A Clear Logical Argument Guaranteed
What you'll learn
- After engaging the lectures, asking your questions, and following the carefully designed practice process, you should be able construct clear logical reasoning based on your facts in support of any claim with ease, confidence, and rigor. To reach this goal you will learn the five steps to constructing clear logical arguments using a universally applicable logical template and the process to mastery of this skill.
- 3.75 MCLE General or Practical Skills credits approved with the Oregon State Bar.
- If you are reading this course description, you have everything that you need.
As a trial and appellate attorney for nearly 40 years, my livelihood depends on constructing practical real-world winning arguments. Whether simple or complex, those arguments must be both logical and clear to my audience. And as an adjunct law professor for advanced argumentation, teaching students how to quickly and easily make such quality arguments is my mission.
In this course, I would like to share with you how to use or teach the same simple natural language logic template that I rely upon in court to ensure that any argument is both logical and clear.
I just fit the sentences of my reasoning within that logic template and out comes a logical and clear argument every time. It’s fail-safe, rigorous, robust, and nearly automatic. The type, complexity, or subject matter of the reasoning does not matter—the logic template is universal. And if the reasoning cannot be made to fit within the structure, you know that the reasoning is not logical.
Fortunately, you will NOT need to learn or teach about the typical long list of logical argument and reasoning curriculum topics. Just scratch them off your list of “need-to-know” to construct logical and clear arguments. There are just five simple steps to follow to complete the logic template.
It is academically sound as an extension of the seminal work of Professors Fred Sommers and George Englebretsen in the natural language New Syllogistic and peer-reviewed (Oxford Journal articles). And it has been field tested for years in actual litigation.
Of course, like improving any expertise, you will need to practice. But you only need to practice the same five simple steps for any argument.
To the contrary, based on traditional curriculum, studies have shown that practical logical reasoning “is often ill understood and poorly deployed even among those in the upper tiers of our educational systems.”(van Gelder, T., Bissett, M., & Cumming, G. (2004). Enhancing expertise in informal reasoning. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 58, 142–152.)
Hasn’t the time come for learning and teaching how to make logical and clear arguments to stop being so complex and difficult? We have all been working at it harder than is really needed! The right tool makes all the difference.
The focus of this course is narrow—how to easily construct practical clear logical arguments every time whether supporting your own position or attacking another position. That’s it!
While there is certainly more to critical thinking than constructing logical and clear arguments, without real competence in this one skill, the other important areas of critical thinking cannot overcome its absence.
QUESTIONS ALWAYS WELCOME!
Who this course is for:
- This course is appropriate and accessible for students from high school through graduate school, teachers of critical thinking and analytical writing at any level, business people, intelligence analysts, scientists, lawyers, politicians, journalists, and anyone else who needs to quickly learn to construct clearer and more convincing logical arguments. Perhaps surprisingly, there is no prerequisite knowledge or skills. Only a willingness to thoughtfully engage learning a new way of thinking about reasoning is required.
- For attorneys there are 3.75 MCLE General or Practical Skills credits approved with the Oregon State Bar.
Joseph has been a trial and appellate attorney for nearly 40 years. His trials have included complex valuation cases involving companies such as Delta Airlines, Union Pacific Railroad, Hewlett-Packard, and other large transportation companies, utilities, and major industrial corporations. He has also practiced in the areas of law enforcement, criminal defense, and general practice.
Periodically, he balances his litigation work teaching Advanced Argumentation and Legal Research & Writing as an Adjunct Law School Professor (Lewis & Clark Law School and Willamette University Law School).
He has also been an Associate of Austhink (see: www.austhinkconsulting.com), specialists in the use of argument mapping and other techniques of visual deliberation to improve reasoning.
Finally, he is a published author in two peer-reviewed Oxford Journals (The Journal of Logic & Computation and Law, Probability & Risk) and presented a paper for the 13th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and the Law (ICAIL 2011) AI & Evidential Inference Workshop.
In his mission to develop new tools and theoretical concepts for making and learning to construct clear logical practical arguments easier and fail-safe, he has enormously benefited from the support and encouragement of leaders in the Argumentation field such as Professors Tim van Gelder, Peter Tillers, Douglas Walton, David Hitchcock, and John Woods.