Escher's Waterfall

How to Think: An Introduction to Logic

IS_Phil_IL — with David Gordon

Cost: $49   Length: 7 Lectures
Format: Independent Study
Status: Open for enrollment

About the Course

David Gordon discusses this course in a Mises Daily article hereHe writes:

[This course] has one main emphasis: how to analyze arguments, especially arguments about philosophy, politics, and economics. I’ve found that many, if not most, writers on these subjects fall victim to common fallacies. Once you are aware of these fallacies, you will find them easy to avoid in your own arguments — or at least easier to avoid than if you weren’t aware of them.

Logic used to be a key component in liberal education: it was part of the classic “trivium.” Being able to masterfully wield logic in debate enabled Peter Abelard to advance medieval philosophy past the Neoplatonic rut it was mired in, and made him the closest thing in his day to a rock star. The School of Salamanca used scholastic logic to give birth to economic theory. Even after scholasticism was unfairly discredited, logic was still widely studied by schoolboys throughout the west. The Austrian School used logic to rigorize and advance economic science. However, the rise of positivism rang the death knell for the widespread study of logic.

It is time to reinstate logic as a tool, and the Mises Academy is doing it’s part to make that happen.

This course presents the essentials of logic—the science of correct reasoning. Deductive reasoning transmits truth from premises to conclusion. If one starts with true premises, and reasons correctly, the conclusion will be true also. Common fallacies are identified and examples from discussions in politics and economics are given. The course emphasizes ordinary language reasoning rather than mathematical logic. Although practical application is stressed, some of the philosophical issues that logic raises are also covered. Whatever your career path or field of study, you will find the use of logic to be invaluable.


The primary text of this course is Principles of Logic by George Hayward Joyce. All other readings for this course are free, available online, and provided to students in a fully-hyperlinked syllabus.

Independent Study

Independent study courses are courses that were presented live in the past. These courses are now offered at a discount to anyone who wants to study independently. All courses include lecture recordings, slides, a complete hyper-linked syllabus, automatically-graded quizzes, and a discussion forum. Professors are not available for academic support for these independent study courses.

Sample Certificate of Participation

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