Thursday, June 16, 2011

Logic & Analysis Course

"I have received MANY inquiries about my LOGIC AND ANALYSIS course. People have asked me for an outline or syllabus of the course, and, a FAQ. So, here they are.

* 5/9/2013 update: Revised the FAQ.

* 1/19/2013 update: New purchase link.

* 4/19/2012 update: Price change notice added.

* 7/21/2011 update: Comprehensive FAQ added.

"Also, I’m happy to answer any and all questions that come up while people are reading the course outline and FAQ, including queries about cost, shipping details, etc. So, after reading this, feel free to contact me if you have any questions -


"First, a short video overview of the course. Then, I present you with the written FAQ and course outline."

Video Overview:

"When students complete this course and know the materials, their world has changed. They can approach other material in school and out of school with vastly increased awareness—and they are, in fact, eager to dig into new information and analyze it with these new tools. The students become the inheritors of a profound Western tradition of thought, a tradition that brought tremendous progress to civilization.

"Two significant points: Unlike some other educational publishers, I offer the course for use as many times as the teacher wants to teach it to his/her student classes, on into the future—the price of the course remains the same. And I do not increase the price of the course on the basis of how many students are in a given class.

"I'm available to help teachers master this material, so they can teach it with confidence to their students.

"Keep in mind that this outline only begins to describe the depth of the material. The student, in many classroom sessions, analyzes passages of text that contain multiple logical errors. The student learns how to dissect these passages and find all the flaws. This is an experience that can literally change lives—because the student wakes up to what logic is all about in a real-life situation—as opposed to passively accepting whatever information comes his way."

FAQ on Rappoport Logic Course:

I've been getting many requests to further describe my logic course -- hence this FAQ, which answers a lot of questions.

Since I began writing articles about my LOGIC AND ANALYSIS course, I have had a flood of inquiries... people have been ordering the course for independent adult self-study, and, to teach it to their home-schooled children.

Q: How long is the course?

A: Eighteen classroom sessions. That includes a final exam.

Q: So it isn't just a workshop or a seminar.

A: No, it's a real course.

Q: At what pace would you recommend teaching it in a home-school setting?

A: Three sessions a week, if possible. An hour per session.

Q: Is the course available online?

A: You download the product upon purchase. It is a collection of MP3 audio files and .pdf document files.

Q: What are the course materials?

A: A extensive teacher's manual, student study sheets, and MP3 audio files.

Q: What's in the teacher's manual?

A: The manual contains a layout for all the lessons, in chronological order, and explanations for all the passages that are analyzed in the course.

Q: Passages?

A: Yes. There are short and long passages of text. I wrote these with logical errors embedded in them. Students and teachers work over the passages and discover the specific logical errors. The main passages are written to resemble news stories, press releases, political-speak, science journalism, and internet reporting.

Q: Why?

A: Because they resemble what you encounter in the real world. The whole point of the course is gaining the ability to deal with information in any form, in life. That means being able to take information apart and pinpoint the specific logical mistakes, and analyze those mistakes, in detail.

Q: If an adult is studying the course on his own, how does he proceed?

A: Actually, whether the adult is studying the course on his/her own or preparing to teach it to children, the approach is the same. Go through the entire teacher's manual, step by step. Master everything.

Q: What if questions arise during this process?

A: Contact me directly -- I'm available to answer any and all questions.

Q: Is there an extra fee for this service?

A: No.

Q: What is on the MP3 audio files?

A: My analysis of the six long passages of text that make up the core of the course. I wanted to do this part in audio, so the teachers can listen to me attacking the text and pulling it apart. It gives a sense of what it's really like to dig out each logical error and identify it.

Q: When a home-schooling adult teaches the course, is it a process of the teacher and students mutually discovering logical fallacies?

A: No. The teacher already has mastered the course and knows where all the errors are. However, in class, the children first battle through a passage on their own, with the teacher noting their findings. Then the teacher explains each actual logical error in detail. Then, as homework, on their own, the students go back to that passage again and find all the logical errors, and describe them in writing.

Q: These logical fallacies-are they written in stone or did you dream them up?

