The Art of Argument: an Introduction to the Informal Fallacies

My son will be studying introductory logic this year (Sophomore) using this curriculum. I’m excited for him to learn the basics of logic, and it is my hope that when he completes this course he will understand fallacies, and thus learn how to recognize bad reasoning.

I’m sure you’ll agree that this is an important foundation we should give our teens as they are impressionable, and still forming their belief systems and worldviews.

The Art of Argument is a 200+ page glossy workbook that has both a student and teacher edition. It is split into 3 units, 6 chapters. After defining what is logic, the curriculum details the fallacies, of which there are 28. The fallacies are conveniently listed on the inside covers of the workbook with a brief description, so the student can reference that information quickly. The fallacies are subdivided into groups: arguments against the source, appeals to emotion, red herrings, presupposition, induction, and clarity. Even though 28 seems like a lot, students are encouraged to memorize the fallacies – a task that is made easy by the thorough descriptions that are given for each one, complete with examples that may also include sample advertising.

You’ll also find fill in the blank sections in the student workbook, such as identifying fallacies, definitions, giving examples of arguments, and opportunities for giving opinions.

Even though my son is doing this subject independently, I could see the Art of Argument being used as the primary source for a small class. It’s a perfect topic for group discussion. Knowing my son, I am sure he will share what he learns around the dinner table and will enlighten all of us to errors in reasoning!

The Art of Argument seems very thorough, and interactive – the author has done well organizing the material and presenting it in an interesting (and logical!) format.

Publisher’s website

Acknowledgments to the publisher for providing me with a copy of the book for this review

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