Fred K. McCoy

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




Do we learn to reason logically just as we learn grammar or estimating distances? Philosophers usually say we do and have taught logic as a discipline for thousands of years. They are generally not content to teach "about" logic, or in the history of it; they generally state their intent is to teach "logic for everyday thinking". Appendix VI is a personal communication to the author from a philosopher stating this clearly and comparing the skill of logical reasoning with the skill of using grammar.

Or is logical reasoning a relatively inherent trait, as intelligence is generally assumed to be? We all have the subtle feeling that some are more logical than others and usually make this judgment without knowledge of who has been educated in logic. One group of psychologists went so far as to call a reasoning test a "status-free test of intelligence" apparently assuming not only that logic is innate but is also virtually the whole of innate mental ability.

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