“‘Logic!’ said the professor to himself. ‘Why don’t they teach logic at these schools?’”
C.S. Lewis may have been speaking out of the mouth of one of his characters in the Magicians’ Nephew, but his retort about logic as a subject taught (or not taught) in schools rings more like social commentary than a passing turn of phrase in his book—and for good reason.
Logic, an integral part of a classical arts education, is defined as “the art and science of reasoning well,” and it’s an important quality to any education—regardless of what the class is called. But logic, as a subject, has been largely overlooked as a class to teach clever arguments. The reality is that logic is sorely missed as an area of study to equip and nurture good reasoning in students.
And at Patrick Henry College, it’s a core class that every graduate takes.
“Logic,” as a term, has come to mean something akin to whether or not something checks out. Whether or not something is "logical" or not might be more a description of if a statement makes contextual sense than whether it’s sound reasoning.
Students at Patrick Henry College know differently. Through this class, students learn what makes an argument sound. They learn how to detect and counter logical fallacies and reasoning inconsistencies. And most importantly, they learn to defend themselves against bad or unreliable lines of reasoning.
Ideas are powerful. Quite frankly there are too many bad arguments for educational institutions to overlook the necessity of preparing students to guard against them.
Patrick Henry College wants to ensure that it’s graduates know how to do more than simply memorize facts and score high on tests. Our faculty care deeply about the ideas that influence their students. And while they want to see PHC graduates excel professionally, it’s equally important that former students continue to exercise excellent reasoning in any walk of life.
Anything “good” times time and practice, and good thinking or excellent reasoning is no different. The art of critical thinking takes time, and it’s not done just through a class in logic!
To learn more about classes are a part of the classical core and how they help nurture the students at Patrick Henry College, click below to learn more!