5 Stars Out Of 5
Excellent Resource for Logic Studies
November 14, 2010
From the forward, the purpose of The Argument Builder is "to train you in the art of building a strong argument". Using the Common Topics method, developed by Aristotle, the text takes you through all five of these common topics (Definitions, Testimony, Comparison, Relationship, Circumstance) while developing a hypothetical argument about curfew.
The text is comprised of 25 chapters, with an appendix on debate techniques. Each of the first 22 chapters includes a exercises not only in defining terms and answering basic questions about the topics introduced, but also in analyzing and identifying arguments from a wide variety of authors, scholars, and statesmen. The final 3 chapters of the book cover a cumulative review, a brief introduction to logical fallacies, and instructions on how to hold a debate. The Teacher's Edition - a necessary component - includes not only the answers to the text exercises, but suggestions and recommendations for extending the material. For further support, CAP also offers an online class taught by the author.
I am particularly thrilled to find this text - we'll be adding it in for our high school students, as a component of their logic/philosophy studies. Especially attractive to me is the author's inclusion of primary source documents from history as a source of analytical exercises. The Argument Builder is easy to understand, clearly laid out and provides great training in analyzing and building arguments. As a high school course, this could be done in one semester by an ambitious student, but might be best spread out over the course of a year, especially if you intend to include the debate component.
(Note: author was provided a copy for review)