A: The traditional fallacies have been discovered and described, in various ways, over the last 2400 years. They are very real and very exacting.

Q: What is your background?

A: As a college student (Amherst College), I studied logic as part of my major in philosophy. I had extensive training in logic there. I taught in several private schools in New York and Los Angeles, and tutored remedial English at Santa Monica College. I've had a 25-year career as an investigative reporter-LA Weekly, CBS Healthwatch, Spin Magazine, Stern (Germany), etc. During this period, I applied logic to my investigations on a regular basis. Particularly in the area of medical fraud, I had to use logic to get behind the PR pronouncements of various "authorities" and find the inconsistencies and deceptions that were occurring in published research.

Q: On what basis do you sell your course to home-schooling parents?

A: They may use it with any size class for as long as they want to teach it, as many times as they want to teach it, but the course must be taught in their own home-school. The course is copyrighted and cannot be sold or given away to other teachers.

Q: I have a plan to teach it to people in my community. Is that all right?

A: Absolutely. You can deliver the course as many times as you want to-as long as you are the teacher.

Q: Is your course given for academic credit in home schools?

A: No. It is for enrichment. I don't use sanitized and silly politically correct passages in the course-most if not all school systems would refuse to allow real-world-type passages. They want largely unrealistic material. That would defeat the whole purpose of the course.

Q: Why is logic so important?

A: Because it is the foundation on which all other fields of study are built. It is a priceless Western tradition, and it is being lost. We need to reverse that trend. A student can't be truly literate unless he can analyze what he is reading. This fact is ignored in most schools.

Q: Do you oppose rote learning?

A: Actually, no. I oppose learning that is exclusively and only rote. Students also think. Everybody thinks. There is a choice. You can learn how to think clearly, or you can remain passive and accept whatever is thrown your way. People have a confusion about this. They sometimes believe independent thinking is the same thing as rebellion. Clear thinking is clear thinking. It enables you to face information, reporting, and argument head-on, and make judgments on the merits. The logical merits.

Q: But what about, say, faith? How does logic relate to faith?

A: Learning how to think lucidly strengthens any faith or first principles you live by, because logic is about something else. Logic shows you the difference between profound faith and analysis. You don't need to confuse the two.

Q: How many long passages are there in the course?

A: Six. They are taken up and analyzed during twelve classroom sessions. They are analyzed deeply.

Q: How do I pay for the course?

A: The course comes with the purchase of The Matrix Revealed. Payment is made online via paypal.

Q: How soon after I pay do I have access to the course?

A: Immediately upon online payment.

Q: How much is the course?


Q: Could you personally teach the course in a corporate setting?

A: Yes. I'm available on that basis. The content of the course would change somewhat.

Q: Is each classroom lesson of the course based on the prior lessons, or can it be taught in any sequence?

A: You follow my sequence. The course is built in a traditional fashion. The easier and simpler material comes first. Then, the more complex lessons and passages.

Q: Can I read an outline of the course?

A: Yes. I've included it at the end of this FAQ.

Q: Are eighteen classroom sessions enough to become a logical thinker?

A: Yes. You certainly don't exhaust the whole field of logic, but you move into a new sphere. You can no longer be deceived or taken in by illogical presentations. You can take those presentations of information, in whatever form, apart and dissect the logical errors.

Q: Illogic is rampant in our society?

A: It's the "way things are done" now. You have to realize that the higher you go on the educational ladder, the more subtle bias and coercion creep in. Teachers and institutions have their slant on things. They cleverly sell that slant and disguise it. If students don't know what's going on, they become captive to some form of bias. They become "products" of the system.

Q: Your course is an antidote to that?

A: It is. In our society, there are many political points of view masquerading as pure knowledge. The question is, do you want your children to fall under the sway of these strategies, or do you want their heads to rise above them.

Q: As an adult, will I be able to master the course myself?

A: Of course. The reading level required for the course is "bright high school."

Q: I have children I want to home school, but they're young.

A: I have several parents who have young children. These children are readers, but they're not yet at the level of the course. So the parents are taking them through the course by reading parts of it to them, and then discussing the logical issues in those passages. Later, when these children are old enough and are reading at a high school level, the parents will teach the course to them again-fully. It's a very good strategy, and it gives the kids a fine head start.

