On Jul 5, 2013, at 12:04 PM, Joe Niederberger <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> So this has devolved into a *literal* discussion of "modus ponens" in isolation, because I used the term in context to stand in for the subject "informal logic". I shouldn't be surprised! > > Its quite obvious to me that the majority of people are not very skilled at sustaining a line of logical discourse in routine conversation. That's the whole point of training in logic, which was well known thousands of years ago.
Calm down, it's not like we're all sitting in the same room and can discuss this stuff fluidly. I don't think formal or informal has anything to do with it. You want to teach something like ...
If A then B. Not B therefore Not A.
But how do your propose to teach that? These are not rules to be accepted based on evidence or agreed with based on authority. This has to resonate in your very consciousness. You have to sense it or you get nothing. You also mentioned "critical thinking" and I know you probably meant well, but that is a dangerous phrase to use in today's educational context. You've seen the curriculums that promote critical thinking. It isn't the way you used the term. Critical thinking to the non modus ponens crowd (which is the majority) is based on evidence and touch. The last thing it is based on is what me and you are talking about. Logic and reasoning. They (the non modus ponens) don't even realize that you can look at something and determine its validity without touching it. That is how sad it is. On that note, I guess I agree with you. Teach it explicitly or just teach it somehow. However, I know exactly what they will do with it. Be thankful that you found your son a real school.