Logic and non-logic in education

by Jon Rappoport

March 28, 2017

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In two of my collections, The Matrix Revealed and Power Outside The Matrix, I include basic training in the art of logic and more advanced critical analysis.

The basic fact is: students in schools are rarely taught how to follow a line of reasoning from beginning to end. Nor do they practice analyzing half-formed, faulty arguments.

Who teaches young students, these days, how to distinguish between a polemic and a formal argument?

Teachers spend little or no time discussing hidden premises or assumptions, which color a subsequent argument.

Increasingly, people are “learning” from watching videos. Some videos are well done; many others intentionally omit vital data and make inferences based on “shocking images.”

A focused study of logic can illuminate a range of subjects and disciplines. It can suddenly bring perspective to fields of inquiry that were formerly mysterious and impenetrable.

Logic is the parent of knowledge. It contains the principles and methods common to all investigation.

Being able to spot and understand logical flaws and fallacies embedded in an article, essay, book immediately lifts the intelligence level.

Logic isn’t a prison; one isn’t forced to obey its rules. But the ability to deploy it, versus not understanding what it is, is like the difference between randomly hammering at a keyboard and typing coherent paragraphs. It’s the difference between, “I guess I agree with what he’s writing,” and “I know exactly how he’s making his argument.”

In the West, the tradition of logic was codified by Aristotle. Before him, Plato, in the Socratic Dialogues, employed it to confound Socrates’ opponents.

Reading the Dialogues today, one can see, transparently, where Plato’s Socrates made questionable assumptions, which he then successfully foisted on those opponents. It’s quite instructive to go back and chart Socrates’ clever steps. You see logic and illogic at work.

High schools today don’t teach logic for two reasons. The teachers don’t understand the subject, and logic as a separate discipline has been deleted because students, armed with it, would become authentically independent. The goal of education rejects independent minds, despite assurances to the contrary.

Logic and critical analysis should be taught in phases, with each phase encompassing more complex passages of text offered for scrutiny.

Eventually, students would delve into thorny circumstantial arguments, which make up a great deal of modern investigation and research, and which need to be assessed on the basis of degrees of probable validity and truth.

It’s like a climbing a mountain. The lower paths are relatively easy, if the map is clear. At higher elevation, more elements come into play, and a greater degree of skill and experience is required.

My college logic teacher introduced his subject to the class this way: Once you’ve finished this semester, you’ll know what you know, and you’ll know what you don’t know.

The second part of his statement has great value. It enables real research beyond egotistical concerns, beyond self-serving presumptions, beyond secretly assuming what you’re pretending to prove.

We certainly don’t live in an age of reason; far from it. Therefore—the greater need to learn logic. Among other benefits, it centers the thinking process.

In a landscape of controversy, babble, bluster, public relations, covert propaganda, and outright lying, one has a dependable compass.

For instance, understanding the scientific method (hypothesis-prediction-verification) would go a long way toward untangling some of the outrageous claims of science, and separating them from the political agendas they serve.

Beginning in ancient Greece, coming up through the Middle Ages, and into the 19th century, logic was one aspect of education called the Trivium (“the three”): in sequence, a student learned grammar, then logic, then rhetoric.

Except in scattered places, where people have consciously instituted a revival of the Trivium, that integrated method of teaching is gone now.

Instead, in primary and middle schools, we have superficial coasting through many academic subjects, minus the necessary exercises and drills to ensure that students grasp material. In other words, we have imposed ADHD.

Logic isn’t the end-all and be-all of life. It doesn’t define what life is. It’s a tool. You either have it or you don’t. You can use it or you can’t. When you can, you have more power, and whole new vistas, previously unseen, open up to you.

Logic is a tool in your box. When you need to go in and remove it and use it, is it dull or is it sharp?

Finally, studying logic gives a student an appreciation of consequences. For example, a politician announces a high-flying generalization, as a plank of his platform. Two things ought to follow. The student does his best to translate that generality into specific terms which actually mean something. Then he traces what would happen if the plank were, in fact, put into effect; what would the consequences specifically entail? There are always consequences—it’s just that most people never see them or think about them, because they haven’t the foggiest idea about how to flesh them out and map their implications.

