Should we teach pupils logic?

It seems to me that there is a massive shortage of people able to think logically or construct an argument.

Far too many policies (I estimate about half of the nonsense I am expected to do that isn’t related to teaching and is purely to tick boxes for someone) come about through the following reasoning:

  1. There is a problem with (insert problem of choice)
  2. We must doing something about this
  3. This is something
  4. We must do this

I often agree with the first 3 parts of the argument.

I also find that in many education debates people are unable to distinguish between general and specific arguments. This leads them to respond to general arguments with anecdotal or irrelevent specific examples in the mistaken belief that this somehow refutes the general argument.

I also find the post hoc ergo procter hoc fallacy to be extremely common in education debates (particularly the academies debate) and the “no true scotsman” fallacy almost invariably appears in political or religious debates.

People often get bent out of shape or offended when their fallacious reasoning is pointed out (or it could be the manner in which I point it out I suppose). I’m not sure why people think being offended has currency in a debate or argument. So what if you’re offended?

This got me wondering whether pupils should be explicitly taught logic. It seems to me it might be more useful than some of the things the curriculum is filled with…





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