Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Death of education for fun and # 40 Logic and Argument

As a way of connecting with others interested in Philosophy I've been looking at what's available for Adults in terms of short courses - finally happened upon City Lit course which seems to fit the bill for me as a starting point (1 day Saturday - 'A Taste of Philosophy') and have applied for the 2nd February instance -will see how that goes as a 'gateway'.
The search made me think how in years gone by there was a wide variety of courses from Wine tasting to French for beginners offered at reasonable cost in ones immediate locality - There used to be a pull out in the local newspaper and queuse of people at the September registrations -what's happened to make this change?
As well as local councils organising courses at Schools and colleges the WEA held many worthwhile sessions.
I trawled the Internet to see what wisdom I could find on the change and found Sue Blackmore's Guardian piece The death of learning for fun as well as this report by Geoff Mason, Mason's report (Page 54) shows a marked decline in the Leisure education numbers from the 1992 figures to the 2003.
My take on this is the increase in costs to run these courses and the cost straight-jacket imposed on local councils by Westminster limits what councils can offer and support. Also there is now an urge from the powers that be for education to become synonymous with training (actually quite a different thing). Thirdly of course the effect of the opportunities for self paced learning offered by the web can not be discounted from the demise of community based adult learning.

Topic Number 40 is  Logic and Argument

Crofton notes that Logic focuses on Arguments  be they valid or not. Arguments need to make a conclusion from the  premises. 
There are two main types of Argument:

Deduction - is also known as  top-down logic and outcome of such arguments can be implicit. 

Induction - the outcome of these is non implicit and as you might have guessed this is know as  bottom-up logic.
This is a useful video on the topic

Music footnote - listening to Sheila E earlier (Track: Belle of St Marks) which led through a youtube search to the posthumous  induction of George Harrison (as a solo artist) to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004  take a look at a fine guitarist and Showman pay his respects.