Logic: one of the great contributions to civilization, left to die on the vine.

It needs to be resurrected, in full flower.

Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.

7 comments on “Logic and non-logic in education

  1. Greg C. says:

    When we use a formal argument, the supposition is that someone is listening and evaluating what is said, using logic. Polemics is about taking sides and justifying it any which way you can. The Gorsuch hearings were illuminating, because he was asked may times how he would rule in a given case, and his answer was that as a judge, he is not supposed to decide in advance how he would rule, He seemed shocked that a congressman would ask him such an idiotic question. They just figured that he would be a polemicist like everyone else. Didn’t he get the memo that the legal system is a weapon, a tool to accomplish your goal?

    • Terri says:

      The democrats claim he is not “mainstream” enough because of that. Anyone with any intelligence knows they don’t want an honest judge on the supreme court who will uphold his oath to the constitution.
      These reps are pathetic corrupt and rotten to the core. What a joke and what a joke are the people who continue to support this depravity.
      There does not appear to be a line they will not cross, a truly despotic limbo contest.

  2. Sylvain Lamoureux says:

    A beginning in logic would be heading in the right direction. Perhaps, after that, we could learn how to communicate.

  3. Oliver K. Manuel says:

    On 13 June 1936 a 19-year old student at the Imperial University of Tokyo recognized a 1935 logical error in the concept of nuclear binding energy that has isolated humanity from reality (God) for the past eighty-one (81) years.

  4. You know my feelings on this by now, Jon.

    As a “basis” it is a staple, but, if not carefully managed, it can still hinder the discovery tour and turn out intelligent “robots”.

    I wrote recently that science, in its material setting, measures the root of an illusion. What if it was possible to expand beyond the illusion, would all those “fundamentals” change?


  5. Terri says:

    How soon can the foundation be laid for logic? At birth, (or before), when you are able to hear and pay attention to what your baby is telling you in regards to what he or she wants and needs. Why is this important? Being able to think for oneself begins this early. When a child is treated as a toy, and told when he/she should eat, sleep, talk, etc, a child never learns to think for them self. They then automatically look outside themselves for a clue to how they feel or what they want. Pretty soon no thinking is involved at all, and unconscious repression begins and then behavior issues develop of all kinds to cover up the pain that can not be expressed in words. This pain is not easily expressed, if ever, for the root of the pain occurred before words were spoken.

    This is why no one understands truth, and we see all of these meltdowns and crazy behavior, for they have no inner compass, or security, or capability to know what is true to them. They have lost their connection to their heart and soul. This connection was destroyed by their care givers when the child had to choose between putting themselves and their inner wisdom and spirit first, or obeying the authority of something nebulous outside themselves.

    Babies are capable of knowing and asking for what they need, and their wishes should be fulfilled and not second guessed if we want our society to be strong and authentic. It is vital to be validated in this way and the devastation is pretty much irreparable if this is not done. No one knows what is good for anyone else, despite all the good intentions in the world. We all know where good intentions take you. As they get older their responsibility for themselves grows and you will find they are amazing. There is no fear of someone else controlling them, and needing outside approval, hence no need for addictions or buying into the latest trends so they can fit in. They will not desire to obey authority mindlessly and can not be bribed or bought. Their self respect and respect for others will be obvious.

    They will choose well being and their choices will reflect their desire for good health. Logic will come naturally, for no one has corrupted their brains with shoulds and outside bogus information that was forced on them against their will. They will feel valuable and valued, loved and loveable, and will contribute positively with their expansive imaginations and their ability to create without doubts.

    They shall think for themselves and naturally use logic for no one filled their heads with things that didnt belong to them. They will love life and learning, because learning is natural and fun. Their curiosity and questions will be boundless, as will their energy.

    Raising your child this way requires consciousness, commitment, patience and love. This is what it takes to have a conscious, aware society capable of logic.

    This is the missing piece that society is in dire need of implementing if humans plan to be around in a form other than zombie in the future.

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