Essential Logic: The Logical Fallacies

with Dr. Christopher Perrin, Joelle Hodge, and Dr. Aaron Larsen

This course is a thorough introduction to the logical fallacies, organized by fallacies of relevance, presumption, and purpose. In our view, every classical instructor from kindergarten to 12th grade should be familiar with the logical fallacies and how they apply to all learning. This course will provide that skill and acquaint educators with this fundamental liberal art. What is more, this course features three veteran logic teachers in action teaching a group of four 8th-grade students. Therefore, you will learn not only the study of informal logic, but also how to teach it by observing Dr. Christopher Perrin, Joelle Hodge, and Dr. Aaron Larsen.

AA_SE__25927.1363658150.386.500This course carefully follows the book The Art of Argument: An Introduction to the Logical Fallacies. We highly recommend purchasing the text for reference throughout the course.

This course follows the organizational theme of the book The Art of Argumentteaching the logical fallacies by category. Corresponding readings from this text are listed within each lesson.

  • Introduction

Ad Fontem Arguments (personal attacks)

  • Lesson 1: Ad Hominem Abusive
  • Lesson 2: Ad Hominem Circumstantial
  • Lesson 3: Tu Quoque
  • Lesson 4: Genetic Fallacy

Appeals to Emotion

  • Lesson 5: Appeal to Fear (Argumentum Ad Baculum)
  • Lesson 6: Appeal to Pity (Argumentum Ad Misericordiam)
  • Lesson 7: Mob Appeal (Argumentum Ad Populum)
  • Lesson 8: Snob Appeal
  • Lesson 9: Appeal to Illegitimate Authority (Argumentum Ad Verecundiam)
  • Lesson 10: Chronological Snobbery

Red Herrings

  • Lesson 11: Appeal to Ignorance
  • Lesson 12: Irrelevant Goals and Functions
  • Lesson 13: Irrelevant Thesis
  • Lesson 14: Straw Man Fallacy

Fallacies of Presupposition

  • Lesson 15: Begging the Question (Petitio Principii)
  • Lesson 16: Bifurcation (False Dilemma)
  • Lesson 17: Fallacy of Moderation
  • Lesson 18: Is-Ought Fallacy
  • Lesson 19: Fallacy of Composition
  • Lesson 20: Fallacy of Division

Fallacies of Induction

  • Lesson 21: Sweeping Generalization (Accident)
  • Lesson 22: Hasty Generalization (Converse Accident)
  • Lesson 23: False Analogy
  • Lesson 24: False Cause
  • Lesson 25: Fake Precision

Fallacies of Clarity

  • Lesson 26: Equivocation
  • Lesson 27: Accent
  • Lesson 28: Distinction Without a Difference

Additional Lessons

  • Lesson 29
  • Lesson 30
  • Lesson 31
  • Lesson 32

Chris at 11-14 d 150Dr. Christopher Perrin, MDiv, PhD

Dr. Christopher Perrin is an author, consultant, and speaker who specializes in classical education. He is committed to the renewal of the liberal arts tradition. He cofounded and serves full-time as the CEO/publisher at Classical Academic Press, a classical education curriculum, media, and consulting company. Christopher is also a consultant to charter, public, private, and Christian schools across the country. He serves on the board of the Society for Classical Learning and as the director of the Alcuin Fellowship of classical educators. He has published numerous articles and lectures that are widely used throughout the United States and the English-speaking world.

Christopher received his BA in history from the University of South Carolina and his MDiv and PhD in apologetics from Westminster Theological Seminary. He was also a special student in literature at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland. He has taught at Messiah College and Chesapeake Theological Seminary, and served as the founding headmaster of a classical school in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, for ten years. He is the author of An Introduction to Classical EducationThe Greek Alphabet Code Cracker, and Greek for Children, and the coauthor of the Latin for Children series, all published by Classical Academic Press.


Joelle Hodge

Joelle Hodge holds a BA in history/political science from Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania. She began her career as a staffer to U.S. Senator Arlen Specter (R-Pa) before finding her professional home in the world of classical education in 1999. She has more than eighteen years of logic-teaching experience, many of which were spent at a classical school in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. There she also developed much of their logic and rhetoric curricula. She is a coauthor of The Discovery of Deduction: An Introduction to Formal Logic.

Currently, Classical Academic Press hosts Joelle’s consultant offerings, where she engages with educators across the country, tailoring workshops for classical schools and co-ops that seek to train their teachers in the fundamentals of dialectic- and rhetoric-stage pedagogy. Through Scholé Academy, she continues to offer online courses in math, logic, and rhetoric, as well as a course in student-skills development (How To Be a Student). Joelle also serves as senior teacher for Scholé Academy, assisting other SA teachers in developing their most productive and inspiring classrooms. Concurrently, Joelle provides year-round, private, multidiscipline tutoring services to a classically educated family living abroad.


Aaron Larsen, DA

Dr. Aaron Larsen currently teaches history, Latin, logic, and rhetoric at Regents School of Charlottesville in Virginia. He previously taught at two classical schools in Pennsylvania. In 2001, Dr. Larsen joined a team led by Dr. Christopher Perrin and two other colleagues to help form Classical Academic Press. The motivation behind this endeavor was to produce exceptional Latin and logic curricula for the classical education movement. The first results of this collaboration included the publication of their logic text, The Art of Argument, and the three-volume Latin for Children series. Aaron is also a coauthor of The Discovery of Deduction: An Introduction to Formal Logic.

Aaron received his BA in history, with minors in philosophy and education, from Covenant College in Georgia. He completed his coursework for his DA in modern world history from St. John’s University in New York and went on to write his doctoral thesis on the Meiji Restoration, which, as he likes to say, is “the most important event in world history that nobody’s ever heard of.”

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Please Note: ClassicalU is currently developing a certification to accompany our course offerings. The certification credit component of this course is now active but also undergoing refinement and testing.

To obtain a certification credit for this course, simply complete the quiz that follows each presentation in the course, and then also take the certification test at the end of the course. The quizzes are designed to ensure that you have understood the essential content of each presentation, and they can be taken more than once if necessary. The cumulative certification test at the end of the course is given as a pass/fail test that will demonstrate your understanding this course. When you have completed the course, a certificate that you can print or email will magically appear under the “My Courses” section of this website.

By taking the course for certification credit, you also will be on your way to obtaining a Level 1 certification.

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