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Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Art of Logical Thinking; or, The Laws of Reasoning by W. W. Atkinson

The Art of Logical Thinking; or, The Laws of Reasoning by W. W. Atkinson

Before I say my thing, I will like to ask few questions to the readers of this post.

Are you a student?

Are you a fresh research scholar?

Do you want to understand the research methodology in any field of enquiry?

Are you troubled by your thoughts and seeking some clarity?

If the answers to above questions are in affirmative then kindly be attentive.

I strongly recommend it to you to read this book.

A Confession:

I have been reading books on logic. I am having notes on research methodology. I have books on this topic. I have J. S. Mills book on it. I have Kant's book on Reasoning. I listen to many people who claim that they are talking logically. I have confronted the opposition that had questioned my ability to do a logical thinking. I read and come across the statements which appeal to logic. I confess I am not sure about the concept of LOGIC and reasoning. I have read the books on this topic but I have never completed the books. I struggle to read through the pages of the established scholar which have been declared the semantic discourses. I have never completed the reading of such authorities. I have read about the writing of the philosophers and logicians. I have pretended to understand them but have never developed the concrete comprehension of the subject.

Now, here is a book, which I have completed. I feel satisfied to some extent. Therefore, I invite you to use it.

I have displayed the compilation of the complete works on Atkinson. This title is listed on number two in the list the compilation which I use.

I had actually started the first book in the compilation. The title of that book is The Art of Expression and The Principles of Discourse. It was suggested in the first chapter of that book that the title on Logic should be read.

In this book on Logic, the author has also suggested that one should also read the title on the Subconscious and Supreconscious in order to fully understand this book. I have already reviewed that book. However, I may again read that book and write a fresh review on that. But, in any case, you can read this book without consulting the suggested title.

The Content:

It is written in the peculiar style of the author about which I have commented again and again. No doubt, he has quoted many authorities. But, in this book, there is a discernable difference. He provides the quotation to take forward or explain a point. The narration is straight. It is without the Latin or Grecian terms. It is in simple English. That is the mark of the author. It proves highly effective in case of a topic like logic.

The books which I have read earlier, they generally talk about Deductive Logic. There are many books which provide rules of syllogism. The understanding of the aspect of syllogism is required to clear entrance tests to many courses and even jobs. I have found that the similar type of tests are conducted in different countries. My experience is that all such books are not meant for everyone. Some people highly recommend them. But many fail to get benefit out of them. It may also prove true in case of this title. I am enthusiastic in recommending this very particular title. But, it may not prove useful to others. Even then, I suggest that it is worth trying. Atkinson writes small chapters. It helps a lot in developing the comprehension of the subject.

Atkinson has not directly taken up the Deductive Logic. He has taken up the topic in the following order.

He talks about the concept of Reason.

Then, he talks about the idea of concept, image, term, judgement and propositions. In this way, he lays the foundation of the subject. If you are able to grasp the gist of these lessons then you are ready to move to the actual topics.

He takes up Inductive Logic first. That has played the trick. It is more useful to understand the Inductive Logic before the deductive logic. In general books, which are actually written to prepare you for the entrance examinations, they lay more stress on deductive logic. They are actually guided by the form of questions which appear in the question papers. But when they try to explain the rules of Syllogism, for many students, it becomes a herculean task to understand them. They actually try to learn the lessons in place of polishing their deductive logic abilities.

In case of preparing experiments and developing hypothesis, this book may seem to many as an old version of research. The field of research methodology has progressed much. You may find it an archaic work. Even the arrangement and sequence of research methodology may be found bit out of order. You will find that there is less stress on issue of framing the question. But, on the whole, he is able to bring in the right discourse. I am quite sure, those who will follow this book, may appreciate my suggestion. You will definitely develop the right understanding of Inductive Logic and Deductive Logic from the quantity of the content which he has given.

In case of Fallacy, he has not devoted much efforts. However, he has tried to cover up many points.

Finis. For me, it is a new thing, that he ends his book with a term written as "FINIS". He has written a similar end to his other books also.

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