Monday, March 25, 2013

CAP Logically Speaking... Monty Python ???

Judgement . . . Apprehension . . . Syllogism . . . Inference . . . Inductive . . . Deductive . . . Relevance . . . Premise . . . Conclusion . . .  Aristotle . . . Boole . . . Socrates . . . Monty Python . . .

What? Wait a minute~ is there something here that doesn't quite fit? Let me see... Aristotle, Socrates, Python... hmmmm... 

Indeed, most of these terms (Actually, ALL of these terms) CAN be found in the first lessons of The Discovery of Deduction: An Introduction to Formal Logica course we just received for review from Classical Academic Press via the Schoolhouse Review Crew. . . (Along with the accompanying Teacher's Manual The Discovery of Deduction Teacher's Edition).
 And yes... we did watch a suggested YouTube video of a Monty Python sketch:

As well as another Monty Python bit whose dialogue was found in the text... :)
We got a little sidetracked here, as I decided to continue in this vein for a bit, and we  went on to watch the Monty Python bits about Coconuts, and 3 questions... and guess what?

Really... Monty Python and Logic/Deduction~ they go together like two peas in a pod (or something like that...). I was amazed to realize how well these pieces fit with my daughter's study of Deductive Reasoning, and made parts of it memorable for her as well. :)

However, I don't want you thinking that this 2nd logic course from Classical Academic Press is all fluff. Far from it!  In fact the first section in each lesson kind of makes MY head spin, with some of the terminology and slightly wordy technical explanations of formal logic. However, I am grateful that the sometimes esoteric terms and their explanations are expounded on throughout each chapter, where the concept of formal logic is moved from its obscure pedestal in the marble halls of classical thought to the common center stage of real world arguments and situations. 

The lessons begin with a hefty (3 part) introduction (indeed, it is a complete Unit all on its own) describing the differences between formal/informal logic, Deductive/Inductive reasoning, and Categorical/Propositional Logic, and moving on to a brief history of logic, and "Formal Logic" and the three acts of the mind. 

This introduction alone is very worth spending some extra time on, as many of the concepts (and vocabulary) introduced are a little difficult to grasp the first time around. 

The Second Unit covers Propositions and their relationships, the Third Unit explores Categorical Syllogisms, and the Fourth Unit is all about Terms and Definitions. I can't say a whole lot about these sections just yet, as we haven't gotten there, and quite frankly, *I'm* learning right along with my daughter. ;)

How we used the program: 
Generally speaking, I read each lesson section aloud to my eldest (unless it was a dialogue, in which case we read it together) and then we moved into the review and define section (generally discussed it orally). From there she completed the various exercises for the lesson section, and read through/discussed Deduction in Action (which we've decided ties in very well with our "essay" lessons, as the student is often asked to answer a question or give  an explanation, to show an example of the point of the lesson).

I definitely appreciated having both the teacher and the student texts, so that we could read the dialogues together, or I could ask questions from the TM, and eldest could go looking for the answers in the Student Manual. 

So far, except the occasional glazed look when the vocabulary/basic concept for each chapter is introduced, my eldest appreciates the humor that is woven into the text, as well as the suggestions for multimedia presentations.

Our conversations about various (sometimes illogical) posts that I've seen flying around on my  facebook newsfeeds on a variety of topics have been enhanced by reading this book,  as she has been learning new terminology, and fine-tuning the art of having intelligent discussions about whatever is of interest (I keep going back to a quote in the first chapter by Andrew Carnegie: "He that cannot reason is a fool. He that will not is a bigot. He that dare not is a slave"). 

The ability to think and to reason is becoming something of a lost art, even in our homeschool circles, so it would seem that The Discovery of Deduction is a marvelous way to pick up at least  high-school Semester credit, if not a full credit, and help to ensure that your child is neither a fool, a bigot, nor a slave! 

Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty 

Please click the banner below to visit the TOS Review Crew and see what others had to say (Some members of the Crew were sent a different selection, The Art of Poetry  for review~ so check those posts out if you're interested in that product~ I am!). As always, I hope that this review was useful to you as you choose where best to spend your homeschool budget.


  1. The Monty Python makes this so much fun. We had to go watch the clips when we did this too.


    I love everything CAP puts out.

  2. This is great! I'm looking ahead to middle school and high school and looking for resources for teaching logic. I'll have to keep this one tucked away. Sounds like fun!


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