On Information

Concepts in Information Management – blog by Ronald Fuller

Comments on the Decline of Logic Education

I recently asked a number of logicians, historians of logic, and logic enthusiasts the following question: 


When exactly and why did logic stop being a core requirement for every single educated person in the west and become seen as a technical, niche elective that only a tiny fraction of educated people know anything about?


I received 2 responses in the Ontolog Forum:


John Sowa said: "I blame Bertrand Russell. He wanted schools to stop teaching traditional logic and replace it with symbolic logic.  He got 50% of what he asked for."


Chris Menzel, a logic professor at Texas A&M, said: "I attribute this far more to the utter havoc wrought upon higher education by conservative, specifically brainless Republican, politicians. They've managed to transmogrify our once glorious system of state universities to a collection of education 'dealerships' whose purpose is to provide a 'service' to their 'clients' that guarantees them a high paying job in business or industry. The on-going gutting of the liberal arts has been a sad consequence of this."


There were numerous responses at Academia.edu:


John Corcoran said: "I have never given this any thought, but it is an interesting question. One thing to bear in mind is that over the years logic got competition from 'critical thinking' and kindred subjects."  


The discussion below is from John Corcoran's session titled CORCORAN ON LOGIC TEACHING IN THE 21ST CENTURY at Academia.edu: