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Review: The Art of Argument

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The Art of Argument

The Art of Argument: an Introduction to the Informal Fallacies is a curriculum which helps students learn logic and critical thinking. Once completed, students should be able to identify flawed arguments and create proper statements (arguments) of their own. Students will learn from real life examples about 28 different fallacies which are broken down into 3 main fallacies: relevance, presumption, and clarity.

The 28 different fallacies covered in this book include:

  • Ad Hominem Abusive
  • Ad Hominem Circumstantial
  • Tu Quoque
  • Genetic Fallacy
  • Appeal to Fear
  • Appeal to Pity
  • Mob Appeal
  • Snob Appeal
  • Appeal to Illegitimate Authority
  • Chronological Snobbery
  • Appeal to Ignorance
  • Irrelevant Goals or Functions
  • Irrelevant Thesis
  • Straw Man Fallacy
  • Begging the Question
  • Bifurcation
  • Fallacy of Moderation
  • Is-Ought Fallacy
  • Fallacy of Composition
  • Fallacy of Division
  • Sweeping Generalization
  • Hasty Generalization
  • False Analogy
  • False Cause
  • Fake Precision
  • Equivocation
  • Accent
  • Distinction without a Difference

The Art of Argument Basic Bundle ($88.95) includes the Teacher’s Edition, the Student Book, and the dvd set. You can also purchase the products individually if desired. We received the Teacher’s Edition, the Student Book, and a sample of the dvd set for review.

I like that the Teacher’s Edition contains the complete student text with answers (love answer keys!) as well as the tests with answer keys. The only thing that would be better is if the tests were in pdf form for easier printing. I prefer to be able to print out the tests rather than make copies as it’s easier.

The Art of Argument Ad Example 1

The dvd, while nice, was not a big hit with Munchkin. She preferred just reading the text and then finding real life examples of the fallacies on tv, in books, and in other media forms. We even found that she enjoys learning about the fallacies so much that she’ll start to pick out different fallacies in every day conversations. Yep, you read that right. She’s enjoying studying about logic. The text breaks everything down in an easy to digest format which she enjoys. The text contains real life media examples of the different fallacies.

Side note: there are ads in the text which feature beer and cigarette ads. The topic of abortion is discussed as part of one of the fallacies. While we didn’t have an issue with this, it is something that Munchkin brought up, so I wanted to make note of it for other families.

the art of argument ad example 2

I have to be honest and say that Logic is not a topic that I thought we’d be studying in our homeschool. (I said the same thing about Latin, but that’s now one of Munchkin’s favorite subjects.) I do think that critical thinking and logic are extremely important skills to have within today’s society. I just never thought we’d be studying it formally, yet, I now am seeing the value in a formal study as I watch Munchkin thoroughly enjoy studying the different fallacies. She seems to enjoy being able to pick out the specific fallacies when we watch tv, read, or listen to the radio. Knowing the specific fallacies somehow makes it easier for her to think through the arguments being given by others.

The student book reads in a conversational manner which allows the concepts to be , for the most part, easily understood. The additional activities (practical application) help cement the newly learned ideas into the students’ minds. Obviously, it takes time to truly master the art of argument and discern good arguments from bad arguments, but students will walk away from this course with a much better understanding. With time and practice, they will be able to quickly point out flawed arguments. With further study, they will be able to build better arguments of their own.

Classical Academic Press offers 2 additional logic books to help students continue with their study of logic: The Discovery of Deduction: An Introduction to Formal Logic and The Argument Builder.

I received the above mentioned product as part of the TOS Homeschool Crew to help facilitate the writing of a frank and honest review. A positive review is not guaranteed, and all opinions are my own.

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