• Mr. Burton Gildersleeve

The Logic Behind Logic Class

When you first learned that we have a logic class at the Academy, if your response was like most of any of ours you likely nodded your head and said things like “yes, right, of course – that’s good.” But then at some other point later in private you thought about it all a little more deeply and asked yourself, “Wait, what do you do in logic class?"


Perhaps, though, you thought rightly that logic students learn to think rationally, to form arguments and to see the world for what it is, and since our world is so wanting of people who can do those things, you naturally were in agreement with the whole idea. But still: How do you study logic?


If you were to ask Dr. Paulson, he would gladly tell you this to start:


“In logic class we study the great philosophers of antiquity – like Aristotle, Socrates, and Plato – and the great theologians of antiquity – like Augustine and Athanasius. And, we study the principles of debate and reasoning, which are principles produced and studied by those scholars that enable one to argue with precision.”


So, look: you were right – our students learn to produce rational arguments in logic class. They do so by studying those who mastered the art of eloquent and thoughtful arguments. Yet Dr. Paulson likely wouldn’t stop at how class works; he is too persuasive and exacting once he gets going, so he would continue and tell you why we teach logic so rigorously at WCA.


Dr. Paulson, here: “We have a natural appetite for the truth, to learn why we exist, who made us, etc. Logic – in studying philosophy and theology – speaks to all of those big questions.”


He continues: “The end objective is to perceive reality as clearly as possible, to see reality for what it truly is. Sanity in its ultimate form is the ability to see God rightly in all things.”


Now in this hypothetical conversation with Dr. Paulson you’ve become very intrigued and therefore ask, “What, then, is the result of logic study done well?”


Dr. Paulson concludes in this way: “If we do philosophy and theology properly, we perceive the meaning and the ultimate intelligibility of things. And when you do that, you have joy in your heart, because those things come from the hand of God.”


As you were to walk away from such a conversation, you’d likely still have some questions. Given this form of logic study has been ongoing for some two-thousand years you wouldn’t comprehend entirely the logic behind logic class. But you would be able to say, “yes, right, of course – that’s good,” and mean it.