My favorite class I’ve taken here at Fairfield University is “Logic,” also dubbed “PHIL2217.” I’m actually currently taking it right now, but I feel so strongly about the class that I just have to put it into writing.
I’m currently taking the course with Professor Jose Fernandez, Ph.D., who is one of the most passionate, animated and excited professors I’ve ever had the chance to take a course with at Fairfield University.
The class takes you through the great logical thinkers of the past, starting with the world before Socrates. After a discussion of thinkers like Parmenides and Heraclitus, you will then dive into the world of Socrates himself and get to read some examples of the writings of Plato where we can see the Socratic method in full effect. Texts like “Gorgias” and “The Trial and Death of Socrates” are two of the most interesting I’ve read in this class, and it is fascinating to see how teaching others by asking questions can shape a person’s thinking.
The dialogue seen between the characters of these texts shows how Socrates was a man who sought after the truth and would stop at nothing to get there, but it also shows us how we can help others arrive at conclusions without telling them outwardly the “correct” answer. Instead, we can raise questions in order to help them do this.
The second half of the course deals more with the actual logical side of things, like setting up an argument, taking people through your premises and identifying a conclusion that can be followed throughout the whole argument.
I really enjoy this type of logic because it is not only something I’ve never had the chance to learn about in school, but I have also been able to understand how to really convince someone of something important, which is a vital skill to learn. I have also been able to apply this course material to another class that I am taking right now, Business Ethics, which is part of my Charles F. Dolan School of Business major core curriculum. I’m enjoying these two classes side by side; as I am learning the origins and history of logic in one, I’m learning how to directly apply that knowledge in a business setting in the other.
I also can’t say enough good things about my professor, Jose Fernandez. He is so passionate about the course material and really enlivens the class discussions we have. Participating in his class is incredibly easy because if you get a question wrong, he’ll show you through the way of thinking in order to arrive at the correct answer yourself, making the class that much more rewarding of an experience. I mean, Socrates did the same thing, so it must be working well on me.
I normally find that classes can sometimes begin to drop off in interest by the time an hour rolls around, leaving 15 minutes of me zoning out, looking out the window, or just simply finding it hard to pay attention. However, for the full 75 minutes this class runs, I am locked in and fully encapsulated in the mindset to listen to logical arguments be made.
Now, I’m a marketing major and can’t guarantee that you’ll be as fortunate as I am to get into this class next semester, but it is being offered from 4 p.m. to 4:50 p.m. meeting on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays next semester. The class is being taught by Chia-Hua Lin, Ph.D., who I am not currently taking, but who I am sure will teach it with the same passion.