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Dr. Peikoff’s Introduction to Logic course mentions that Aristotle made the analogy of learning fighting skills as a physical ability in defending oneself to the role logic can serve as a form of mental self-defense.
 
Training in the martial arts is arduous. Single techniques when first learned, will be repeated over and over. Later, basic blocks are used with basic counter strikes to automate effective combinations. To become accomplished, thousands of repetitions are required.
 
In logic, most introductory courses begin with covering fallacies. Reasoning is not automatic. Identifying sound reasoning also requires the ability to distinguish faulty reasoning when it is encountered.
 
In physical self-defense, a block executed properly can be distinguished from one poorly executed by perceptual means. If a punch or a kick is not blocked, it feels different than a strike effectively parried. Retaliatory force used in self-defense against an aggressor also provides perceptual feedback. When the opponent stops attacking, or has run off into the night, the fight is over.
 
Reasoning is subtler. The study of formal logic is not a part of most modern curriculum. Recognizing a logical fallacy is a learned skill. At the perceptual level, it is pretty easy to recognize that what is identified as a cat is a cat and that it is not a dog. Understanding how selfishness is a good thing is far more complex. As Miss Rand indicates in For The New Intellectual:
 

The process of identifying, judging, accepting and upholding a new philosophy of life is a long, complicated process, which requires thought, proof, full understanding and conviction.

 
Objectivism’s theory of concepts unearthed at least three logical fallacies that are not taught in most introductory logic courses. The fallacy of the stolen concept, the frozen abstraction, the package deals. The ability to detect fallacies is not automatic. It is a volitional process which has to be learned and honed as a skill.
 
Unlike the realm of physical self-defense where the parties know the outcome perceptually, in the realm of intellectual self-defense the results may not be mutually obvious. For it to be so, the parties have to have learned how to allow reality to be the final arbiter. Only then can they profit.

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