How Do I Choose the Best Logic Courses?

Daniel Liden

Logic courses are courses of study intended to teach students the methods and application of reason, often in a highly formalized manner. Formal logic can be applied to a wide variety of fields and problems, so it is important to choose a course based on one's interests or needs, as not all logic courses are the same. Another consideration is expense — different courses may cost very different amounts of money and time. For some, particularly those taking courses at a university, the reputation of the instructor may be very important as well. Taking a course from a well-regarded philosopher, mathematician, or computer scientist can greatly enhance the experience of learning logic.

Woman standing behind a stack of books
Woman standing behind a stack of books

One may wish to take logic courses for a variety of different reasons, and understanding those reasons is an essential part of choosing the best course. Logic is taught in many different contexts, including philosophy, mathematics, and computer science, so one must be sure to take logic courses that apply to his specific needs and interests. One must also consider what knowledge of logic he may already possess. An individual who is completely new to the study of logic should probably begin with an elementary logic course while someone who has already studied logic or who has sufficient knowledge of mathematics may be more interested in intermediate or advanced courses.

A student's goals and budget may factor into the choice between logic courses as well. Someone who is simply studying logic out of personal interest and who does not want to seriously pursue the topic may benefit more from purchasing a book or from taking a free online course than from paying for a full university logic course. If logic courses are intended to fulfill college or job training requirements, on the other hand, it is probably better to take a certified university course. Time may also be a factor, but many colleges, particularly community colleges, regularly offer courses at times throughout the day and night in order to provide convenient course times for everyone.

The reputation of the instructor is, for many, an important aspect of choosing the best logic courses. Many different instructors in mathematics, philosophy, and computer science have some level of prestige in their respective fields. Taking a course from someone who not only uses logic in the course of his work, but also is well-regarded in his field may provide a truly exceptional experience in one's study of logic. It should be noted, however, that prestige in an instructor's career does not always translate into an ability to teach excellent logic courses.

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