An Indispensable Piece For The Autodidact; A Vital Component To Education For Individuals Of All Ages
January 17, 2017
Having not taken a logic course since the university, attempting to find a book on logic that would be ‘worth its weight in gold’ took a bit of time, but this particular book has more than delivered in spades.
Socratic Logic by Peter Kreeft PhD is an essential reading for anyone who values the use of logic. In fact, going one step further, this book should be read by everyone, because we could all benefit from it in many ways. Mostly though, most of us have not been taught logic in elementary nor high school, and rarely in college, especially how it was taught in the past. This is taking place because logic, as well as the trivium have been nigh completely removed from most school curriculums and when they do have these courses, they are merely a facsimile of it, and nowhere near the quality of logic taught in times past. You can conjecture yourself why this has taken place.
Moving forward, this particular book showcases a very in-depth approach into all the nuances that logic involves, while also keeping it simple so to speak. Describing the book as ‘simple’ might be a misnomer, but when compared to The Organon by Aristotle, which is a much more complex/demanding read, this seems like a ‘walk in the park’.
Kreeft makes it a point to give the individual everything they might need to comprehend logic, sprinkled generously with many real world examples, historical quotes and issues that will make the book quite practical in its application once the concepts are mastered and implemented into one’s repertoire.
Socratic Logic serves as an excellent jump-off point into the realm of logic due to the pragmatic approach taken by Kreeft.
As the author himself states, the book is: simple, user friendly, practical, linguistic, readable, traditional, commonsensical, philosophical, constructive, clearly divided, flexible, short, selective, interactive, holistic, and classroom oriented [if the individual so decides], and those descriptions were rather apt.
Conveniently, the book also features a differentiation where one can find the basic sections (B) and the philosophical sections (P) marked in the table of contents. This helps greatly in focusing on whatever specific area the reader might want to hone their skills in.
Also of note, the book – as mentioned by Kreef – may be used in at least 10 different ways:
 the basics only
 the basic sections plus the philosophical sections
 the basic sections plus the more advanced sections in logic
 the basic sections plus the practical application sections
 the basic sections plus any two of these three additions
 all of the book
 all or some of it supplemented by a text in symbolic logic
 all or some of it supplemented by a text in inductive logic
 all or some of it supplemented by a text in rhetoric or informal logic
 all or some of it supplement by readings in and applications to the great philosophers
What one gathers from the book will depend greatly on how much time one chooses to spend on it. Socratic Logic may be studied independently for an autodidact, or used for schooling. The book can be studied in single class lessons, once a week class lessons, semester formats, etc.
Another useful element in the book is that if featured a healthy amount of exercises throughout the book in order to further buttress one’s understanding of the material. This definitely helps hammer in the concepts shown in the book with precision.
Taking all into account, Socratic Logic should have been the book taught in school. In fact, it should be taught to everyone because our society lacks logic in myriad ways. Then again, that is what happens with the removal of classical education and logic from the common-to-the-rotten-core type of school system we’re all “lucky” to have.
In the information age not being educated and not knowing foundational pieces of essential knowledge such as logic that venture into every crevice of our lives is folly.
And if conventional schooling continues on the downhill grade it’s at, knowledge in areas such as this will be worth more than its weight in gold, and that’s not an understatement. With the student loans costing over a trillion dollars, and with real education dissipating right before our eyes within the conventional establishment, taking your education into your hands is not only responsible, but vital.
To seek or further one’s education is a choice, and luckily Socratic Logic makes it an easy to choice to make.