there. I've tried to narrow my reviews to books that are more self-teaching, written from a Christian perspective, and that focus on practical thinking skills. But I have reviewed several standard logic texts used in colleges.
My parents first started searching for logic books when I was thirteen years old because they wanted to teach logic to my siblings and me. Most logic materials were not intended to meet our needs, but over the years they did find some good ones they could use.
If you want to teach yourself logic, or you want to teach it to your kids even though you've never learned it yourself, you'll need a unique type of book. A self-teaching book explains concepts at your comprehension level. If it is written for adults, then ordinary adults should be able to understand it. If it is for children, then I should be able to hand it to a child and he can get through it, with a minimal amount of help from his parents or teacher. A self-teaching book doesn't expect you to understand the technical language. How many times have I read a book which goes from one idea to the next and leaves me behind, wondering where I got lost? A self-teaching text will have both easy and difficult exercises for different students to practice at different levels. The author also needs to provide answers for all of the exercises. This is basically what “self-teaching” means.
Like math and auto mechanics, the rules of logic are agreed upon by both Christians and non-Christians. But our understanding of logic and the psychology of belief is closely linked with our worldview. I think it is important to understand how logic and our Christian beliefs are tied together, and learning logic from a Christian text would be ideal. However, many Christian logic texts are not self-teaching, and are hard to understand.
The subject of critical thinking is becoming a required course for college freshmen. Some high school “talented and gifted” programs teach it. The books used in these courses can be some of the most easy-to-understand texts. But, understandably, the writers are often interested in teaching their philosophy along with the logic. Discernment is needed if you choose to use these books.
In the reviews on this site, we've tried to indicate how self-teaching a text is by giving it one to five * stars. Less stars indicates that either some prior knowledge of the subject is needed, that a teacher who knows the subject is needed, or that a student needs to be bright and self-disciplined in order to master the material himself. We've also tried to indicate what ages we think the text is appropriate for. These may not be the author's suggested ages.
Copyright April 01, 2000, all rights reserved. 7937 views