Informal or Formal Logic Class Helpful?

jwinaz
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Informal or Formal Logic Class Helpful?

Postby jwinaz » Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:28 am

Hi.

Will be studying for the LSAT this year and wondering if taking a class in either informal or formal (or both) logic at my local CC or Univ. (I'd be a post-bac) would be helpful.

I seem to read different opinions on the few sites and places I've seen comments about it. On side's argument is that logic courses can consist of much more information and skills than needed for the LSAT, whereas others have argued that they are very helpful (even if you end up knowing more).

Perhaps even more than just the LSAT, would these courses help with law school work? Lastly, how difficult would it be to learn such material on my own if I decided to do it that way? I'd appreciate some insight from people who've both taken the LSAT (or maybe studying for it now) and have taken a logic course in college.

Thanks very much.

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North
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Re: Informal or Formal Logic Class Helpful?

Postby North » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:41 am

The best way to get better at the LSAT is to practice the LSAT.

I added a philosophy minor in UG using your same line of thinking. Didn't learn anything useful for the LSAT that wasn't already in Powerscore of Manhattan.

Theopliske8711
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Re: Informal or Formal Logic Class Helpful?

Postby Theopliske8711 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:48 am

Eh, the LSAT is not that logic intensive. The logical concepts that you'll need to practice most are generally fallacies. Read up on the fallacies and be able to identify them and that will pretty much solidify most of the logic that you need; and even then, most fallacies are generally causal, with false dichotomies, ad hominem and straw man falling in here or there. Then all you need to do is perfect the sufficient and necessary (if then) and just know the rules of applying it... that's it. The rest is largely attention to details.

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Iroh
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Re: Informal or Formal Logic Class Helpful?

Postby Iroh » Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:14 pm

I might be in the minority, but I think an informal logic class is useful for the LSAT. You'll learn a lot about arguments and conditional logic, both of which appear on the LSAT. I think one of the reasons I did fairly well on my cold diagnostic is because I had a strong foundation in these areas. Of course, you can learn both of these things on your own, so an actual college class is by no means necessary, nor is it sufficient. But some people seem to really struggle with conditional logic, so getting a head start can be useful.

Also, informal logic is pretty freaking easy, at least at my undergrad. As far as I'm concerned, a college class that helps you prep for the LSAT (even if only a little bit) and gets you an easy A is a pretty sweet deal.

By the way, do NOT take a FORMAL logic class unless you are willing to put the work in. Formal logic is a completely different animal, and is much harder than most philosophy classes.

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North
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Re: Informal or Formal Logic Class Helpful?

Postby North » Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:52 pm

Iroh wrote:I might be in the minority, but I think an informal logic class is useful for the LSAT. You'll learn a lot about arguments and conditional logic, both of which appear on the LSAT. I think one of the reasons I did fairly well on my cold diagnostic is because I had a strong foundation in these areas. Of course, you can learn both of these things on your own, so an actual college class is by no means necessary, nor is it sufficient. But some people seem to really struggle with conditional logic, so getting a head start can be useful.

Also, informal logic is pretty freaking easy, at least at my undergrad. As far as I'm concerned, a college class that helps you prep for the LSAT (even if only a little bit) and gets you an easy A is a pretty sweet deal.

By the way, do NOT take a FORMAL logic class unless you are willing to put the work in. Formal logic is a completely different animal, and is much harder than most philosophy classes.

It's certainly useful for the LSAT, but it's not anything close to an efficient use of your time if you're only taking the class to get better at the test. That three hours of class every week would be better spent on a PT, and the hours doing classwork would be better spent reviewing it.

Again, this is coming from someone who took a formal and informal logic class to help with the LSAT.

ptittle
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Re: Informal or Formal Logic Class Helpful?

Postby ptittle » Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:59 pm

I agree, do NOT take a formal logic course.

As to an informal logic course...there is some overlap between those and critical thinking courses. A course that focuses on argument is VERY helpful; that's what you should be looking for.

(Or you could just get my book. :-) read chapter 2)

(and then hire me :-) )

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RhymesLikeDimes
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Re: Informal or Formal Logic Class Helpful?

Postby RhymesLikeDimes » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:29 pm

The quick overview in the Logical Reasoning Bible on formal logic is about all you really need on FL. Highly recommended, if you haven't pick it up yet.




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