Q: There are several different types of illogical arguments?

A: About ten basic ones.

Q: Certain patterns of illogical argument emerge and you can recognize these patterns?

A: Exactly. I once had a student who worked for a big company. He was on the receiving end of many reports from a particular manager. After studying logic, the student was able to see that this manager was making the same basic illogical argument over and over, in different situations. He was costing the company a great deal of money.

Q: On the whole, would you say that people who offer illogical information are unable to see what they're doing, or are they intentionally trying to deceive others?

A: Mainly, these people who chronically commit logical errors are uneducated-they don't know logic. They're struggling along in the best way they can. But a surprising number of people are just trying to sell their own personal bias. They're slanting things intentionally to fit that bias. It happens in politics all the time, but I can say from experience that it happens just as often in science, and in other fields. Economics, history, psychology, for example.

Q: And students who can see this clearly and specifically would be ahead of the game.

A: Such students would have a towering advantage.

Course Outline:

The course has 18 classroom sessions. The last two sessions are the final exam and the teacher’s step-by-step review of the exam.

The teacher’s manual explains how every lesson is laid out.

Every classroom lesson is filled with examples that are studied by the student, under guidance of the teacher.

LESSON 1 — The student learns how generalizations and vague terms can infect the reasoning process and make it useless and misleading. What is a generalization? What is a vague generalization? What is a vague term? Examples are studied. Vague terms and generalizations are the most common errors found in the reasoning process.

LESSON 2 — The student learns to analyze several traditional logical fallacies that occur in a line of reasoning. These fallacies are shown in many examples. They are concise and clear. These are the flaws first described by Aristotle in ancient Greece.

LESSON 3 — The student now begins to examine actual passages of text that contain multiple logical errors. The passages are short. With the teacher’s guidance., the student comes to see how these passages are misleading. This lesson is the groundwork for everything that is to come in the course.

LESSON 4 — The student tackles a whole host of text passages that contain logical flaws. These passages illustrate such fallacies as: polemic; attacking the person rather than the argument; vague terms; inappropriate analogy; “sales pitch”; omission of vital information; circular reasoning.

LESSONS 5-16 — The student now embarks on the analysis of six much longer and more complex text passages. Each long passage is studied for two classroom sessions. These passages resemble news stories, political promotion, internet journalism, science press releases—in other words, just the sort of material we all come across every day. The teacher has the students take apart each passage and offer up the errors they find; then, the teacher explains ALL the errors.

"In my MP3 audios that accompany the teacher’s manual, I go through each of these long passages and describe the errors contained in them. The teacher can play my descriptions to the class.

"Lessons 5-16 are the core of the course. The student gains confidence in being able to dissect, SPECIFICALLY AND IN DETAIL, realistic written material that contains multiple logical errors. Step by step, passage by passage, the student learns how to find the flaws and see through the misdirection."

LESSONS 17 AND 18 — The student takes the final exam. In it, the student examines a new long text passage and writes down all the SPECIFIC errors he/she can find. Then, after grading the exams, the teacher gives, in the last class, a detailed analysis of the exam passage.

"This outline can’t possibly present the experience of actually doing the course. So after reading this, feel free to contact me if you have any questions -

"The teacher’s manual is very complete. It contains every passage contained in the course—and a detailed explanation of how the major passages are flawed. Essentially, the teacher studies the manual and then teaches the course. I am available to answer questions teachers have as they study the material themselves.

"The course is geared for bright high-school students. I am, on request, available to design logic courses for children of different ages."

Jon Rappoport has been working as an investigative reporter for 25 years. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize early in his career, he has published articles in LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, CBS Healthwatch, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. He has taught in several private schools in New York and Los Angeles, and has tutored extensively in remedial English at Santa Monica College. At Amherst College, where he graduated with a BA in philosophy, he studied formal logic under Joseph Epstein, a revered professor of philosophy.


  1. Very interesting course outline. I am interested in reviewing this course. This should be core curriculum at the beginning of High School, or at least at the Junior level.

  2. Any break for students broke and in College full time?