Tuesday, December 16, 2008

to answer PK on logic....

PK asked in comments about the text I use to teach logic and what I include in my logic class...

So -- if you don't care about teaching logic, go read the next blog on your list and come back later when I have something funny/stupid/sarcastic or profound to say....

In terms of the text, I'm using Hurley right now, but am changing to Baronett (it's a pretty new textf, aimed at improving on Hurley...i.e. stealing Hurley's market). Baronett is well-written and has good examples etc. It also has a good on-line component, so they can do more practice at home. It may be a mistake -- but, I won't know that until spring :).

In terms of course content -- I've done semesters with more critical thinking/fallacies etc... and formal logic. This semester I paired it down to just formal logic -- truth tables and proofs -- mostly because I wanted to leave room in the syllabus in case I needed to call in sick due to chemo. I didn't miss much class AND they don't seem to have done any better... so, I'm not sure which way is best.

Because of our transfer agreement, we need to do formal proofs. The logic course satisfies the 'mathematical and logical reasoning' component of the gauranteed transfer agreement. So, we need to do symbolic manipulation -- categorical logic wouldn't be sufficient.

I'm hoping Baronett being better written will help next semester. Also, I'm not convinced that they need to do the difficult proofs Hurley has in the exercise set. I think next semester I'm going to work on giving them a bit more breadth and less depth -- maybe it will work, maybe it won't... either way, I suspect I'll have something to complain about :).

2 comments:

PK said...

OMG (as they say). I used Hurley for the first, and last, time this semester - and aI have also ordered Baronett for the spring. It's altogether a much cooler-looking book - Hurley was kind of alienating it seems, even to those students who did the reading. Baronett is also much cheaper, which is a big deal these days as well. I also think breadth, rather than depth, is the way to go - I'm coming around to this approach for most of my courses. It's a difficult balancing act, though.

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

I used Hurley for quite a while, because I hadn't seen anything that was any better. I know the books I had as an undergrad/grad sucked -- but, I liked the Hurley practice problems. When the textbook technology guy showed me the on-line stuff, I was hooked.

This semester it is going to be optional practice problems -- and the source for in-class test problems. Over the summer, once I trust the on-line part more, I'll make the on-line stuff mandatory.