Trivium Studies Primer: As a preparation for the study of formal logic, this class introduces the basic vocabulary of logic and the basic skills involved in recognizing and understanding logical terms, and statements. In addition, first steps are taken in the practices of using terms clearly, formulating judgments truthfully, and even constructing simple arguments validly. The knowledge and skills gained will make the transition into Trivium Studies 1: Traditional Logic easy and smooth.
- Teacher: Zach Krueger
Trivium Studies 1: This class emphasizes the structure of logical reasoning, the form that right reasoning takes. It begins with an Aristotelian account of the three acts of the intellect: simple apprehension, judgment, and reasoning. These acts are verbalized as terms, propositions, and syllogisms, respectively. With this background, the students learn the four types of logical proposition, the square of opposition for understanding the ways in which those propositions are related, and the rules for combining propositions into syllogisms without error. The course concludes with the consideration of various complex forms of the syllogism and numerous case studies of famous arguments. The second half of the year emphasizes the practice of "translating" and analyzing "ordinary language arguments."
- Teacher: Zach Krueger
Trivium Studies 2: The student who has been learning advanced grammar and syntax in the Latin cycle, and who has taken Logic will find a completion to our introduction to the mediaeval trivium in this class. First, we consider some aspects of informal and inductive logic. Then, drawing upon Aristotle's Rhetoric and other Greek and Roman works, we will explore the three modes of persuasion, the five canons of rhetoric, the steps for apprehending the rhetorical situation, and other elements of the classical approach.
Rather than a "public speaking" course, the class continues the exploration of what language and thought are, that was begun in Logic. It examines the other modes of communication that complete the logos emphasized in our logic class (pathos and ethos); it introduces us to themes that will find their full explication in philosophy of human nature as it considers the ethical and humane conditions that one must bear in mind when wielding the profound and dangerous thing that is language. In addition, it offers a defense of rhetoric reliant upon beauty and lays out a practical imitative approach to composition, using the five canons.
- Teacher/Author: Kenneth Rolling